More than 50 Somali nationals were recently forced from the United States over immigration issues and deported back to Aden Adde, the international airport of Somalia.
Reportedly sent away under the premise of President Donald Trump’s campaign to “crack down” on illegal immigrants, many deportees expressed extreme sadness and discomfort over being made to leave including Arab, a detainee held in Atlanta for three months and then moved to Arizona, in order to board the plane that would take him and others back to the war torn Somalia via Dakar, Senegal, and Nairobi, Kenya.
“In total, I spent $28,000 for my trip to the United States,” said Arab, who arrived in 2016 after traveling from Somalia to Brazil, and then north to the U.S. border. “I don’t have a plan, I don’t even know where to start.”
Since October, more than 260 people who unsuccessfully sought asylum in the U.S. have been deported to Somalia, outpacing last year’s record-setting numbers.
Roughly 54 deportees also reported being handcuffed and their legs chained throughout their exit trip from the U.S., according to Voice of America. It is the third group of Somali nationals to be deported from the U.S. since March after Trump vowed to kick out illegal immigrants and immigrants with criminal records “at their own cost.”
Though no official claims have been brought before the Somali Embassy, one close friend of Arab, who spent over $30,000 to come to America and who was also deported during the same time, accused the institution of playing a role in the Somali deportations, which the embassy denies.
“There were 50 people deported; 30 of them were removed due to criminal cases against them, 20 had their asylum applications rejected,” said U.S. Somali Ambassador Ahmed Isse Awad. “The embassy cannot deport them, cannot order their removal. Likewise, we cannot issue legal status to them in this country. If we had this power, we would have given all Somalis legal permits. … All we do is issue travel documents to those approved by a judge to be removed.”
Though citizens are increasingly speaking out, no immediate mutual resolution has yet been established.
The Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party wrote to the Trump administration in May, questioning the removals of people to a country grappling with famine and threats by the terror group Al-Shabab.
“These realities cause great concern for the decision to deport so many Somalis to a situation where they would face imminent risk and danger,” the delegation wrote, according to The Star Tribune.
Despite what many might deem as heroic cries, some disagree, including Center for Immigration Studies fellow Jessica Vaughan.
“The U.S. must put its citizens’ safety first,” Vaughan said.