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Queens Village teen held by feds may go home

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The paper said the girl, whose name is not being released because she is a minor in custody and is not being charged with any crime, would be able to leave the country after an immigration judge signed an order on May 6 that take effect as soon as passports and a flight could be arranged. She is currently being held at the Berks County Youth Center in Leesport, Pa., a juvenile detention facility. Adem Carroll, spokesman for the girl's family, could not be reached for comment to verify the Times' account. When asked last week about any developments in the girl's case, he said that a bond hearing was scheduled this week as well as a vigil. "We do feel confident that the allegations will be proven unsubstantial," he said at the time. Carroll also said the case "has not become clear" because the girl's lawyer is allowed to see evidence related to the case but a gag order restricts him from discussing it."(The girl) wants to get out. She had never been separated from her family before," Carroll said. Adama Bah, a Guinean girl from Harlem who was being held on the same charges, was released on May 6, according to the Times.The Queens Village girl's parents, who have lived in Queens for more than a dozen years, according to the Times, had filed for political asylum long ago but their application was closed by administrators in the late 1990s, the Times said.The general consul of Bangladesh asked the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for an explanation of the girl's detainment and was then told that the girl was only being held because she illegally entered the country when she was 4 years ago, the Times reported. Troy Mattes, the Bangladeshi girl's lawyer, tried to have her released after learning of Bah's situation, the Times said. That is when her parents suggested the family voluntarily leave the country, the paper said.Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 173

Posted 7:05 pm, October 10, 2011
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