CROOKSTON, Minn. (Valley News Live) Earlier this week, our story about an immigrant from Somalia, charged with raping a woman in Polk County, created a firestorm of negative comments against immigrants on social media. Many people are wondering why he isn’t being deported.
Twenty-two-year old Mohamed Ayanle is facing charges of First and Third Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct.
We're taking a closer look at how the government deals with immigrants, who are charged with crimes.
Last Friday night, Mohamed Ayanle allegedly raped a woman at knifepoint, while riding a commercial bus through Polk County.
Ayanle was arrested at a UMC bus stop in Crookston. However, police did not find a knife. Ayanle has been formally charged and released from jail after posting $5,000 bail.
Ayanle told police he had moved to Minneapolis from Somalia in September. However, ICE, the Immigration Customs Enforcement agency says basically, they only have jurisdiction over immigrants, after they’ve been admitted to the U.S.
ICE released the following statement to Valley News Live:
“ICE has no legal interest in this individual at this time. I can’t discuss an individual’s immigration status… that’s considered private information. B ut for the present ICE has no involvement in this case. If he’s convicted that may change. In the meantime we’ll continue to monitor the case.”
In a phone interview, an ICE spokesperson told me that it basically works like this: If an immigrant is convicted of a crime, they may have the authority to deport that person. At this point, Ayanle is innocent until proven guilty. And even if he is found guilty, that doesn’t necessarily mean he would be deported. For instance: We don’t know Ayanle’s immigration status, but it’s possible he’s already legally a U.S. citizen and would simply do his prison time here in the U.S., if he was convicted.
The ICE spokesperson we talked with admits that immigration law is very complex. He says, several different government agencies each perform their own vetting process, of whether to allow a specific immigrant into the Country.
A specific immigrant can enter the Country through various agencies, depending on whether they’re a refugee, claiming asylum and many other scenarios.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement has also released the following statement:
“Mohamed Harir Ayanle, a Somali national, entered the United States in September 2016. He is currently in the country legally. ICE will closely monitor this case. The agency will take appropriate action should Mr. Ayanle be convicted of a crime that would render him potentially removable from the country, following the completion of any sentence imposed by the court.”