The Trump administration is continuing to deport African asylum seekers in its last few days before the inauguration of Joe Biden, who has promised a 100-day suspension of deportations, amid allegations of abuse of detainees, insufficient legal protections and inadequate precautions against Covid infection. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) confirmed a “removal flight” left Louisiana on Thursday bound for Nairobi. The charter plane believed to be carrying Somali, Ethiopian and Kenyan deportees made a refuelling stop in Sofia. Immigrant support activists believe the deportees were transferred to commercial planes in Nairobi for transfer to other countries. There are mounting concerns that there could be a final deportation flight to Africa as late as Tuesday – the day before Biden takes office – as part of a systematic effort by Ice to move as many African asylum seekers as possible out of the country before the end of the zealously anti-immigrant Trump administration. The last few months of 2020 saw a rise in deportations of African nationals, despite ongoing political and sectarian violence in Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo and other countries to which deportees were returned.
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