By Patrick Garvey
Recently the United States has had a fiery debate over immigration issues, generally centered around the southern border shared with Mexico. However, this is not the only area of the world that ICE is cracking down on refugees and immigrants. Plenty of people from Africa are being turned around, or even deported after many years spent in the United States in legal residency.
The story you are about to read was initially reported by Layla Mahmood, reporting for BBC. This is about a Somali man (whose name has been redacted due to security concerns in the face of Al-Shabaab) who has spent most of his life in the United States and has now been deported back to Mogadishu, Somalia. This man, named Ahmed for the purposes of this article, was taken through ten different detention centers throughout the United States before finally being returned to Somalia, a place he had lived only a portion of his childhood in. His time in these centers can be characterized through plagues of tuberculosis and overall poor treatment, which may be an understatement.
Ahmed ended up leaving the country he had come to know as home due to a cracking down on minor crimes as a motive for deportation. Ahmed spent three and a half years in prison for selling drugs as a teenager, he used this time to finish high school, begin college and become an Imam. This case is not particularly rare either, after being put on the block for deportation, many people wait for years for a decision to finally be made. In that time, people build lives in the United States. Ahmed has been forced to leave behind two charity organizations he has started as well as his wife and two children.
Ahmed among others has been made an outsider in a place he thought he had left behind for good. Read the full article here. Though Ahmed’s story is not unique, and many more like his will certainly surface until United States policy changes, it is our hope at Africa Faith and Justice Network that we hear more positive stories such as this one about a Congolese mother being reunited with her child.