Protesters said the Iraqis would face persecution if they were deported
A US judge has halted the deportation of 1,400 Iraqis.
District judge Mark Goldsmith granted an injunction to give the immigrants more time to individually challenge their removal in the courts.
He said many of the group had faced a "feverish search for legal assistance" after their deportation orders were unexpectedly resurrected in 2016.
Judge Goldsmith said he hoped the additional time would ensure "those who might be subjected to grave harm and possible death are not cast out of this country before having their day in court".
Many of the Iraqis are Catholics, Sunni Muslims or Iraqi Kurds
The injunction was requested by the American Civil Liberties Union, which argued the immigrants would face persecution in Iraq as they were considered ethnic and religious minorities.
The ACLU said many were Chaldean Catholics, Sunni Muslims or Iraqi Kurds - and that the groups were recognised as targets of hate back home.
A total of 199 of them, many with previous convictions of serious crimes, were detained in June as part of a nationwide sweep by authorities.
Some came to the US as children and committed crimes decades ago, but only recently faced repatriation when the Iraqi government U-turned on a refusal to grant them travel documents.
Tuesday's ruling effectively means no Iraqi nationals can be deported from the United States for several months.
It is not yet known whether the US government will appeal the ruling.


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