Kent Co. sheriff changes ICE policy after veteran detained

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Kent County Sheriff says she is changing the department’s ICE detention protocol as outrage grows over the case of a military veteran born in Grand Rapids who ended up in an immigration detention center.

In a Friday news conference, Kent County Sheriff Michelle LaJoye-Young announced effective immediately, the sheriff’s department will only detain people for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement when ICE shows them an arrest warrant issued by a federal judge or magistrate. Until now, the sheriff’s department would hold someone at a request alone from ICE.

LaJoye-Young also said she shares in the outrage over the detention of Jilmar Ramos-Gomez, who served in Afghanistan while in the U.S. Marine Corps, according to his mother.

“…what is clear is that ICE detained Mr. Ramos-Gomez on the basis of either incomplete or inaccurate information, information that is their duty to collect and verify,” LaJoye-Young stated in a Friday news release.

Ramos-Gomez was arrested in November after allegedly setting a fire at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids, pulling the fire alarm and somehow making it onto the helipad.

He was set to be released from the Kent County jail on a personal recognizance bond on Dec. 14, but instead, he was picked up and taken to the Calhoun County Jail for ICE.

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