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via @Loyola_NOLA: My Experience in Immigration Detention

November 11, 2011

Written by Susan M. Weishar and reposted from the Jesuit Social Research Institute

Omar Hassan came to the United States from Somalia in 1996 to apply for political asylum. After an immigration judge denied his application, his case was on appeal for 14 years. During that time, he worked 12-hour days as an electronic technician in Austin, Texas, and Phoenix, Arizona.

In October 2010, he was suddenly picked up and detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for five months. Since his release, he has been living at Casa Marianella, a homeless shelter for immigrants in Austin, Texas, begun in 1986 by the Austin Interfaith Task Force for Central America.

On April 18, 2011, Omar Hassan provided Sue Weishar, JSRI Migration Specialist, a detailed account of his experience in ICE detention and how his detention senselessly derailed the life he had built for himself in the U.S. Excerpts from that interview follow: Download Omar’s testimony here

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