Ann Arbor man could die if deported

University of Michigan employee finds sanctuary with Quakers

By Jason Colthorp - Anchor/Reporter, Dane Sager Kelly

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Mohamed Soumah has taken sanctuary at the Ann Arbor Friends Meeting House.

Soumah's argument is very simple: If he's deported back to West Africa, he will die. 

Soumah is a 44-year-old man who inherited a kidney disease that forces him to get regular dialysis treatments. It's the same disease that killed his mother.

He said his treatments require cash payments in Guinea-Conakry and the dialysis machines arern't very reliable -- which is why he believes he would die there as his mother did.

Soumah works at the University of Michigan as a custodian. He came to the U.S. 15 years ago, married a U.S. citizen and has two sons, ages 11 and 10.

Since divorcing, he's had to get a yearly work visa, and for seven years, it had been approved until now.

He was to be deported back to Guinea-Conakry in West Africa on Oct. 19, but he ended up in the hospital. His social worker called the Washtenaw County Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights and the Quakers met with him in the hospital.

They decided to intervene and offer him sanctuary.

Soumah's recent appeal for a stay of removal was denied by ICE. He's asking for another but hasn't heard anything. Until he does, the Ann Arbor Friends Meeting House will be his home.

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