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Abdulwahid Law Firm
Thursday January 19, 2017

U.S. immigration attorneys Robin Carr of San Diego, CA and Abdulwahid Osman of Minneapolis, MN have received calls in the past months from and regarding Somali nationals in detention who have final removal orders and who are afraid to return to Somalia.

This Notice is intended to share information gathered by the two attorneys regarding the U.S. government’s recent efforts to repatriate Somali nationals.

On January 13 and 16, 2017, attorneys Carr and Osman spoke by telephone with Ahmed Isse Awad, Somalia’s Ambassador to the United States.  The Ambassador confirmed that the Somali Embassy is currently issuing travel documents for Somali nationals with final removal orders who wish to return to Somalia. The Embassy and Immigration & Customs Enforcement or ICE agreed that, before the Embassy will issue a travel document, the U.S. government (ICE) must provide a statement for each Somali national they seek to deport. The statement should say that the subject wants to return to Somalia and should be written in the Somali language and signed by the subject. 

Somali nationals may want to return to Somalia to avoid prolonged detention. Detainees with final orders who want to return to Somalia can facilitate the process by writing a statement in the Somali language that says “I want to return to my country. Please prepare travel documents for me to return to Somalia.” If the detainee forwards the statement to an ICE officer, the officer will deliver the statement to the Somali Embassy which will begin the process of preparing the necessary travel documents. When the arrangements can be made, ICE will return the detainee/deportee on a flight to Mogadishu, Somalia. ICE will ask the deportee to provide information about a relative or friend who can meet the deportee in Mogadishu. The Somali government will likely not provide the deportee with any assistance; the deportee will be on his or her own once they land in Mogadishu. A flight with 80 or more Somali nationals who were ordered removed is expected to depart for Mogadishu sometime this week. 

Detainees who do not want to return to Somalia, but have written or been instructed by ICE to write a statement that they wish to return should contact an attorney for advice. The detainee may seek to withdraw or decline to write the statement but there may be consequences to doing so. The attorney can discuss the possible risks to a detainee who is perceived as refusing to cooperate with ICE’s removal efforts. The attorney can also explain other options, like a request for a stay of removal from ICE and/or a motion to the immigration court to reopen the case. 

Attorneys Carr and Osman are working together to closely monitor the situation of the Somali nationals who are afraid to return to Somalia. This Notice is intended to convey general information only and not to provide legal advice or opinions. Detainees or their families are welcome to contact either attorney to discuss the contents of this notice. 

Robin Chandler Carr
Law Office of Robin Carr
4265 Fairmount Ave, Suite 190
San Diego, CA 92105
(619) 754-9404
[email protected]rrlaw.com

Abdulwahid Sheikh Osman
Abdulwahid Law Firm, PLLC
2929 Chicago Ave, Suite 110
Minneapolis, MN 55407
(612) 501-7384
[email protected]



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