The detainees were on a plane to the East African country when it stopped for a relief crew in the West African country of Senegal. Apparently, “the relief crew was unable to get sufficient crew rest due to issues with their hotel in Dakar,” according to a statement issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The detainees were then left on the place with sufficient food, water and air-conditioning before ICE decided to return them to the U.S. and reschedule their deportation to Somalia. Some did not have criminal records, but they had entered and stayed in the country without the correct documentation.
It is not clear when the new deportation date will be rescheduled, but it gives a chance for many of those detained to find a way to stay. Some of them have been living in the U.S. for decades.
“The security situation [in Somalia] is abysmal,” Kim Hunter, a lawyer whose firm represents two men who were on the flight, told The New York Times. “I, apparently, was naïve because I actually believed that following the Oct. 14 bombing, this flight might be suspended.”
Those on the flight have now been booked into detention centers after the plane landed in Miami on Friday, The New York Daily News reports.