Black Muslim Immigrant Has Spent Three Years In ICE Custody Despite Being Granted A Pardon

Attorneys believe Ousman Darboe has been held by ICE longer than any immigrant in New York City.

By

Sara S. & Zainab Damji

Photo of Ousman Darboe

Ousman Darboe has spent three years in an ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) facility – that’s three years of missed birthdays and anniversaries, three Ramadans, and watching his two-year old daughter grow up through glass windows.

The 26-year-old Gambian immigrant has been in ICE detention since 2017 and is now in Bergen County Jail, New Jersey. 

Governor Cuomo pardoned Ousman of his one charge as an adult of robbery, which according to Gothamist he says he didn’t do. 

This pardon was intended to secure his release. Yet it hasn’t.

Despite being granted the rare pardon six months ago, multiple immigration and federal judges have refused to release him, even on bond.

The conditions at the Bergen County Jail are known to be inhumane and pose as health risks to the inmates at the facility. “You wake up like someone poured a bucket of water on you,” he told The Gothamist.And there’s no windows in the cells. You’re just compacted in a room with four walls and a vent, no air coming in or out, so you’re just stuck.”

The Gothamist reported that to pass the time, Ousman, as a Muslim, prays five times a day. He reads self-help books and is currently reading “Midnight” by Sister Souljah, about a Black Sudanese Muslim immigrant in Brooklyn. Ousman also said that he is “planning for the future”.

Follow this link to call ICE Field Office Director Thomas Decker, Deputy Field Office Director Darius Reeves, and ICE SDDO Hector Medina to demand Darboe’s release. #FreeOusman

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