The Oslo City Court (Oslo Tingrett) sided on Monday with state immigration authorities who claim that a bioengineer at Oslo University Hospital Ullevål lied about his origins when he came to Norway as a teenager 17 years ago. The court agreed that Mahad Adib Mahamud should be stripped of his Norwegian citizenship and deported to Djibouti, which authorities consider his original homeland.
Mahamud, now age 30, had claimed he came from Somalia and was granted asylum in Norway. He later went to college, secured his job at the hospital, acquired a home and started a family and is, by all accounts, well-integrated into Norwegian society. He has presented several documents showing he came from Somalia, but Norwegian immigration authority UDI claims they can’t be verified.
They now have court backing for a deportation order, but authorities in Djibouti deny Mahamud is a citizen and won’t grant him entry. That leaves Mahamud facing a life as a man stateless and unable to work, since he lost his work permit after UDI revoked his citizenship.
For UDI, which has been going through old cases to uncover earlier fraud, the case is a matter of principle. “This court decision is in line with earlier practice, and we won’t change our practice in the future,” Ingunn-Sofie Aursnes, director of UDI’s complaints board Utlendingsnemnda (UNE), told NRK. “Our immediate comment is that we have received backing from the court, both in terms of evaluation of the evidence and application of the law.”
Asked why it was so important for the immigration authorities to deport someone who has lived in Norway since he was 14 years old and functions well with a good job, Aursness replied: “You must direct that question at the politicians, to our lawmakers. Those who disagree with the outcome of this case must direct their attention to the law, not of us charged with carrying out the law.”
Mahamud, who told reporters it was terrible “to be branded as a liar,” said he will appeal the decision. Aursnes maintained that he remains obligated to leave Norway, where he now is an illegal alien.