Judge Extends Somali Deportation Ban Amid Abuse Claims

A federal judge in Miami on Monday extended a temporary hold on the deportation of more than 90 Somalis arrested by immigration enforcement agents across the country in recent months.

U.S. District Judge Darrin Gayles had already issued a temporary stay of deportation on Dec. 19 for all 92 Somalis, saying he needed time to weigh whether he has jurisdiction over the case and that they receive medical treatment for injuries sustained during a botched deportation flight.

On Monday, he granted a request from a coalition of advocacy groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union and law professors at the University of Miami and University of Minnesota, to extend the order until Jan. 22, citing “good cause.”

Some of those on the flight said in a lawsuit that agents physically and verbally abused them during the flight, which lasted for 40 hours, including 23 hours when the flight was on the ground at an airport in Dakar.

The flight left early Dec. 7 morning from Louisiana, but the 92 detainees never made it to Somalia. Logistical problems forced the flight back to the U.S. after it reached Senegal in West Africa, according to immigration officials.

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