A class-action lawsuit has been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on behalf of 92 Somali detainees who are currently facing deportation. These individuals were reportedly held in shackles in an airplane for more than 48 hours without proper toilet facilities. When the detainees protested or moved, they were beaten and kicked by ICE agents and subjected to repeated verbal abuse.
Atrocities on the Plane
The incident began on December 7, 2017, when ICE officials awakened the 92 Somalis early in the morning and shackled their ankles, waists and wrists. They were then delivered to a chartered airplane intended to take them directly to Somalia. Instead, they landed in the country of Senegal, more than 4,000 miles from their destination. Once there, they remained on the ground for nearly a full day before heading back to Miami. During that time, they were not allowed to walk around or stand up. One Somali detainee stated that he was poked in the eye by an ICE agent when he asked to use the bathroom and that he might lose the function in that eye. Many of these individuals report that they still have not received medical treatment for the injuries they sustained during their 48-hour ordeal.
Deportation Proceedings Suspended
The abuse reported by the Somalis on the flight is not the only cause of the lawsuit against ICE, however. Unrest and violence in Somalia make it an unsafe environment for these individuals, according to the lawsuit. Additionally, many of the detainees were never given access to their lawyers before deportation began. They are currently being held in two facilities in Florida and are being allowed to remain in the U.S. after Federal District Judge Darrin Gayles ordered that deportation proceedings against the individuals be suspended pending the outcome of the class-action lawsuit.
For those facing deportation in our area, working with a qualified Miami deportation attorney can be the best way to prevent abuses by ICE and to remain in the U.S. At Pozo Goldstein, we have the expertise and the proven knowledge you need to protect your legal rights and to ensure the best possible outcomes for your case. We work with you to determine the right approach to your immigration issues and to provide you with the representation you need to stop deportation proceedings in their tracks. Call us today at 305-856-0400 to schedule a free consultation with a Miami deportation attorney in our office. We look forward to the chance to serve you.