US can't get rid of ILLEGAL even after 35 arrests
HUEYTOWN, Alabama - Federal authorities said they have tried to
remove a Palestinian man who has been arrested 35 times in 12 years in
Alabama, but said other countries have refused to take him.
Sofyan Eldani, 45, was arrested by Hueytown police earlier this week
after he was found during a traffic stop to be in possession of crack
cocaine. Police Chief Chuck Hagler said he was frustrated to find out
that Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials were familiar with
the convicted felon, but couldn't send him to his native country because
the U.S. doesn't recognize Palestine as a country. Eldani said he is a
native of Palestine, though he carries an Egyptian passport.
Temple Black, a spokesman for ICE, today released the following statement regarding the predicament with Eldani.
"Sofyan Eldani was previously detained by ICE and ordered removed to
Egypt. ICE made a travel document request to Egypt. Mr. Eldani made
travel document requests to Egypt, Israel and Kuwait," the statement
read. "When authorities in those countries declined to provide the
appropriate travel documents to facilitate Mr. Eldani's removal, he was
released from ICE custody due to the Supreme Court's ruling in Zadvydas
"The Zadvydas decision generally allows ICE to detain aliens who are
subject to a final order of removal only for a period of time deemed
reasonably necessary to effectuate their removal. ICE makes every
possible effort to remove all final-order aliens within a reasonable
period, which the Supreme Court has determined is 180 days. After that
period, if the actual removal cannot occur within the reasonably
foreseeable future, ICE must release the alien."
Eldani's arrests including assault, fraudulent checks, criminal
mischief, resisting arrests, reckless endangerment, shoplifting,
burglary, drug possession, failure to appear, probation violation,
possession of a drug paraphernalia and DUI.
He has at least nine convictions, including four felonies, and served
six months in an Alabama prison for receiving stolen property.
So, for now, Eldani will remain in Alabama and face his most recent drug trafficking charge in state court.
"I understand what they're saying, but it's not a satisfactory
answer," Hagler said. "It doesn't seem fair to us that if they refuse to
take their problem child back, we are stuck with him. If an American
gets convicted of being a serial child rapist in France, do we refuse to
take him back? I doubt it. Am I the only one who thinks this is
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