10 Powerful Moments in Wilmer’s Court Against ICE, Detention Center


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This week, OCAD members and members of the community, supported the court of Wilmer Catalan-Ramirez in his recent lawsuit against the Chicago Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office, the McHenry Detention Center, the private healthcare provider for the detention center, and the City of Chicago.

The court, which took place on May 09, 2017 dealt mainly with the issues of lack of appropriate medical and psychological care for Wilmer, the intimidation and treatment from the guards at the McHenry detention center, the use of shackles while he was being transported — despite his severe injuries, and the treatment he has received in detention.

Wilmer, and his partner, Celene Adame, have been fighting to keep their family together since ICE agents took Wilmer and put him in detention during an immigration raid in Chicago’s south side. The lawsuit was filed by the MacArthur Justice Center, with support from the National Immigration Project at the National Layer’s guild.

Below is a list of the 10 most moving and powerful moments during the court. You can read the full transcript at the end of the post. And please, sing the petition to support Wilmer, here.


#1. When Wilmer testified about how the immigration agents agents treated him when they were raiding his home, detailing how much they hurt him.

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#2. When lawyer defending the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Chicago Field Office tried to confuse Wilmer about where his 3 year old was during the immigration raid, but failed at using basic logic.

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#3. One of the big issues in the case, was that Wilmer was being transported in shackles, and in a dangerous van, without a seatbelt, and with disregard to his safety. When Wilmer described how they transport him to his immigration and medical appointments. 

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#4. When the lawyers for McHenry County tried to defend his lack of safe transportation by saying that “City buses don’t have seat belts.”

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#5. When MacHenry gave in on the seatbelt issue, and tried to throw some shade at Wilmer’s testimony (they didn’t end up showing the tape)

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#6. The other issue in the lawsuit was how difficult it has been for Wilmer to take care of himself in detention, how insufficient the care that he has gotten in detention has been, and how the guards use intimidation to prevent him from getting help from other detainees. When Wilmer testified how difficult it is to take care of himself. 

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#7. When the McHenry County attorney tried to make Wilmer’s testimony seem less credible, but Wilmer answered just right.

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#8. When the lawyer for McHenry County tried to admitted that the facility is not a place designed to heal people, and the they can’t take care of Wilmer’s medical needs. 

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#9. When the lawyer defending Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Chicago Field Director Ricardo Wong questioned whether ICE was responsible for the well-being of people in their custody, and used the words “you know” almost every other sentence. And then, you know, said he had a wedding to go to.

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#10. And then, when he insisted, and the judge told him, no.
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Below is the full transcript for the court hearing. There will be another court on May 24th at 1pm, for Wilmer’s immigration case. Please come and support. The issue of the medical treatment and transportation will be back in court on May 31st, when the judge will decide if there needs to be an injunction, or if ICE, the detention center, and the medical provider, are doing things as accorded.


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