Michigan sheriff's office limits ICE cooperation after U.S.-born Marine veteran nearly deported
A Kent County, Michigan, sheriff’s office has announced that it will no longer hold detainees to hand over to deportation agents unless they have an order signed by a judge or magistrate, after the sheriff’s office transferred a U.S.-born Marine veteran to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for deportation last month.
Lance corporal and tank crewman Jilmar Ramos-Gomez, who has post-traumatic stress disorder after serving in Afghanistan, had been held by the Kent County Sheriff’s Office, “accused of trespassing and damaging a fire alarm at a Grand Rapids hospital.” But as he was set to be released, “authorities then contacted ICE because it believed the incident may have been a possible act of terrorism, according to a statement released by the police department.”
ICE claims that the Michigan-born man told them that he was undocumented, but ICE lies, and quite frequently. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) believes it was more of a case of good old-fashioned racism. “”If his name is John Smith, ICE isn’t interviewing him,’ Miriam Aukerman, a senior attorney with the ACLU of Michigan, told BuzzFeed News.” The veteran was held for three days before being released to family, and is now reportedly getting mental health care.
Under a barrage of public blowback, the sheriff’s office will now limit cooperation with ICE—which it should have done from the start—by honoring only judicial warrants (PSA: if ICE agents show up to your home with warrant in hand but its not signed by a judge, ’ICE is not allowed to enter or search your home’”). “The basic probable cause standard used in every other area of law enforcement will now be applied to ICE, at least in Kent County,” noted WOOD TV.
«Jilmar’s case,” Aukerman continued, “shows that blindly turning people over to ICE based on ICE’s error-ridden detainer system is a recipe for disaster. We call on local law enforcement across the country to follow the lead of the Kent County Sheriff, and ensure that no one gets held for ICE unless a judge signs off. We also call on ICE—which has refused to do an investigation—to do so.»