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Whitney Untiedt Receives Two Human Rights Awards


Please join us in congratulating attorney Whitney Untiedt on receiving the following awards for her pro-bono work on the Somali 92 class action lawsuit last year!

(1) Advocates for Human Rights 2019 Human Rights Volunteer Award; and

(2) American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) 2019 Arthur C. Helton Memorial Human Rights Award.

The Advocates for Human Rights Award honors individuals who have volunteered their time and resources to, and significantly impacting, the promotion and support of human rights on a local and international level.  Established in 1993, the AILA Arthur C. Helton Human Rights Award recognizes outstanding service protecting the legal and human rights of immigrants in the US. Both award ceremonies will be held on June 20th, 2019 in Minneapolis, MN and Orlando, Florida.

The Somali 92 lawsuit was filed in December 2017, after 92 restrained Somali men and women endured 48 hours of inhumane treatment during a failed deportation. The flight from Louisiana faced complications in-route to Somalia, causing a 23-hour layover in Senegal which the Somali citizens spent on the grounded plane. The detainees were then returned to Miami and held at a south Florida detention center. A case was filed by the Americans for Immigrant Justice, the University of Miami Immigration Clinic, the James H. Binger Center for New Americans at the University of Minnesota Law School, and the Legal Aid Service of Broward County; arguing that the deportation was unlawful as the individuals likely faced violent persecution upon returning to Somalia, and were therefore eligible to receive asylum.

Whitney served as a pro bono attorney and volunteered her time and energy to provide legal counsel for an individual on this flight and ensure that he was well represented during the class action lawsuit.

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