Families plead for update on Somali deportation case at impromptu town hall
MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - As his friends and family were meeting for an emergency town hall back in Minneapolis to plead for an update on his pending court case, Fuad Dhuuh called his wife from an Immigrations and Customs Enforcement detention center in Miami--and the news wasn't good.
For 15 minutes, he described horrific abuse at the hands of ICE agents as he awaits a judge's decision on whether he will be deported back to Somalia. The 35-year-old is one of 28 Minnesotans who were arrested late last year as a part of a major crackdown by the Trump administration targeting violators of immigration law without prior criminal records.
Dhuuh and the other Somali nationals were also part of a failed deportation attempt in December that left 92 Somali nationals on a plane in Senegal for nearly two full days, with many aboard alleging abuse at the hands of ICE agents.
The plane was inexplicably rerouted to Miami due to "flight issues" and a class action lawsuit on behalf of the deportees was subsequently filed in federal court, though without a judgement yet Dhuuh claims he's been in solitary confinement ever since.
"They abuse us, they harass us, they assaulted us," Dhuuh said. "We've been in the hole since Dec. 25."
Several of the people on the flight reported broken bones and various other wounds after being beaten. Others alleged that detainees were shackled for hours, ultimately resorting to using the bathroom in bottles or on themselves.
ICE, for their part, denies the allegations of abuse and misconduct, saying in part, "no one was injured during the flight, and there were no incidents or altercations that would have caused any injuries on the flight.” Representatives from the agency also mentioned that the detainees were seen by medical professionals and no injured were noted.