ICE efforts to deport 92 Somali nationals fails — plane returns to USA

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The good news is the deportation of unwanted illegal immigrants is a real thing under the Trump administration.  The bad news one effort hit a delay this week, leaving the deportees a second chance to remain in the US.

The Trump administration’s attempt to deport 92 Somali nationals hit a major snag after the flight encountered issues in Senegal.  The result was the flight returning to the U.S. with all 92 immigrants on board.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released statement Saturday, saying relief flight crew members were “unable to get sufficient rest due to issues with their hotel in Dakar.”

“The aircraft, including the detainees and crew on board, remained parked at the airport to allow the relief crew time to rest,” ICE said in its statement. “During this time, the aircraft maintained power and air conditioning, and was stocked with sufficient food and water. Various logistical options were explored, and ultimately ICE decided to reschedule the mission to Somalia and return to the United States with all 92 detainees. No further details are available at this time.”

Two Minnesota attorneys representing several of the deportees on the flight said they were baffled by the turn of events — but hopeful the flight’s return might offer some of their clients a long-shot opening to block their deportations.

According to the Star Tribune, “the U.S. government has argued that conditions in the East African country have improved sufficiently to return people there. Advocates have pointed to a string of deadly terror attacks in Somalia as they insist the country remains unsafe.

John Bruning, an attorney at Kim Hunter Law in St. Paul, said his office had two clients on the flight, both of whom unsuccessfully applied for asylum in the late 1990s and early 2000s. After receiving final deportation orders, they had been checking in with ICE regularly for years until they were detained earlier this year. One of them worked as a cardiovascular technician at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. In a dramatic last-minute turnaround, a federal judge blocked temporarily the deportations of two other clients who were slated to be on Thursday’s flight. A third client’s case was reopened by the Board of Immigration Appeals.”

According to the Tribune, many of the returnees are hopeful they will be given another chance to remain in the US.

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