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Home English ICE deportation looms for Minnesota Somalis who may be infected with COVID-19.

ICE deportation looms for Minnesota Somalis who may be infected with COVID-19.

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ICE is holding Somalia detainees from Minnesota in the for-profit Catahoula Correctional Center, in Louisiana Credit: Photo courtesy of Catahoula Correctional Center

On a recent Tuesday morning, Kadar kept coughing as he spoke to his brother over the phone. Kadar is currently being held at a cramped facility called the Catahoula Detention Center, in Harrisonburg, Louisiana. He’s one of about 20 Somalis who were first picked up in Minnesota by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, many over six month ago, before the pandemic hit. They are currently awaiting deportation in Harrisonburg. 

His brother Abdul, who lives in St. Cloud and asked not to give his last name, believes Kadar is most likely sick.

“I think he has COVID,” Abdul said. “He has slept three hours each night. They have not tested him yet.”