Plane with deportees lands in Africa and then returns to US without dropping off Somalis

This is a very strange story this morning at the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Thanks to reader Margaret for sending.

When the ICE plane touched down in Dakar, seems there was a problem getting a crew that had enough rest in order for the nearly 6,000 mile upcoming leg of the trip to continue from Dakar (Senegal) to Mogadishu in Somalia.

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The mystery is intriguing, but the more important news here is that 92 Somalis were being deported from the US!

From the Star Tribune:

A plane with deportees to Somalia, including at least four from Minnesota, returned to the United States on Friday after a stop in Senegal that authorities said did not go according to plan.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a statement that a flight with 92 deportees headed back after a refueling and pilot exchange stop in Dakar. As the plane landed in Dakar, ICE was notified that relief crew members were not able to get enough rest because of issues with their hotel, and the plane remained parked at the airport to allow the relief crew time to rest.

“Various logistical options were explored, and ultimately ICE decided to reschedule the mission to Somalia and return to the United States with all 92 detainees,” said the statement from the agency.

Local attorneys for several of the deportees on the flight said they were baffled by the turn of events — but hopeful the flight’s return might offer some of their clients a long-shot opening to block their deportations.

The number of Somalia natives the United States deports to their homeland has increased markedly in recent years, and the Trump administration this year removed that country from a list of nations deemed uncooperative on deportations.

The U.S. government has argued that conditions in the East African country have improved sufficiently to return people there. Advocates have pointed to a string of deadly terror attacks in Somalia as they insist the country remains unsafe.

Continue reading here and see that lawyers for the deportees are hoping this gives them another shot at a reprieve for their clients.

We have on many occasions reported that Somalis are traveling back and forth between Somalia and the US for pleasure trips, so we can assume that the country is safe enough.

See my post the other day in which I asked, does it ever end?  Thirty-plus years since we have been ‘welcoming’ Somali refugees.  Are they ever expected to get their country in order?

Bottomline here is that if its safe to send deportees home, then we no longer need to take Somali refugees, right?

10 thoughts on “Plane with deportees lands in Africa and then returns to US without dropping off Somalis

  1. Having served many years in immigration law enforcement, I have heard many such stories about removal screw ups. I have seen them turn flights around for all kinds of reasons, usually because of paperwork snafus. This can happen with countries large and small.

    I have experienced situations where we arrived in a country (Paris last time) where they wouldn’t give us a hotel room for many hours. We sat around in the lobby, trying to catch some sleep. By the time they gave us our rooms, we only had 5-6 hours to sleep. When you figure in showers undress-dress time, plus travel to and from the airport, you don’t get much rest.

    There are safety considerations when you are often dealing with mentally ill/criminal aliens. You really have to be on your toes. Aircraft are relatively small spaces.

    The flight crew also has to be fresh for a multiple hour flight.

    Another consideration is that many countries require a manifest of all on board, in advance. If they don’t get it by their schedule, they can refuse entry. This especially true with countries that aren’t exactly friendly with the U.S..

    Most Americans aren’t aware of the difficulties in removing bodies from America. Places like China and Jamaica really don’t want anyone back, especially criminals and mentally ill.

    I had one nasty experience in D.C. with the Russian Consulate. They had my government vehicle towed by the city, when I parked in an area with signs saying “official parking.” The consular officer was rude to us, and claimed our visa applications weren’t in order. We walked back outside to discover the car gone. When I went back to the consular counter and complained about the tow, they said the parking was only for Russian diplomats. The sign did not say that, but my car was gone nonetheless.

    The D.C. parking enforcement agreed with me about the car should not have been towed, but they said the Russians raised enough of a stink that the boss caved in to their demands.

    I have also taken deportable criminal aliens to foreign consulates, at the countries request. Once there, the consular officers would demand the aliens restraints removed, even though they aliens had convictions for assualtive behavior.

    I have to say, the Trump administration is the very first to have played a little hardball with countries playing games with us on deporting their aliens. The quickest way to get cooperation from unfriendly countries is to threaten their business people from being granted temporary travel visas. Another avenue is to discontinue student visas, and denying travel authorization to their high ranking military.

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  2. Weird story indeed! So the distance from Senegal to Somalia is too long for the original crew, but they’re allowed to fly back to the US, a longer distance! I’d love to know the back story to this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL! I wondered about that too! I doubt we will ever know what really happened and if that plane does ever go on to Somalia.


  3. Once the aircraft went wheels up they were all removed from the U.S. as per a removal order (deportation). I suspect they were all “paroled” once they returned to the U.S. The parole status means they have no standing to reopen their immigration cases. It also means they can, and probably will, remain in ICE custody, until their next departure.

    Although it would be more expensive for the American taxpayers, I’d use an aircraft large enough to carry two flight crews.

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