Immigration officials have apprehended an estimated 200 Iraqi immigrants in the United States, according to a new report from CNN. United States officials reportedly rounded up the immigrants after Iraq consented to welcome deportees as part of a pact to remove it from Donald Trump's travel ban list.

Countrywide sweep

At least 114 Iraqis were arrested in Detroit over the weekend. Officials have detained 85 others throughout the United States over the past few months.

In a statement, Gillian Christensen, a United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spokesperson, said that most of the Iraqis arrested had criminal convictions.

Their offenses include murder, rape, kidnapping, assault, drug trafficking, weapons violations, among other crimes.

In the past, the Iraqi government has not been willing to welcome nationals with criminal records that the United States wanted to deport. Since the United States and Iraq signed pact on March 12, eight Iraqis residing in the United States have been sent back to their country.

Among those targeted in the sweep are dozens of Iraqi Chaldean Catholics. An indigenous Iraqi group affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church, the Chaldeans are from northern Iraq. They began moving to Detroit in the 1920s, hunting for religious freedom and better economic prospects. Immigration lawyers and family members of the detainees fear they will be killed if deported to Iraq.

The Chaldean Community Foundation estimates that 200,000 Chaldeans reside in the United States.

Iraqi Kurds have also been caught up in the immigration sweep. According to Reuters, some Kurds were picked up in Nashville, Tennessee.

Refusal to cooperate with the ICE

The United States had previously considered Iraq, China, Afghanistan, Iran, and Somalia as recalcitrant countries, for refusing to cooperate with efforts to deport their nationals.

Immigration attorneys and Human Rights Activists say that some of the people who immigration officials rounded up came to the United States as children, and have already served jail time for any crimes they may have committed. They had received a reprieve from deportation because Iraq would not be willing to take them back.

According to an Iraqi official, Iraq and the United States will coordinate to issue travel documents to the deportees. They will only receive the documents if records and investigations prove they are Iraqi.