Somali Refugee Locked Up For No Good Reason In Texas
What happened next, according to a lawsuit Ahmed filed in federal court in Victoria, was the stuff of nightmares.
Ahmed claims that the border agent ran Ahmed’s name and alien number through the immigration databases and saw that Ahmed had in fact been admitted as a refugee nearly two years earlier and did not have any immigration or criminal violations on his record. But that didn’t seem to matter. Border agents took Ahmed into custody anyway, locking him up inside a detention facility in Laredo and initiating removal proceedings.
After more than a month, 43 days to be exact, Ahmed appeared before an immigration judge, who set bond at $2,500. Ahmed’s friends, according to the lawsuit, tried to pay, but immigration “agents refused to accept payment of the bond.” So, Ahmed remained behind bars.
A week later, Ahmed appeared again in court for his removal hearing, where the government’s attorneys “admitted that [Ahmed] was in lawful immigration status and had been wrongfully detained,” the lawsuit reads. The judge then granted the government’s request to dismiss the case and Ahmed was set free, having spent 49 days locked up for no apparent reason.
Ahmed, who lives in Minnesota, is suing the U.S. claiming false imprisonment and negligence. He is seeking damages claiming he was deprived of his income, liberty and constitutional rights.
-- Chris Vogel