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On-again, off-again deportation flight is off again

March 1, 2018

A previously postponed charter flight to deport about 100 Somalis, Sudanese and Congolese immigrants back to Africa has been rescheduled again, lending yet more anxiety and confusion to an already stress-filled situation.

The Somali Embassy in Washington confirmed Thursday that a flight that was set to take off Friday had been rescheduled "due to weather delays." According to lawyers and families of the detainees, they were set to fly to South Sudan because neighboring countries Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti weren't giving landing permission.

About 40 of the detainees are Somali, many of them from the Twin Cities. This is the first flight scheduled to deport Somalis since a mission to deport 92 other Somalis failed in December and returned to the United States after sitting in Senegal for 23 hours. Those 92 remain in the United States as legal proceedings continue.

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