I have a pair of stories this morning that are ‘stranger than fiction,’ and this is the first.
According to a publication, Medeshi, an English-language publication for news about the Horn of Africa, a Somali-born, but America-raised, 23 year old refugee woman has been deported to Somalia, and her family contends right into the hands of Al-Shabaab.
After living in the U.S. for 16 years and migrating from a country that was recently categorized to top the most dangerous countries in the world – even more dangerous than Iraq and Afghanistan – Muna Absiya would still have to be deported to Somalia despite evidences showing apparent prosecutions.
They don’t say what exactly she was doing to warrant this drastic measure—one I would normally agree with—but, if true, this case seems over the top. Where were the immigration lawyers? Whatever she did, you can bet she wasn’t wearing a hijab (check out her photo).
The painful trauma of war in Somalia as a backdrop, her older sister’s death, Safiya; and that of her father passing away in 2002 implicated Ms. Absiye’s mental equilibrium, clearing the way for minor infractions that would play out into the grounds for a deportation after losing her immigration status in April 2007.
In March, she went to what she thought was a routine meeting with a “deportation officer.” Instead, Bam! Just like that! She was on a plane to Africa.
Ms. Absiya has been out for Supervised Release Program that required her to report to a deportation officer, as a routine monitoring for twice a month. On Thursday February 26, as part of undergoing her scheduled interviews with SRP, the deportation officer requested her to come back in five days, for another appointment before the regular dates, which precisely was the Monday of March 2nd, and surely incognizant of what awaits her in there.
“She called me (her sister Farhia) at 6pm in that Monday evening; crying and told me she is being deported to Somalia right now.”
Presumably taking one look at her, the flight crew and airport personel realized they could not just drop her off in Mogadishu.
However, her saga did not end with the deportation. Ms. Absiya was initially landed in Kenya to transfer her onto flights bound to Mogadishu, according to her attorney. “The airline staff at the airport were so concerned about this young woman’s life that they decided not to let her off in Mogadishu,” attorney details her ordeal, as she spent a whole week with swirling flights between four Airports everyday, from Nairobi to Mogadishu and to Hargeysa and Djibouti and back to Nairobi where each airport had to detain her temporarily until next flights –presumably to nowhere- without granting her an official entry to the country.
Hopefully before they ultimately dropped her off they at least got her covered from head to toe. The article doesn’t say what happened or where she is now, but ends with her sister’s appeal.
“Why would the United States of America, the so called Human Rights leader, put a young westernized woman’s life at risk and try to deliver her to Al-Shabaab, wearing prohibited attire like pants and shirt with no headscarf? Why?” asks Farhia (her sister), whose fury was perplexed by the lack of response from authority to address the safety concerns they harbor in which her sister was consequently exposed to by deportation.
“My sister is endangered when they throw her away like that. She speaks no Somali, and knows nothing about the culture there.”
Whatever this woman (acculturated in America for 16 years) did, dropping her off in Mogadishu where Sharia law prevails is a death sentence.
Remember the story of poor, Asho, stoned to death last fall.