A Minnesota state court convicted Somalian refugee Keyse Jama of assault. As a result the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) argued in immigration court that Jama should be deported to Somalia. The court agreed and an immigration appeals court also agreed. Jama then appealed to a federal district court and argued the part of the U.S. Code dealing with deporting an alien to his country of birth required that country to first accept the alien. Because Somalia lacked a functioning central government, this was impossible. The district court ruled for Jama. A federal appellate court reversed and said Jama and the district court misinterpreted the law.