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ICE agents arrest Sudanese man seeking asylum in San Francisco

""No Human Being is Illegal" by CC Flickr user Lynn Friedman


Last week in San Francisco, Omer Abdelmaged entered a government office in the SoMa district for an asylum interview.

Abdelmaged, who also goes by Omer Zidan, lives in San Jose, but he’s from Sudan. He said he had been arrested and tortured in that country for demonstrating for democracy.

The asylum interview lasted about two hours. When it was over, he was told there were more questions, and these would come from Immigration and federal Customs Enforcement agents. Soon after Zidan was arrested, handcuffed, and detained for overstaying a visa.

We’ve got many questions about this case: Should asylum-seekers feel safe when sharing their stories? Are ICE agents justified in holding Zidan while they investigate his case? What’s next?


KALW’s Ben Trefny reached GamilaAbdelhalim, a Sudanese attorney and immigration consultant, to learn more.

"You don't arrest somebody from the asylum office where it's supposed to be a place where asylum seekers have protection."

Click the audio player to listen to the full story above. 


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