Newswire: An alarming rise in deportations for Somali-Americans in Minnesota



 Somali family in Minneasota

( – As bombs rain down on Mogadishu, officers of the U.S. immigration service have been stalking the Somali expat community in Minnesota, snatching suspected immigrants without documents to the distress of families there.
Among those recently placed on a plane bound for Somalia was Mohamed Hussein, according to a report by Minnesota Public Radio. Hussein arrived in Minnesota as an infant more than 20 years ago. Somalia is a country he’s never seen and where he knows no one.
After reporting for a regular check-in with federal officials last September, Hussein was unexpectedly detained, transferred to a Louisiana detention center and then bundled into a plane in shackles for deportation. Fortunately, the planeload of 91 men and women, including 10 from Minnesota, was made to return to the U.S. due to staffing issues in Senegal.
Also rescued from the ill-fated flight was Mayo Clinic cardiovascular technician Abdoulmalik Ibrahim, a married father of four who are all U.S. citizens. Immigration lawyers are seeking to have his case reopened.
“It gives hopefully some additional time. We always hope for the best, but we are prepared for the worst,” said Kimberly Hunter, a Twin Cities immigration attorney representing Mayo Clinic employee Abdoulmalik Ibrahim.
Under a deportation order since 2004 for entering the U.S. without documentation seeking asylum, Ibrahim was presumably under a “protective status” before his detention.
Minnesota immigration lawyers are now scrambling to get emergency stays for Hussein and other Somali clients who’ve been ordered deported by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.
“We believe (Ibrahim) has a claim to protection,” said attorney Kimberley Hunter, citing the presence of al Shabab, a terrorist group that continues to carry out attacks in the country. “Quite honestly, I think the removal of Somalis in general is inhumane.”
Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials deported 512 Somalis from around the country from October 2016 through September 2017, compared to 198 during the same period a year earlier, according to the agency’s data.
A majority of those deported in the 2017 fiscal year happened under the Trump administration, lawyers say.

GLOBAL INFORMATION NETWORK creates and distributes news and feature articles on current affairs in Africa to media outlets, scholars, students and activists in the U.S. and Canada. Our goal is to introduce important new voices on topics relevant to Americans, to increase the perspectives available to readers in North America and to bring into their view information about global issues that are overlooked or under-reported by mainstream media.

Newswire : Rep. Sewell statement on start of 45 day open enrollment period for healthcare insurance

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Wednesday, November 1, the national health care open enrollment period began, enabling people who buy health insurance through the individual marketplace to shop for coverage for 2018. The federal open enrollment period runs from November 1 through December 15. During this time, constituents have the opportunity to enroll in or change their health care plan.

Alabama residents can visit for more information or call (844) 248-7698 for free assistance. A full list of Alabama’s local navigators, who can provide fre­­e guidance on signing up for health care through the individual marketplace is available at that website.

“The Affordable Care Act is still the law of the land,” said Rep. Terri Sewell. “The open enrollment period is a great opportunity for my constituents to shop for new coverage with the help of premium assistance. Enroll Alabama and the free support provided by Alabama’s local health care navigators makes it easy for families to find insurance that fits their needs. Whether you already have coverage through the individual marketplace or you are looking to get covered next year, I encourage everyone to check out their health care options during the open enrollment period.”

“As hospitals in my district face financial challenges and families struggle to afford doctor’s visits, I am deeply disappointed by the Trump Administration’s decision to cut advertising for the open enrollment period. Too many Americans do not know how to navigate the insurance enrollment process and I believe we have a responsibility to raise public awareness about how to sign up for affordable health insurance. We must do everything in our power to increase coverage, reduce costs, and stabilize the insurance marketplace for all Americans.”

The Trump Administration has purposefully taken actions to undermine the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Administration has made sharp cuts to advertising for the ACA’s open enrollment period and funding for health care navigators who help Alabamians enroll.

The enrollment period for the federal marketplace has also been cut in half, to 45 days, with little publicity by federal officials. In addition, the Administration’s announced plan to cut cost-sharing subsidies for low-income families has created confusion among many Americans enrolled in the insurance marketplace and millions more who remain uninsured.

Revised ban on immigrants is ‘catastrophic’, critics charge


ban protest


( Information Network) – A revised travel ban by the Trump administration is already in trouble with a leading aid agency, with the travel industry, and with the Nigerian government which has urged its citizens to postpone making trips to the U.S. without “compelling or essential reasons.”

The new travel ban, which still targets majority-Muslim countries, slightly modifies an earlier order that sparked chaos at airports across the country as travelers – even those with green cards – were denied entry by local officers.

One of the harsher critics of the new ban, the head of the NY-based International Rescue Committee, labeled it an “historic assault on refugee resettlement to the United States, and a really catastrophic cut at a time there are more refugees around the world than ever before.”

“There is there is no national security justification for this ‘catastrophic’ cut in refugee admissions,” declared David Miliband, adding that the ban singles out “the most vulnerable, most vetted population that is entering the United States.”

The IRC provides humanitarian aid in five African countries, six Middle Eastern countries, six Asian countries, three European countries, and 22 cities in the U.S.

Trump’s latest order suspends the U.S. refugee program for 120 days, though refugees already formally scheduled for travel by the State Department will be allowed entry. When the suspension is lifted, the number of refugees allowed into the U.S. will be capped at 50,000 for fiscal year 2017.

But the new and higher bars to entry to the U.S. have the tourism industry biting its nails. Travel analytics firm ForwardKeys tallied the fall-off in major tourism-dependent U.S. cities as 6.5 percent in the eight days after President Donald Trump’s initial travel ban was announced on Jan. 27th.

In New York City, analysts foresee some 300,000 fewer visitors from abroad this year than in 2016, a 2.1 percent dip. It’s the first time for such a fall-off since 2008, says NYC & Company, New York’s tourism arm.

Even some African countries are sounding the alarm. In Nigeria, for example, special presidential adviser Abike Dabiri-Erewa, urged Nigerians to consider postponing visits to the U.S.

“In the last few weeks, the office has received a few cases of Nigerians with valid multiple-entry US visas being denied entry and sent back to Nigeria,” she said. “In such cases, affected persons were sent back immediately on the next available flight and their visas were cancelled.”

Planned trips should be delayed, she advised, barring compelling or essential reasons, until there is clarity on the new immigration policy from Washington.

The latest action by the Trump administration could spell trouble for the 2.1 million African immigrants living in the U.S., 327,000 of whom were born in Nigeria, according to the Pew Research Center, published in February.

GLOBAL INFORMATION NETWORK creates and distributes news and feature articles on current affairs in Africa to media outlets, scholars, students and activists in the U.S. and Canada. Our goal is to introduce important new voices on topics relevant to Americans, to increase the perspectives available to readers in North America and to bring into their view information about global issues that are overlooked or under-reported by mainstream media.

Trump Atrocities Report (TAR)

trump-1The  Greene County Democrat begins a new column this week entitled Trump Atrocities Report (TAR) in which we will explain some of the outrageously negative and harmful actions taken by President Donald J. Trump and the Trump Administration. The motivation for this column came from a discussion at a recent meeting of the Save Ourselves Movement for Justice and Democracy, an Alabama collaborative of 40 social justice organizations.
Some of these actions will be legislative changes, overzealous cuts in Federal regulations, appointees that are unqualified or chosen to destroy the government function they were asked to head up and official statements that do not make sense or are ‘alternative truths’.
Some of the atrocities are where President Trump or members of his family will get a financial benefit from their position or have a clear conflict of interest.
We are starting with some blatant examples of atrocious conduct by Trump. We already have a long list of items to make this a weekly column.
We hope you will clip out this column and share it with your friends especially those working people and women who voted for Trump thinking he would improve their lives. We want to educate and persuade them that they made a grave mistake in voting for Trump and his supporters so that they will not repeat their error in future elections.

Atrocity No. 1: Selecting a cabinet of millionaires and billionaires who are unqualified and chosen to destroy the department or agency they were nominated by Trump to lead. A few examples:

a. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions for Attorney General. Sessions has opposed voting rights, civil rights, womens rights, LGBTQ rights and most human rights. He has been nominated to be the nation’s chief law enforcement officer to enforce the laws protecting these rights that he does not believe in.

b. Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education. She does not support public schools, never personally attended a public school and did not send her children to public schools. She has never used the Pell grant or college student loan programs she has been asked to administer. She did make $200 million in campaign contributions to Republican lawmakers in the past five years, which paved the way for her confirmation.

c. Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Pruitt is a “climate change denier” who has sued the EPA twenty times to remove regulations on clean air, water and nature as Oklahoma Attorney General.

2. Atrocity No. 2: Removing the Obama regulations that prevented the mentally ill from securing a permit to own a gun. This is the first of many regulatory changes dictated by the National Rifle Association (NRA), which will make our nation a more dangerous place to live!

3. Atrocity No. 3: The ‘Muslim Ban’, which prevents visitors from seven Mideast countries from entering the United States. This is part of Trump’s unconstitutional attack on immigration and refugee relief. More than 60,000 legal visitors and H-1B visa holders were stopped from entering the country and there was chaos at the nation’s airports, until Federal courts intervened to correct this injustice. This action gives terrorist organizations a “trump card” in recruiting more members and has the opposite effect of keeping us safe!

4. Atrocity No. 4: Removing regulations that required transparency in the payments by American corporations to foreign governments. This change was enacted on the day that former Exxon-Mobil Oil CEO, Rex Tillerson was elevated to become Secretary of State. Someone needs to explain how this regulation permitting oil and gas companies to hide bribes to foreign governments helps American workers to get more jobs!