Families of Somali detainees awaiting deportation hold protest

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As another round of Somali detainees are set to be deported later this month, dozens of families protested outside of the federal courthouse in Minneapolis to stop the immigration arrests.

“It’s as if our voices are not being heard,” said Xamsa Mohamud of Minneapolis.

Wednesday, families from the Somali community held signs of relatives who are currently in custody. Others waved posters showing the deteriorating situation on the ground in Somalia.

“Our families came to this country for freedom and to come live the American dream, but it’s turned out to be an American nightmare,” said Najma Yusuf of Minneapolis.

Fox 9 has been following these families since late last year when 92 men were arrested and put on a flight overseas. They mysteriously never made it to Somalia and were returned to Miami where they're currently being held. Many of them have accused Immigration Customs Enforcement agents of horrific physical abuse

The family of Fuad Dhuuh says he's been beaten and kept in isolation for 23 hours a day. His brother, Kenadid Hiss, says all of them came to the United States as young children decades ago.

“He took the role of being a father figure for me, even though he’s my brother and he helped raise me and helped my mom when she didn’t have her husband with her,” said Hiss.

Now another flight is scheduled for next week to take about 100 detainees from Texas to South Sudan. Local attorneys told Fox 9 it's unclear how the U.S. government will legally and safely transport the detainees to Somalia.

“I think it’s a very irresponsible program—our military has recently escalated our involvement in Somalia and it seems like from preliminary reports it’s not going well,” said Rachel Petersen, an immigration attorney.

Fox 9 reached out to ICE, but a local spokesman said for security reasons, ICE cannot discuss any alleged pending operational activity.