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Shackled: Book talk with Rebecca Sharpless

March 20, 2024

12:20 pm - 1:20 pm

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Pound Hall; 102 Classroom

Please join the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program for an event with Rebecca Sharpless, author of the new book, “Shackled: 92 Refugees Imprisoned on ICE Air.”

Shackled offers a rare look at the brute-force mechanics of deportation in the United States. In December 2017, U.S. immigration authorities shackled and abused 92 African refugees for two days while attempting to deport them by plane to Somalia. When national media broke the story, government officials lied about what happened. Shackled tells the story of this harrowing failed deportation, the resulting class action litigation, and two men’s search for safety in the United States over the course of three long years.

Through Abdulahi’s and Sa’id’s firsthand accounts, immigration lawyer Rebecca A. Sharpless brings to life the harsh consequences of the U.S. deportation system and how racism and anti-Blackness operate within it. Sharpless follows the money that ICE funnels into local jails, private contractors, and charter jets, exposing a sprawling system of immigration enforcement that detains and abuses noncitizens at scale. Woven with the wider context of Abdulahi’s and Sa’id’s stories, this immigration odyssey reveals disturbing truths about Somalia, asylum, and the U.S. court system. Shackled will galvanize readers—attorneys, activists, policymakers, and scholars alike—to call out and dismantle this brutal infrastructure.

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March 20, 2024, 12:20 pm - 1:20 pm

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