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Judge Frees Somali Immigrant Detained For 9 Months In Dover, New Hampshire

The Suffolk County Sheriff's Department had a contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to house federal immigration detainees for more than a decade. That contract has been terminated to make room for female prisoners. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)
The Suffolk County Sheriff's Department had a contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to house federal immigration detainees for more than a decade. That contract has been terminated to make room for female prisoners. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)
This article is more than 2 years old.

A federal judge has freed a Somali immigrant who was held for nine months in a New Hampshire jail.

The New Hampshire ACLU contends Immigration and Customs Enforcement unlawfully detained 45-year-old Abdigani Faisal Hussein. The Portland, Maine, resident was released from the Strafford County Jail on Thursday.

The ACLU says Hussein entered the country lawfully in 1996 as a Somali refugee.

ICE detained him in March because he was convicted in 2002 and sentenced to probation for possessing khat, a mild stimulant grown in East Africa that's illegal in the U.S.

The ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project in New Hampshire brought the action that led to Hussein being reunited with his family. Twain Braden, one of his lawyers, said a similar case is being decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

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