Judge reschedules sentencing date for Somali woman who sent funds to terror group, lied about it

This is a story from last week, so you may have seen it elsewhere, but even late it is worth posting because it contains a few bits of useful information.  (My apologies to the reader who sent this—I’ve lost track of who it was!)

Judge Davis wants to know if she would be deported after completing her sentence.

Before he sentences her for perjury, which carries a maximum sentence of 5 years in the slammer, Chief District Judge Michael Davis wants to know if she would likely be deported upon her release from prison.

We do deport to Somalia now.

We first told you about this case, here in August 2013.

From the Pioneer Press:

A woman who admitted she lied for the terrorist group al-Shabaab will have to wait until April to learn her punishment.

Saynab Abdirashid Hussein, a former Minneapolis woman studying nursing in Tennessee, was to be sentenced Tuesday in federal court on a count of perjury. But midway through the hearing, Chief U.S. District Judge Michael Davis put off handing down a sentence.

The reason: He wants her lawyers and prosecutors to provide legal briefs explaining whether they think the conviction and sentence will result in her deportation.

Her new sentencing date is April 29.

Prosecutors are seeking a minimum sentence of two years, anything over one year could get her deported says expert:

Hussein was born in Somalia and was a year old when her parents fled the country. They spent nine years in a Kenyan refugee camp before they were allowed entry into the U.S.

After the hearing, prosecutors didn’t say what their position would be regarding deportation, and defense attorneys declined comment. Neither would comment on what her immigration status is, but court documents suggest she is a lawful permanent resident.

Ruslan Bocancea, a Minneapolis lawyer specializing in immigration law, said that because Hussein pleaded guilty to an aggravated felony involving honesty — in which prosecutors are seeking a sentence of at least two years — the woman could be deported.

“When there’s an element of fraud involved, like lying, Immigration is not forgiving at all,” Bocancea said, referring to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. “Once your sentence is one year or higher, the government can deport you, assuming you are a permanent resident.”

One way to keep from being deported is to marry a US citizen!

A permanent resident facing deportation can ask to stay, and among the reasons they can cite is that they are married to a U.S. citizen, Bocancea said. Hussein got married this month, but neither side said whether the groom, who was in court, is a citizen.


Hussein was the 19th person, and only female, charged in “Operation Rhino,” the FBI’s investigation into al-Shabaab’s alleged recruitment of fighters from the Twin Cities, home to this country’s largest Somali population.

There is more, read it all.

For new readers, we began following the story of the Somali missing “youths” here in 2008.

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