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LAWSUIT TO BAR SOMALI DEPORTATIONS

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    LAWSUIT IS FILED IN SEATTLE TO BAR ALL SOMALI DEPORTATIONS CHRIS McGANN, SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, 11/28/02
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 2, 2002
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      LAWSUIT IS FILED IN SEATTLE TO BAR ALL SOMALI DEPORTATIONS
      CHRIS McGANN, SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, 11/28/02
      http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/97648_somalis28.shtml

      Advocates who helped five Somalis in Seattle avoid deportation this
      month by contesting immigration service orders in federal court now
      want to block all U.S. deportations to the famine- and war-ravaged
      East African nation.

      A class-action lawsuit filed in Seattle this week contends that
      deportation violates Immigration and Naturalization Service statutes
      because Somalia does not have a functioning government and therefore
      cannot agree to accept deportees. Lawyers also argue that the
      practice violates international law and U.S. treaties such as the
      convention against torture. At least one U.S. deportee has
      reportedly been killed after being dropped off in MogadishuÂ…

      The Hate Free Zone Campaign of Washington assembled the Perkins Coie
      team. "Since Sept. 11, there has been unprecedented power given to
      the Department of Justice and we've had little ability to push back
      against that power," said Pramila Jayapal, the Hate Free Zone's
      director. "We see this as a response to the overzealousness of this
      administrationÂ…"

      When members of the Somali community brought the imminent
      deportations to the attention of the Hate Free Zone, the group
      scrambled to assemble the team of pro bono attorneys. That team was
      able to convince U.S. District Judge Marsha Peckman to stall the
      deportations. The same team filed this suit against the INS. Ann
      Benson, Directing Attorney for the Washington Defender Association's
      Immigration Project and a member of the legal team, contends that
      1,000 to 5,000 Somalis in the United States are currently slated for
      deportation.

      SEE ALSO:

      ADVISORY NOTICE

      CLASS ACTION FILED ON SOMALI DEPORTATIONS

      November 27, 2002 - Seattle, Washington

      On November 13, 2002, attorneys at Perkins Coie, LLP, working in
      conjunction with a team of immigration attorneys and federal public
      defenders, and the Hate Free Zone Campaign of Washington, filed a
      Habeas petition in Federal District court in Seattle, Washington, on
      behalf of five Seattle area Somalis who were detained by the INS and
      told that they would be imminently deported to Somalia. U.S.
      Federal Court Judge Marsha Pechman granted a Temporary Restraining
      Order staying the deportations of the five named petitioners pending
      a preliminary injunction hearing. (One of the original five
      petitioners has been released subsequent to the filing of a notice
      to appeal his order of removal.)

      Since the original filing of the Habeas petition, Hate Free Zone
      Campaign of Washington has received numerous calls from around the
      country regarding other Somalis who are similarly situated.
      Yesterday, November 26, 2002 lawyers filed an amended petition in
      Federal court requesting certification of a nationwide class that
      would include all Somalis that have final orders of removal,
      expedited removal, deportation, and exclusion.

      Lawyers in the Seattle case have sent a letter to the Asst. US
      attorney assigned to the case, Christopher Pickerell, requesting
      that the INS agree to suspend all removals/deportations of Somalis
      during the pendency of this litigation. If the INS does not agree
      to this by early next week, the lawyers contemplate filing an
      expedited motion with the Court for pre-certification of the class
      that would include an order enjoining INS from deporting any Somali
      during the pendency of the litigation. Such an order would apply
      nationwide to all Somalis with final orders of removal and would
      eliminate the need for filing individual habeas actions in these
      cases.

      However, until the class is certified, we would advise the following
      steps, if you know of Somalis who are being detained and told of
      imminent deportation:

      1. File a Habeas petition in the Federal District Court having
      jurisdiction over the INS where the person is being detained.
      Sample pleadings are available through Karol Brown, Perkins Coie,
      tel: 206-264-3902 email: KZBrown@...;

      2. Contact Liza Wilcox, Community Services Coordinator for the Hate
      Free Zone Campaign of Washington, tel: 206-723-2203 email:
      liza@.... HFZ Campaign is tracking information on
      these cases as they unfold around the country.

      HFZ Campaign and the legal team will provide updated information as
      the situation unfolds.

      For more info contact:

      Pramila Jayapal
      Director
      Hate Free Zone Campaign of Washington
      (206) 723-2203
      pramila@...
      www.hatefreezone.org

      Ann Benson
      Directing Attorney
      Washington Defenders Immigration Project
      1401 E. Jefferson Street, Suite 200
      Seattle, WA 98122
      Tel: 206-726-3332 Fax: 206-726-3170
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