Bangor Daily News - Abdi Ali doesn’t have memories of the country to which the United States government intends to deport him.
Ali and his family fled war in Somalia in 1996, when he was 7 years old. They came to the U.S. legally as refugees, and Ali became a permanent resident a year later, according to interviews and Immigration and Customs Enforcement documents.
In his first interview since ICE agents arrested the 28-year-old inside a Portland [ME] courthouse last week, Ali said he is terrified of being sent back to Somalia and does not understand why, after decades in the U.S., he is being deported on a 4-year-old drug possession conviction for which he has already served jail time.
“I’ve been here my whole life, and they [are] kicking me out for this one charge,” Ali said, wiping tears on his orange jumpsuit at the Cumberland County Jail on Monday. “If I go back to my country, they’re going to pretty much kill me. I don’t know [anything] about my country. I’m American. I consider myself American.