Somalia deportations, MN immigration stories, and other immigration news – December 11, 2017

Airport gate sign

Fotolia image File: #31551397 

More than a hundred Somali immigrants were taken from around the country to a detention facility in Louisiana to be flown back to Somalia – despite the ongoing civil war and the October bombing in Mogadishu that took more than 500 lives.

Despite the clear dangers in Somalia, this year has seen a record number of deportations. Many of those deported to Somalia this year were immigrants whose asylum claims were denied; others were U.S. permanent residents with criminal convictions.

At least five Minnesota men were among those scheduled for deportation. Three received temporary stays, and two were on the flight that was turned back. Those on the flight are still scheduled for deportation.

U.S. Put 92 Somalis on a Deportation Flight, Then Brought Them Back (New York Times, 12/9/17) The plane reached Senegal, but then encountered some kind of problem with hotel rooms for crew members, and ended up returning to the United States, 

“In recent weeks, dozens of Somali citizens were transported from their homes in the United States — many were living in Minnesota — to Louisiana in preparation for the flight. A few, with the help of lawyers, managed to secure stays of removal….

“One Somali woman in Minnesota, who did not want to give her name for fear of getting her family in trouble with the authorities, said in a phone interview on Friday that her cousin was among those on the flight.

“She said she had been desperate for answers since Wednesday, when her cousin called from Louisiana saying he was about to be deported. “I was very sad. I cried, and he told me not to make him cry,” she said, adding that it would be dangerous for him to land in Mogadishu because he had no connections there. “He hasn’t seen Somalia for the last 20 years.”

Three Minnesota Men Facing Deportation Receive Temporary Stay (Fox News, 12/8/17) The three are among a group who were about to be deported to Somalia on Friday morning. Others were put on a plane to be deported, including Minnesotans.

“Bruning and his partner Kim Hunter learned three of their five clients fighting deportation back to Somalia will temporarily get to stay in the U.S.

“But the attorneys say they wish all five were able to go back to their families. One of the men deported was a cardiovascular technician at the Mayo Clinic.”

Minnesota men facing deportation flown back to States (Fox News, 12/8/17) Two Minnesotans were among the immigrants on the flight that turned back after reaching Senegal, due to some kind of problems with getting hotel accommodations for flight crews.

How will Trump’s travel ban affect Minnesotans? (MPR, 12/8/17) John Keller of the Immigrant Law Center and Jaylani Hussein of CAIR joined the program to discuss what this means for local immigrants.

“”For most of the people from these six countries, future permanent immigration is now blocked. This is predominantly family petitions, someone who has been working through the system, a citizen or permanent resident here in the United states and is trying to reunite with a spouse or a parent. These petitions can take many years. As a result of the Supreme Court decision, those petitions are now on hold.”

Political climate may deter international grad students, UMN officials say (Minnesota Daily, 12/8/17)

“As of Dec. 4, University graduate school applications were down 6 percent compared to last year, Tsantir said….

“Many international students at the University said they no longer felt wanted in the U.S. after President Donald Trump enacted an immigration ban affecting seven countries in February. Some were making plans to return home or find jobs in other countries they perceived as more welcoming.”

Canada’s immigration minister warns against illegal crossings at Minnesota’s northern border (Star Tribune, 12/9/17)

“In a speech at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, Hussen touted Canada’s measured approach, including a gradual increase in immigration planned over the next three years. He met with resettlement agency staff and other advocates, plugging a unique Canadian program in which private citizens and churches sponsor some refugees. Members of the local Somali community, where he enjoys rock star status, threw him a welcoming reception in Minneapolis.”

And in other news

Mexican Immigrants from South Jersey, in the US for 30 Years, Deported, Leaving Behind 3 Children (NBC, 12/9/17)

“Moments before getting on the flight, Oscar Campos gave his children some parting advice to adhere in his absence. The words seemed to be a motto he lived by in striving for a better life for his family over the last three decades.

“Fight for your dreams because life continues and you will always find good people that support you,” he told them before boarding the plane. “There are a lot of good people. Don’t give your hopes up.”

When immigration detention means losing your kids (NPR, 12/8/17) 

“Federal immigration agents picked up the young mother, who was living in the country illegally in Grand Island, Nebraska. She was detained for about a month, separated from her 7-year-old son and infant daughter. She thought the children would rejoin her on the flight to her native Guatemala, right up until an immigration agent escorted her to her gate.

“There was no Angie, no Daniel,” she recalls. She says the officer told her, “your children are going to stay with the state. Your children aren’t going to Guatemala.”

“They’re Taking Everybody” — Videos Show Texas Troopers Ripping Apart Immigrant Families During Traffic Stops (The Intercept, 12/10/17) Texas State Troopers have become “frontline enforcers of immigration laws,”, focusing patrols on border areas, stopping drivers and even pedestrians, checking immigration status and turn people over to Border Patrol. Their targests are not recent border crossers, but families who have lived in U.S. for decades.

My Family Fled to the US to Survive. We Deserve to Stay. (Moyers & Co., 12/8/17) One Dreamer’s eloquent story.

“I learned what it meant, piece by piece. It meant that my uncle couldn’t volunteer as a chaperone for an elementary school field trip, because a routine background check might give Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) information it could use to deport him. It meant that when my fifth-grade teacher taught us about Social Security, I learned that our family didn’t have it. It meant introducing myself as “Caesar” rather than “Cesar,” and telling people I was born in Los Angeles. It meant working for a construction company that used my immigration status as leverage to pay me less, and demand that I work more….

“Even the DREAM Act promises too little for too small a group. It excludes people like my mother and uncle because arbitrary and racist laws have made immigration an illegal act. We must do more.”

Iowa bishop: Immigration detainees here are ‘tense,’ ‘isolated’ and ‘scared’ (Des Moines Register, 12/7/17) Bishop Richard Pates visited imprisoned immigrants in Iowa.

“After his visit, he called on public officials to pass immigration reform that provides a path for legal residency for undocumented immigrants. In particular, he said Congress must reauthorize the Deferred Action for Arrivals program, which protects undocumented immigrants who were brought into the United States as children.”

Liberal Activists to Democrats: Protect Young Immigrants or Shut Down Government (New York Times, 12/8/17)

“People are actually losing their protection from deportation, losing their ability to work, losing their ability to support their families,” said Nayim Islam, an immigrant rights organizer for Desis Rising Up & Moving, a group seeking broad legislation that protects young immigrants, called the Dream Act. “The reality of what a government shutdown would mean for certain folks and their means of income or for jobs, that is already a reality for a lot of undocumented immigrants.”

The Senate Has Confirmed Kirstjen Nielsen as Secretary of Homeland Security (Immigration Impact, 12/5/17)

“During her confirmation hearing, Nielsen largely committed to carrying out the legacy of her predecessor and former boss, General John Kelly. Nielsen, who currently serves as White House deputy chief of staff, was nominated in October 2017 by President Trump to replace Kelly as he transitioned to his role as White House chief of staff.”

Trump Lifts Refugee Ban But Admissions Still Plummet, Data Shows (Reuters, 12/8/17) While the formal ban is lifted, other procedures put in place are even more stringent in restricting refugees. Fewer refugees overall, and far fewer Muslims, are being admitted under the new Trump rules.

“After the ban was lifted the new rules imposed included a requirement that refugees provide 10 years of biographical information, rather than five years, a pause in a program that allows for family reunification, and a “detailed threat analysis and review” of refugees from 11 countries. A Department of Homeland Security spokesman said that 90-day review began on Oct. 25, the day after Trump lifted the ban.”

‘Pressure, Dissuasion, Coercion’: Trump Officials Repeatedly Intervened to Stop Teen Refugees’ Abortions (Texas Observer, 12/8/17)

“Government emails show that federal officials intervened to prevent abortions, forced teenage girls to call their parents and sent them to religiously affiliated “crisis pregnancy centers.”


About Mary Turck

News Day, written by Mary Turck, analyzes, summarizes, links to, and comments on reports from news media around the world, with particular attention to immigration, education, and journalism. Fragments, also written by Mary Turck, has fiction, poetry and some creative non-fiction. Mary Turck edited TC Daily Planet,, from 2007-2014, and edited the award-winning Connection to the Americas and AMERICAS.ORG, in its pre-2008 version. She is also a recovering attorney and the author of many books for young people (and a few for adults), mostly focusing on historical and social issues.
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2 Responses to Somalia deportations, MN immigration stories, and other immigration news – December 11, 2017

  1. Pingback: Somalia deportations, MN immigration stories, and other immigration news | Rise Up Times

  2. Pingback: Somalia deportations, MN immigration stories, and other immigration news | Rise Up Times

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