Illegal immigrant reunited with family after being wrongfully detained for 11 months
A family is back together after a 32-year-old illegal immigrant was released from ICE custody on Monday.
He was wrongly included in a Chicago gang database and arrested last year.
Wilmer Catlan-Ramirez spoke Monday using his attorney as an interpreter.
"I thank everybody through the bottom of my heart. I have no words to express for all of the people who have supported me,” he said.
Catalan-Ramirez is a mechanic and undocumented immigrant with three young children. His longtime girlfriend also spoke through an interpreter.
"It has been a travesty these last 11 months that we have been without Wilmer,” she said.
Six ICE agents raided Catalan-Ramierez's home last March in the Back of the Yards neighborhood, slammed him to the floor and seriously injured him, all while he was recovering from multiple gunshot wounds he suffered during a drive-by shooting that left him with a traumatic brain injury and partial paralysis.
“The Chicago Police Department had at one point in time labeled Mr. Catalan-Ramirez a gang member, then as a result of the organization and litigation they sent a letter that he wasn’t a gang member and there was no evidence to support that fact,” attorney Sheila Bedi said.
The attorney says that letter was a key piece of evidence that led to his supervised release, which allows him to be with his family and apply for work authorization.
Currently his legal status is still up in the air, but for now he's heading home with his family.
There is no timeline on the deportation hearings. But his attorney says they are hoping for an approval of his visa application.