ICE Accused of Continued Abuse of Somali Deportees

In December, 2017, a group of 92 Somali deportees made the international news after they spent more than 40 hours shackled on a deportation flight chartered by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). For logistical reasons, the flight did not result in the deportees being returned to Somalia; rather, the flight returned to the U.S. still full of its passengers. Although ICE has denied the allegations, the deportees have accused ICE of beating and threatening some individuals and denying them access to bathrooms during this 40-hour period. Two weeks following their return to the U.S., the deportees filed suit against the federal government, citing “inhumane conditions and egregious abuse,” and requesting that their deportations be halted. To date, the federal court has prohibited ICE from deporting the Somalis pending a full hearing on the issues in the case. The group’s lawyers also have filed an administrative complaint with the Department of Homeland Security General and Civil Rights and Civil Liberties offices based on claims of excessive force.

Unfortunately, returning to the U.S. did not end the nightmare for these deportees. Since their return, they have been held at the Krome Detention Center and the Glades County Detention Center in Florida while their lawyers continue to fight their deportation. Half of the deportees are being held at Glades, where they have complained of continued abuse and violent assaults by guards, a lack of access to medical care, an inability to contact their lawyers, and racism.

Immigration advocates accuse ICE of purposely mistreating detainees, such as this group of Somalis, in order to eventually wear them down and persuade them to leave the country rather than staying and fighting their deportation in immigration court. By limiting outside contact and creating terrible detention conditions, the detainees often simply lose all hope.

Regardless of the circumstances that your case may involve, the skilled and knowledgeable immigration lawyers of Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C. are here to get immigrants released from detention and defend them against removal from the country, regardless of their immigration status. We handle these types of cases on a regular basis and have valuable knowledge about how to best represent your interests, based on your individual circumstances. By contacting our office right away, you will place yourself in the best position possible to have loved ones released from detention and defend again potential removal from home and family.

 

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