92 Somalis being deported from the U.S. fly 5,000 miles to Africa before returning to Florida

The Somali citizens landed in Senegal before they returned to the U.S. Pictured, a 2015 file photo of undocumented immigrants in Mesa, Arizona. (JOHN MOORE/GETTY IMAGES)

Undocumented immigrants who were being deported to Somalia on Thursday made it to Senegal before they all returned on a flight back to the U.S., according to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The Somali citizens, some of whom had lived in the U.S. for decades, were transported to Louisiana from across the country ahead of their flight to eastern Africa, the New York Times reported.

When the plane landed in Dakar, Senegal, on the west coast of Africa, ICE “was notified that the relief crew was unable to get sufficient crew rest due to issues with their hotel in Dakar,” according to a statement issued by the agency.

The plane remained parked at the airport to allow the relief crew to rest while the detainees remained on board with air conditioning, along with food and water, ICE said.

Still 5,800 miles away from their final destination, officials decided to reschedule the deportation and flew back to the U.S. with all 92 Somalis.

Attorneys in Minnesota representing two of the undocumented immigrants said they were booked into detention centers after the plane landed in Miami on Friday.

Kim Hunter told the Pioneer Press, “Any additional time these men get in the United States is beneficial as it gives the agency more time to decide on motions to reopen [their cases].”

One of her clients, Abdoulmalik Ibrahim, never returned home after he checked in with the ICE, as he had done for the last 15 years.

Ibraham, who is married to a permanent U.S. resident, had an old misdemeanor for criminal property damage, Hunter said.

Abdihakim Mohamed, who has no criminal record, was working as a personal care attendant when he was detained during a check-in with ICE, Hunter said.


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