Hope You Enjoyed Your Stay

A landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision sends a Minnesota detainee back to Somalia

"Somalia is not a safe place to live at this time," says Abdullahi Jama, of the Hate Free Zone Campaign of Washington, a Seattle nonprofit group that has tracked the issue. "There's no rule of law at all."

Keyes notes that coming from the U.S. can be an additional liability. "When you get off a plane they will know you are coming from the U.S.," he says, "and that makes you a target for robbery or for being under suspicion of being an agent for the CIA."

Despite his uncertain future in Somalia, Jama is looking forward to ending his five-year ordeal and finally leaving prison. He initially pleaded guilty to felony third-degree assault in 1999, stemming from a drunken disturbance at an apartment complex in Waseca. But after serving his one-year sentence, Jama was detained by immigration authorities and eventually ordered out of the country. Over the next four years, he has remained in prison and is currently being held in the Washington County Jail.

Unhappy trails: Keyse Jama faces a precarious future in Somalia
Kevin M. Magnuson
Unhappy trails: Keyse Jama faces a precarious future in Somalia

Keyes says that his client's ready to take his chances in Somalia. "He's just sick and tired of being in jail," he notes. "This has been a horrendous nightmare for him."

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