Syrian man detained outside Rhode Island courthouse

By: The Associated Press

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – Federal immigration officials say a Syrian man was arrested outside a Rhode Island courthouse earlier this month for overstaying his guest visa by 19 years.

A spokesman for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement tells The Providence Journal agents took 48-year-old Abulkhalek Darwich, of Pawtucket, into custody June 1 in Providence.

The arrest followed Darwich’s court appearance in a 2015 case charging him with tax offenses.

ICE New England spokesman Shawn Neudauer says Darwich entered the U.S. lawfully as a visitor in 1998.

Darwich will remain in custody pending removal proceedings.

Neudauer says it’s unclear why Darwich was allowed to overstay.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island released a statement renewing its call for state officials to protect immigrants from being arrested by ICE near courthouses.

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