MI Legal Groups: Kent County & Detroit ICE Detained U.S. Citizen for Deportation
Just the Latest Example of Local ICE Abuses Crying Out for Congressional Oversight
Grand Rapids, MI – The ACLU of Michigan and Michigan Immigrant Rights Center (MIRC) announced that late last year, the Kent County Sheriff’s Department worked with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to begin the deportation of a man who is a U.S.-born citizen and decorated Marine combat veteran, Jilmar Ramos-Gomez.
How did this happen? The civil rights organizations sent a letter to the Kent County Sheriff and Board of Commissioners, demanding an investigation into the matter. From their letter:
Publicly available jail records show that Mr. Ramos-Gomez was subject to a detainer, i.e. an ICE hold, and that the jail turned him over on December 14, 2018. It is unclear how that was possible or why the jail believed it should hand Mr. Ramos-Gomez over to ICE, rather than release him as required by the court order.
What we know is that when Mr. Ramos-Gomez’s mother arrived at the jail to bring him home, she was told that he was in ICE custody. Not until Monday, December 17, 2018—after Mr. Ramos-Gomez had spent three days in the Calhoun immigration detention center—was his family able to secure his release from ICE, through his attorney Richard Kessler. His mental health has deteriorated even further as a result of his unlawful incarceration.
Said Lynn Tramonte, Director of the Ohio Immigrant Alliance:
Jilmar Ramos-Gomez’ experience is an unnecessary and needlessly damaging reminder that ICE detainers are not court orders, but rather ‘requests’ from one of the least professional and most political law enforcement agencies in the United States. Multiple courts have found that state and local police violate the Constitution when they go along with these requests. Local police should focus on their public safety mission, not doing the bidding of Trump’s immigration police.
The ACLU and MIRC are demanding much-needed accountability from Kent County Sheriff LaJoye-Young and County Commissioners. Ohio Immigrant Alliance would also like to point out that the agency that requested Mr. Ramos-Gomez be held for deportation, the Detroit ICE Field Office, has its own history of lies and other abuses that are crying out for congressional oversight.
Rebecca Adducci, Director of the Detroit FIeld Office, is notorious for directing actions that violate individuals’ rights and any sense of human decency--and fostering a culture of impunity among her agents. When Adducci spent just a short time running the Boston Field Office, she immediately attracted criticism from judges and the Boston Globe editorial board, as well as the broader community.
Adducci is back in Detroit now, overseeing un-American operations in Michigan and Ohio, such as the detention of U.S. citizens and the forced removal of refugees from Mauritania to a country where they are being arrested and tortured.
Read the Michigan organizations’ letter to Kent County here. Read more about Rebecca Adducci’s record at the Detroit ICE Field Office below: