U.S. deportation flight returns from Africa with all on board

Dec 09, 2017
ATLANTA: Federal immigration officers search people while placing them on a deportation flight out of Atlanta headed to Mexico, Thursday, May 3, 2012. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

The government’s efforts to deport 92 Somali nationals — including some who lived in Georgia and Minnesota — did not go as planned this week, when the flight encountered some snags in Senegal and returned to the U.S. with all on board.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released statement Saturday, saying relief flight crew members were “unable to get sufficient rest due to issues with their hotel in Dakar.” 

“The aircraft, including the detainees and crew on board, remained parked at the airport to allow the relief crew time to rest,” ICE said in its statement. “During this time, the aircraft maintained power and air conditioning, and was stocked with sufficient food and water. Various logistical options were explored, and ultimately ICE decided to reschedule the mission to Somalia and return to the United States with all 92 detainees. No further details are available at this time.” 

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Omar Shekhey, the executive director for the Somali American Community Center in Clarkston, said as many as nine of those on the flight lived in Georgia. The Star Tribune reported as least four were from Minnesota.