ACLU, activists call for more disclosure on detainment of Marine from Grand Rapids

Posted at 1:26 PM, Jan 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-24 13:48:24-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - The Kent County Sheriff's Department is changing its immigration policy regarding ICE detainees after ICE enforcers arrested a former Marine for possible deportation.

Immigration advocates say this is an example of why the county should dissolve its contract with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement.)

Jilmar Ramos-Gomez

Several activists protested at Thursday morning's Kent County Commissioners meeting.  The ACLU is calling for full disclosure on the investigation into Jilmar Ramos-Gomez, a Grand Rapids native, who was arrested after trespassing and damaging a fire alarm at a Grand Rapids hospital. He was detained by ICE for three days in December after being released by the county for those infractions.

In response, Kent County Sheriff Michele Lajoye-Young changed their policy saying they will no longer detain immigrants for ICE unless there is a federal warrant issued by a judge.  She also says the department is joining a larger movement to build an internal committee to better understand the needs of people of color.

The sheriff says that there have been a number of detainee requests by ICE, but those individuals have been released since there were not any federal warrants issued.

The county has a contract with ICE through August.