Somali 92 Deportation Challenge

On December 7th, 2017 ninety-two Somali nationals were on a flight en route to Mogadishu on deportation orders. The flight and all of its passengers, many who are Minnesota residents, only made it as far as Dakar, Senegal before being rerouted to the United States. Upon their return the Somali passengers reported abuse from ICE during their journey, including having their feet shackled for 48 hours without access to bathrooms as well as physical and verbal abuse from ICE agents aboard the plane. In response to a lawsuit filed by a coalition of advocacy groups including the ACLU and The Advocates, U.S. District Judge Darrin Gayles extended a temporary stay of deportation for all 92 Somalis in order to grant them time to receive medical treatment and for the "good cause" cited in the lawsuit on the danger of returning these passengers to Somalia, where the group fears targeting due to the media spotlight they've received in a country with increased recent violence. We are mobilizing now to represent these clients currently held in detention in Florida with motions to reopen their immigration cases in light of changed circumstances to reverse their deportation orders.


Volunteer Opportunity for Attorneys


The Advocates for Human Rights, Center for New Americans at the University of Minnesota Law School, Legal Aid Service of Broward County, and Americans for Immigrant Justice have an immediate need for volunteer attorneys to provide pro bono representation in motions to reopen immigration cases for many of the Somali men and women who were on the failed December 7 deportation flight. These men and women are currently detained in two facilities near Miami, Florida.

We need volunteer attorneys to:

  • Travel to Miami to meet with detainees at the detention facilities. Americans for Immigrant Justice will provide assistance on-the-ground at the facilities. Volunteers pay all of their own travel expenses.
  • Assist remotely with motions to reopen removal proceedings in immigration courts around the country. Travel not required.

Please join us for a training on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at:

Robins Kaplan
800 LaSalle Avenue, Suite 2800
Minneapolis, MN 55402

The two-hour training will cover asylum basics, how to prepare a motion to reopen an immigration case, the current situation in Somalia, the current litigation in the Southern District of Florida, and details for those interested in conducting interviews at the detention facilities.

Register here>>
If you are interested in volunteering but not able to attend in person, you should still complete this form to indicate your interest, and we will send you a link to a recording of the training.

 If you have questions, please contact Theresa Dykoschak.