Officers in Hueytown arrested an illegal immigrant on drug charges recently. When they ran his name through the system, they learned he had previously been arrested 34 times in Alabama.
Despite his record, the government refuses to deport him. Federal agents said Sofyan Eldani is from Palestine, a country the United States doesn't recognize.
When Hueytown Police Chief Chuck Hagler contacted ICE agents about the recent arrest, he wasn't expecting the response he got. Sofyan Eldani was not only in this country illegally, but had a criminal history that goes back 12 years.
ICE wouldn't do anything according to Chief Hagler.
"They sent us a piece of paper called a detainer... basically telling him we are going to deport you," Hagler said. According to the police chief, ICE agents told him Eldani will "'probably just laugh at you when you give it to him, because he knows we're not going to come get him.'"
In Jefferson and Shelby counties, Eldani has been arrested 35 times for different crimes, ranging from bad checks to assault.
Hagler said about Eldani's seven page rap sheet, "It's not a matter of he came over here, there was a misunderstanding of our laws, or he was at the wrong place at the wrong time. There are a lot of reasons you could legitimately say somebody might have a brush with the law. There's a reason somebody may have one or two brushes with the law. When you start getting into the double digit arrests, you are dealing with a criminal."
Since Eldani is from Palestine, he is a problem of the state of Alabama. Hagler said he refuses to sit by and accept that.
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