Family Sues ICE, City of Chicago, after Gang Database information Led to Violent Immigration Raid that LeftImmigrant Severely Injured

Wife of the man suing ICE, Detention Center and the Chicago Police Department to speak at May Day Rally to demand justice for her husband, call out the City of Chicago for sharing erroneous data with ICE that led to a violent immigration raid and the detention of her husband. You can read a copy of the complaint to be filed today here.

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CHICAGO – The Chicago Police Department’s sharing of its so-called “Gang Database” with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) triggered a nightmarish chain of events that left WilmerCatalan-Ramirez imprisoned, in severe physical pain and mental anguish, and fighting deportation, according to a federal civil rights lawsuit filed on Monday.

Catalan-Ramirez, is a devoted father and a mechanic who has never belonged to a Chicago street gang. Despite this fact, CPD mistakenly labeled him as a gang member and conveyed this false information toICE. ICE relied on this erroneous information during one of its March 2017 “Gang Ops” during whichICE targeted community members who have alleged gang ties.

In January 2017, in his Back of the Yards neighborhood, Catalan-Ramirez was a bystander during adrive-by shooting that left him with multiple gunshot wounds. These injuries left him with fractures tohis skull and shoulder, a traumatic brain injury and partial paralysis. Catalan-Ramirez has spent themonths since the shooting in rehabilitation with the assistance of his wife Celene Adame.

On March 27, around six ICE agents entered Catalan-Ramirez’ family’s apartment without a warrant, slammed him to the floor and handcuffed him – aggravating his pre-existing injuries, according to thesuit filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

“I saw the immigration agents slam my husband to the floor while we told them he was injured, but theystill hurt him and took him to detention,” explained Ms. Celene Adame,. “There needs to be consequences foreveryone responsible for hurting our family, for my husband, and so that it doesn’t happen to others. That’s why today we are here marching and why we are filing the lawsuit” she concluded.

The suit alleges violations of unreasonable search and seizure, and due process protections in the U.S. Constitution. The suit also alleges that the manner in which CPD gathers and disseminates falseinformation about gang membership violated the Illinois Civil Rights Act, which prohibits racial andethnic discrimination.  In addition to CPD and ICE agents, defendants include the City of Chicago; Ricardo Wong, ICE’s Chicago Field Office Director; McHenry County; and several officials working atthe McHenry County Jail, which contracts with ICE to imprison immigration detainees awaitingresolution of their cases.

While in the McHenry County Jail, Catalan-Ramirez has been denied needed medical care for his injuriesand spends most of his day isolated in a cell. Because of the lack of medical care, he risks living for therest of his life with partial paralysis.

Catalan-Ramirez is represented by the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild and supported by Organized Communities Against Deportations (OCAD) and Mijente, two organizations thatorganize against harsh immigration enforcement tactics, and who have been advocating for an expansionof Chicago’s “Sanctuary” status by removing the gang database, amongst other reforms.

“Wilmer’s case is an example of how local city policies, such as the Gang database, put immigrantcommunities in the path of Trump’s deportation machine,” said Xanat Sobrevilla, an organizer withOCAD. “If the City of Chicago truly wants to be a sanctuary city where immigrants can seek safe refuge, it should stop sharing its Gang Database with ICE and inform ICE the database is rife with inaccuraciesand is not a legitimate law enforcement tool,” she added.

“The past 100 days of the Trump Administration have meant mass raids and deportations for immigrantcommunities across the country. The injuries suffered by Mr. Wilmer Catalan-Ramirez exemplify theextreme level of ICE abuse in raids carried out by this Administration. Mr. Wilmer Catalan-Ramirez is along-time resident of Chicago, beloved father of young U.S. Citizen children, and recent gun-shot victimwith severe medical complications, It is clear that he belongs back with his family and community inChicago where he can receive critical medical care, These rogue ICE raids must cease, said Sejal Zota, Legal Director, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild.

 

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Founded in 1985, the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center is one of the premier civil rightslaw firms in the United States. The MacArthur Justice Center has offices in Chicago, St. Louis, NewOrleans, and Oxford, MS. For additional information, visit law.northwestern.edu/legalclinic/macarthur .

The National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG) is a national nonprofitorganization that provides technical assistance and support to communitybased immigrantorganizations, legal practitioners, and all advocates working to advance the rights of noncitizens. (nipnlg.org)

 Organized Communities Against Deportations (OCAD) is an undocumentedled group that organizesagainst the deportation and criminalization of Black, Brown and immigrant communities in Chicago andsurrounding areas. (organizedcommunities.net)

Mijente is a national political home for Latinx and Chicanx grassroots organizing that comes out of theNot One More Deportation Campaign. The campaign to expand sanctuary aims to push for policies thatcreateSanctuariesin our cities for immigrant and U.S. born people of color. In Chicago, the campaignis in partnership with OCAD and Black Youth Project 100. (mijente.net)

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