Francis Ladege, 28.(Photo: Courtesy of Christine Salamone)
Legal motions, fundraisers and letters to politicians gave Francis Ladege’s family and friends a sliver of hope that the South Sudan refugee could stay in America after he had been detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
But that disappeared in the middle of the night when federal officials told the Atherton High School graduate last week to take off his prison jumpsuit and put on his clothes — he was in for a long flight.
The 28-year-old refugee was deported at the end of March to his war-torn and famine-stricken home country after spending more than two years bouncing around different facilities while in federal custody following a drug arrest in 2013.
“It is awful to lose touch with people being detained by ICE and not knowing where and when they may be shackled and sent out of our country,” said Christine Salamone, one of Ladege’s former college teachers.
Ladege is one example of a growing number of immigrants who face deportation from previously perceived “minor crimes.”
Louisville immigration attorney Dennis Clare said that in his 40 years helping immigrants fight to stay in the United States, he has never seen a disregard for legal proceedings quite like in the President Donald Trump-era.
“During the Obama administration they weren’t deporting