Man takes refuge in Ann Arbor church to avoid deportation

Published 11-03-2018

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - A West African man with a genetic kidney disease has taken refuge in an Ann Arbor church to avoid deportation.

Mohamed Soumah will die without regular dialysis treatments. His native Guinea lacks adequate equipment and training for proper treatment.

The 44-year-old University of Michigan employee has lived in the U.S. for 15 years, married an American woman and has two native-born children.

But they separated. And for seven years he's had to apply for yearly work visas, which were all approved - until recently.

He was going to be deported last month, but ended up in the hospital instead.

Now he's taken sanctuary at Ann Arbor Friends Meeting House, which is a Quaker church.

Immigrations and Customs Enforcement has a policy that generally forbids removing people from "places of worship."

Immigrations and Customs Enforcement has a policy that generally forbids removing people from "places of worship."

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