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Cuban held in Texas immigration jail: I should be in Miami

Jorge Abdala-Jalil says he's being kept in small cell

MIAMI – By telephone, Local 10 News heard from a Cuban man who said he should be in Miami, not sitting in an immigration jail in Texas.

Jorge Abdala-Jalil left Venezuela looking for a better life. Because he was born in Cuba, he thought migrating to the U.S. would be the answer.

But after being detained at the U.S.-Mexico border in June, Abdala-Jalil said it's been hell.

He said he's been questioned about his last name, asked if he's from the Middle East.

In Spanish, he described being kept in a small cell, lights always on and constant loud whistles.

His conversation was cut short with Local 10. But Local 10 talked to his attorney, who said she is not surprised her client sparked the interest of immigration officials.

"He's Cuban, Venezuelan and he's got an Arab name," she said.

She said it makes sense given the conflict with ISIS in the Middle East.

"One of the fears the United States has is that perhaps Latin American countries will allow these terrorists to come in, give them visas, give them passports and send them over here," she said.

As an American, she said she doesn't question that her client was held.

But now she said she feels he's been through the process and should be allowed to stay because of the Cuban Adjustment Act.

"No Cuban gets put on deportation proceedings unless they have a criminal offense -- no Cuban," she said. "That doesn't happen."

Abdala-Jalil's wife, who is pregnant and due soon, said she doesn't understand why it has taken so long.

Follow Hatzel Vela on Twitter @hatzelvela

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