Feds Can't Deport Illegal Immigrant With 35 Arrests

... because no other country wants him
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 21, 2012 9:01 AM CDT
Feds Can't Deport Illegal Immigrant With 35 Arrests
Soyfan Eldani.   (Hueytown (Alabama) police)

A Palestinian immigrant in Alabama has racked up 35 arrests and four felony convictions for crimes ranging from shoplifting to assault, but the feds can't deport him because no country will take him, reports the Birmingham News. Soyfan Eldani, 45, was detained yet again this week and accused of possessing crack cocaine. When the local sheriff contacted federal authorities, he learned about the bureaucratic dead end.

Eldani holds an Egyptian passport, and federal immigration officials say they have tried and failed to get Egypt, Israel, and Kuwait to accept him. Complicating matters is that Eldani claims to be a citizen of Palestine, which the US doesn't recognize. (In fact, the sheriff in Hueytown says the explanation he got was that the US can't deport him to a country that doesn't exist.) So for now and the foreseeable future, Eldani remains Alabama's problem. "It doesn't seem fair to us that if they refuse to take their problem child back, we are stuck with him," says the sheriff. "Am I the only one who thinks this is insane?" (More Soyfan Eldani stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.