Immigration and Customs Enforcement | Michigan Radio
WUOMFM

Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Immigration and Customs Enforcement - or ICE - agents
U.S. Air Force

 

 

Today on Stateside, former Michigander Jimmy Aldaoud was deported to Iraq, a country he had never been to, in June. This week, his family says he died after not being able to obtain insulin for his diabetes. We talk to a family friend about what happened. Plus, the challenges of finding inclusive long-term care facilities when you're an LGBT senior.

 

Immigration and Customs Enforcement - or ICE - agents
U.S. Air Force

Updated August 9, 2019 at 11:45 am

The ACLU of Michigan and the Michigan Immigrant Right Center is sending letters to 11 county sheriffs and police departments across the state, urging them to stop detaining people for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

ICE agents
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

A Southeast Michigan man who was deported to Iraq died Tuesday in Baghdad. That's according to friends and family of the 41-year-old.

Jimmy Aldaoud was sent to Iraq in June.

Edward Bajoka is an immigration attorney and a family friend. He says Aldaoud had diabetes and mental health challenges. He also says he didn't speak any Arabic.

“Jimmy had never himself stepped foot on Iraqi soil. His entire family has been in the United States for 40 years. And he knew no one in that country,” Bajoka said.

Congressman Andy Levin (D-MI 9th District) said in a statement:

Ammar Alhaidar

 

“ICE RAIDS STARTED IN DEARBORN,” the social media and Whatsapp messages warned on Monday afternoon. Dearborn residents sent the messages to each other after agents from Homeland Security Investigations visited Hamido, a well-known Middle-Eastern Dearborn restaurant.

The manager, Kassem Rizk, says he wasn’t sure at the time if the agents were from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, but he says two officers came in, and one officer asked for employment verification forms.

“He said that he was sweeping the area. He said this was his tenth stop,” Rizk says.

United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement
United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Nationwide raids by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to arrest thousands of undocumented immigrants have been scheduled to begin this Sunday, according to a report from The New York Times.

 

Immigration and Customs Enforcement - or ICE - agents
U.S. Air Force

The national debate over immigration reached another boiling point last week.

protesters carrying signs
File photo / Michigan Radio

As President Trump ramps up his campaign, his deportation policy drew protests in Detroit this week. And a West Michigan congressman who called for impeachment proceedings against the president has faced a protest of his own.

Libertarian columnist Shikha Dalmia joined Michigan Radio Morning Edition host Doug Tribou to talk about those stories, and about Attorney General Dana Nessel's decision to dismiss all criminal charges from the Flint water crisis. 

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Protesters are back at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Offices in Detroit, trying to stop the potential deportation of more Iraqi nationals.

The U.S. has deported a small number of people back to Iraq after winning a court case on appeal late last year.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

A senior Grand Rapids police officer could face disciplinary action over the case of a U.S. citizen who was detained by immigration authorities last year.

Captain Curt VanderKooi was originally cleared by an internal affairs investigation by the GRPD. The department’s investigation said VanderKooi was justified in contacting U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement because he had concerns the original arrest could be related to a terrorist plot.

Grand Rapids Police cruiser
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

The Grand Rapids Police Department exonerated a controversial captain who called Immigration and Customs Enforcement about a U.S. citizen and Marine combat veteran.

The officer, Captain Curt VanderKooi, was reinstated on Friday after the department opened an internal investigation, which exonerated VanderKooi. 

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office in Grand Rapids
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

A 19-year old Haitian man who came to the U.S. seeking asylum could be deported soon. The U.S. government being slow to act could be part of the reason.

Williams Sejour came to the U.S. when he was 16. He was looking to escape his abusive family. Sejour turned himself into authorities at the U.S. southern border, making him a so-called “arriving alien” rather than an illegal alien.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

A West Michigan mother says she hopes Michigan policymakers will intervene to spare her son from deportation.

Marilú Parra-Velázquez says she brought her son Brandon Reyes to the U.S. from Mexico when he was five.

For him, Grand Rapids is home, she says. He’s active in his community and in his church, and she says he’s a good role model for his two younger sisters, who are U.S. citizens.

“Our family, the suffering we feel,” Parra-Velázquez said at a press conference today near Grand Rapids. She spoke in Spanish.

Mis hijas lo extraña mucho.”

Rafael DeJesus
Berenice Albright

After serving more than 25 years in prison, Rafael DeJesus had his sentence commuted by former Governor Rick Snyder last year, but now he faces deportation.

DeJesus came to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic when he was 15, and at 22, while he was a legal resident, he was sentenced to 60-100 years for cocaine possession with the intent to sell.


Grand Rapids Police Department station
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

The ACLU of Michigan has asked a civilian board to review a controversial case involving the Grand Rapids Police Department.

The case is over Jilmar Ramos-Gomez. He’s a U.S. citizen and a war veteran. He was mistakenly detained by immigration authorities last year based on a tip from the GRPD.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

A Grand Rapids City Commission meeting had to end early last night, after protestors disrupted the meeting.

The protestors, organized by Movimiento Cosecha GR, called on the city to end all police cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, also known as ICE.

“ICE and cops go hand in hand,” dozens of protestors shouted, while standing in front of commission members.

photo courtesy of the family of Jilmar Ramos-Gomez


courtesy Movimiento Cosecha GR

A well-known immigration activist in West Michigan says he’s trying to stay optimistic after being arrested this week to face possible deportation.

Brandon Reyes is currently in the Calhoun County Correction Facility, which has an agreement to hold immigration detainees. Reyes grew up in Grand Rapids and is part of the “Dreamer” generation of immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children. He was enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which was created to protect young immigrants from deportation.

photo courtesy of the family of Jilmar Ramos-Gomez

Jilmar Ramos-Gomez is a U.S. citizen. Born in Grand Rapids. He served in the Marines and saw combat in Afghanistan.

And last month federal immigration authorities took him into custody to face possible deportation.

Attorneys and immigration advocates in West Michigan are now demanding to know why, and how, this happened.