Illegal immigrant released from ICE detention center after nearly 8 months

Hampshire County

FLORENCE, Mass. (WWLP) – An illegal immigrant with ties to Florence has been released from an immigration detention center, after being held for nearly 8 months.

Fifty-eight-year-old Niberd Abdalla came to the U.S from Iraq on a student visa. His wife and son are both American citizens and now the federal government wants to deport him.

He was arrested by ICE last June, after a routine check in with federal immigration.

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Abdalla was released Thursday, after being held for nearly 8-months in the Suffolk county house of correction, which has a wing for ICE detainees.

He lived in the infirmary, because of declining of health. Thursday, he was released on his own recognizance with no conditions.

“The hardest part was the separation from Ellen and from his loved ones,” said Margaret Sawyer of the Pioneer Valley Workers Center in Northampton. “He has a really beautiful family. They’re really close. His parents came here from Iraq as refugees and they both died, while he was detained.”

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The Workers Center of the Pioneer Valley and the ACLU’s Immigrant protection project are helping Abdalla with his case.

According to his lawyer Buz Eisenberg, he has three strategies. He can apply for cancellation of removal, adjustment of his status, which is deemed unlawful, and asylum.

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