The man ICE arrested in a Portland court is a permanent resident

Good evening from the BDN Portland office on Congress Street. Tonight the Somali man arrested in court by ICE is in the U.S. legally; a judge found against the dog that LePage pardoned; and there’s new evidence that might let a convicted murderer out of prison.

What we’re talking about

Somali man ICE arrested in court is a legal permanent resident Abdi Ali, who Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested in a Portland courthouse last week, came to the United States legally in 1996 as a refugee of war in Somalia. He gained permanent residency a year later, grew up and went to school in Portland, and is now facing deportation to a country of which he has no memory. “I’ve been here my whole life, and they [are] kicking me out for this one charge,” Ali told BDN Portland, in his first interview since being arrested. “If I go back to my country, they’re going to pretty much kill me. I don’t know [anything] about my country.”

Judge refuses to spare life of dog pardoned by LePage — BDN’s Judy Harrison reports:

A District Court judge refused Tuesday to spare the life of Dakota, the husky pardoned last month by Gov. Paul LePage, after a 30-minute hearing in Waterville District Court.

Judge Valerie Stanfill found that Maine law requires that a dog be euthanized after it is declared a dangerous dog and it attacks again…

[The owner’s]  attorney told the judge she would be filing a motion to stay Dakota’s execution while an appeal to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court is pending.

Has the wrong man spent 25 years in prison for murder? — In 1992, Anthony Sanborn Jr. was convicted of the brutal murder of Jessica Briggs. He’s been in prison ever since. But on Thursday a Portland court will hear from a lawyer arguing that Sanborn is innocent and was convicted based on foul play by the Portland police and the testimony of a legally blind eyewitness, the Press Herald’s Edward Murphy and Matt Byrne report. In response to the evidence put forward by his lawyer, the state Attorney General’s Office requested a bail hearing for Sanborn on Thursday. During his decades in prison, Sanborn has maintained that he is innocent.  

Maine’s top prosecutor decries courthouse arrest — Attorney General Janet Mills is urging the federal government to stop ICE agents arresting people in Maine courthouses, BDN’s Harrison reports. Following ICE arresting Abdi Ali in a Portland court last week, Mills wrote to the head of Homeland Security warning that the practice threatens the justice process and “will have an unnecessary chilling effect on our efforts to obtain the cooperation of victims and our successful prosecution of crimes.” On Monday, 179 other Maine lawyers also called on ICE to halt the practice.

Plotting a way to end food insecurity in Portland — Low-income Portlanders in need of access to healthy food get a step up this month. Cultivating Community, the nonprofit managing the city’s gardens. is moving the city’s neediest residents to the top of the waiting list. “We live in a community where more than half of our kids are at risk for hunger, yet these families have been underrepresented in the garden network for a long time,” said Cultivating Community director Craig Lapine. — Kathleen Pierce

Going for number five — The Portland Sea Dogs and Binghamton Rumble Ponies (Mets affiliate) play game two of their series tonight at Hadlock Field. Portland is 4-0 for the first time since 2008. The Dogs and Ponies show wrap up their three-game series tomorrow at 11 a.m. — Troy R. Bennett

Tweet of the day

From Andy O’Brien:

The Big Idea

Thousands of Maine men aren’t in the workforce, and no one knows why — About 15 percent of Maine men between the ages of 25 and 54 don’t hold official jobs and aren’t looking for work, BDN’s Rosie Hughes reports. Maine has the eighth highest rate of male disengagement in the country, and it spells trouble for the state’s economy.

Got any interesting story ideas, suggestions or links to share? Email Jake Bleiberg at, or tweet @JZBleiberg.

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