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US deportation flight to Africa returns with all deportees on board

The US government’s efforts to deport 92 Somali nationals — including some who lived in Georgia and Minnesota — did not go ahead as planned this week.

Published: December 11, 2017, 9:08 am

    A deportation flight encountered some difficulties in the African country of Senegal and returned to the US with all the Africans on board.

    Omar Shekhey, the executive director for the Somali American Community Center in Clarkston, said at least nine of those on the flight came from Georgia. The Star Tribune reported as least four were from Minnesota.

    US Immigration and Customs Enforcement released a statement on 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,” US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said in a 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.”

    Minnesota is also home to a large Liberian and Guinean community, mostly in the northern suburbs of the Twin Cities metro area. Alhaaji Mohamed Bah, president of the Guinea Association of Minnesota, commented, “There’s no way of going back.”

    In the first three months of 2017, the US ordered the deportation of more than 1 200 Africans, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. Voice of America reported that citizens of Ghana, Nigeria, Somalia and Kenya had received the most removal orders.

    By the end of this year, the deportation rate will have surpass 2016 numbers fourfold, if current rates continue.

    Overall, immigrants from African countries are far less likely to be removed from the US than other immigrant groups, as most immigrants coming to the US are from non-African countries.

    In 2015, less than 5 percent of all immigrants in the US were from Africa, according to Pew Research. African citizens represented less than 0.4 percent of all deportations in 2016.

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    • We could step up deportations if we cut welfare to browns and blacks, then paid countries to repatriate them. Probably save enough to pay for the wall too, and still have money left over to staff it with armed guards.

    • Andy C

      If they won’t willing get off on land, where they are actually at home and their behaviours are normal, then shove them in the ocean.


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