A decorated Marine veteran and US citizen who faced possible deportation in Michigan last year is now suing the federal government for $1 million over the wrongful detention, his attorneys said.
Jilmar Ramos-Gomez, who was born in Grand Rapids and served in Afghanistan, was arrested Nov. 21, 2018, for allegedly breaking into a hospital, setting a fire and pulling an alarm.
A Grand Rapids police captain asked Immigration and Customs Enforcement to get involved — and the veteran spent three days in ICE detention until an attorney presented his birth certificate and Social Security information.
Now the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, along with cooperating attorneys at Loevy & Loevy, filed an administrative claim against ICE, and its parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security, the organization said in a Wednesday statement.
“Jilmar Ramos-Gomez fought and served our country selflessly, yet ICE tried to deport this hometown hero and blatantly disregarded his citizenship, service, and mental health challenges,” Miriam Aukerman, senior staff attorney for the ACLU of Michigan, said in the statement. “Mr. Ramos-Gomez, and the public, deserve to know why the United States government abused its own citizen and veteran, and how many others have suffered in the same way.”
The ACLU claims that Ramos-Gomez’s detention only “worsened his PTSD to the point where he required hospitalization shortly after his release,” the statement said.
Now, he seldom leaves his home, the organization said.
“This is flagrant racial discrimination against a United States citizen and decorated combat veteran simply because of the color of his skin,” Anand Swaminathan, ACLU cooperating attorney and partner at the Chicago law firm Loevy & Loevy, charged in the statement. “Ramos-Gomez’s own government ignored his irrefutable proof of citizenship, and cruelly detained him because of his Latinx background.”
The ACLU also filed a separate suit Wednesday seeking documents about Ramos-Gomez’ detention.
City commissioners in Grand Rapids last week approved a $190,000 payout to Ramos-Gomez, which resolves a complaint filed earlier this year with the state Department of Civil Rights.
Ramos-Gomez enlisted in the Marines after high school and served between 2011 and 2014 as a lance corporal and tank crewman, earning three medals and a combat action ribbon.
But he came back suffering from PTSD, the ACLU said.
ICE did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Post.
But the agency said in a statement obtained by Michigan Radio last year that Ramos “claimed in verbal statements to be a foreign national illegally present in the U.S.”
With Post Wires
The post Jilmar Ramos-Gomez, Marine veteran detained by ICE, sues federal government for $1M appeared first on New York Post.