Four years ago, members of the Ibrahim family sat in a Dallas immigration courtroom and calmly cataloged the years of violence in their Palestinian village: the deaths of children, the bombs and beatings. But now, denied asylum and confined for a third consecutive month inside a pair of Texas detention centers, they just want to go home.

Any home, in any country, will do. Even if it means returning to the land they fled.

So far, however, Salaheddin Ibrahim, his pregnant wife, Hanan, and four of their five children remain in a legal and geopolitical limbo. And their plight has drawn sharp criticism from civil rights activists and intensified debate about the decision to detain immigrant children in a facility near Austin.

The Ibrahims were denied asylum and ordered deported in 2003 before being apprehended at their Richardson apartment during a November immigration raid.

But they have been unable to secure the right to cross into their Palestinian homeland through Jordan or Israel, their attorneys say, leaving them with no place to go. Lawyers have sent letters to 54 countries, including the Vatican, asking each to accept the family. They have also planned a series of legal challenges, many to be filed this week, to win their release.


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