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Judge orders release for Iraqi man after 2-year detention

Posted at 12:24 PM, Jul 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-30 17:30:04-04

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A federal judge in Minnesota has ruled that an Iraqi man who has been in immigration custody for two years must be released while he awaits a final order for removal from the U.S.

Thirty-five-year-old Farass Adnan Ali has been in consecutive immigration detention since July 2017. U.S. District Judge David Doty ruled Tuesday that the lengthy detention violates Ali’s constitutional rights. Ali must be released within 30 days.

The U.S. Department of Justice can appeal. A spokesperson didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment.

Doty says Ali’s current detention is based entirely on the attorney general’s discretion. While the government had said Ali was a national security threat, he hasn’t been designated as a terrorist.

Ali attorney Ian Bratlie says the decision is a reminder that immigrants have rights and the judiciary will protect them.

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This story has been corrected to make clear that Ali is awaiting a final order for removal.