Wednesday, August 5, 2020

ACLU demands an investigation after ICE almost deports a US-born Marine

The ACLU is calling for an investigation after they say ICE improperly held a U.S. citizen and Marine veteran for possible deportation.

Jilmar Ramos-Gomez, 27, was held in an ICE detention center for three days at immigration authorities’ request, according to a statement from the ACLU released yesterday. The decorated Marine lance corporal, who served in Afghanistan, was in the Kent County, Michigan, jail in December after allegedly trespassing and damaging a fire alarm at a nearby hospital.

He was later handed over to ICE, which the ACLU called “incomprehensible” since he had his passport on him at the time of his arrest. “Ramos-Gomez was born in Grand Rapids, grew up here, and bravely served out country in Afghanistan,” the ACLU said in a letter to Kent County Sheriff’s Department.

The ACLU statement says that after pleading guilty to the trespassing charge, Ramos-Gomez was ordered released while awaiting a pre-sentence investigation and should have been released by Sheriff’s Department immediately. “Instead, the Sheriff’s Department worked with ICE agents to enable his transfer to an immigration detention center in Calhoun County to start the deportation process,” the ACLU said.

Kent County Undersheriff Chuck DeWitt told CBS News that the county followed their procedures and stated that he did not know if Ramos-Gomez protested when he was handed over to ICE.Ramos-Gomez was released from the ICE detention center after three days, when a lawyer representing his family contacted the agency, according to CBS News.

ACLU attorneys noted in the letter that Ramos-Gomez suffers from PTSD, which they say played a role in the incident that led to his arrest. “While what the Kent County Sheriff’s Department did to Mr. Ramos-Gomez is unfathomable, it is also utterly unsurprising,” the ACLU said, citing immigration advocates’ opposition to local authorities’ cooperation with ICE.

THE HILL