CHICAGO -- Is Chicago still a sanctuary city? That’s one of the questions being raised by a federal lawsuit. The man who filed the suit claims Chicago police gave false information about him to immigration officials.
Wilmer Catalan-Ramirez has been in the McHenry County jail since March 27th.
Today he was wheeled into the courtroom and sobbed while describing his life in jail. He’s been held on an immigration detainer, but has not been charged with any crimes. He was paralyzed in a drive by shooting in the back of the yards neighborhood in January. Only a few months later ICE agents raided his home and fractured his shoulder in a so-called gang operation.
He says he is not and has never been a gang member but for some reason he was listed in the Chicago police gang database and police shared that information with ICE. The father of three, who is an undocumented immigrant, says he’s suffering in jail but hasn’t committed a crime.
Today in court his lawyers claimed he is not getting the medical care he needs in jail. Catalan-Ramirez testified when ICE agents came to his home he was terrified and tried to explain to them in English and Spanish that he was paralyzed – could barely walk -- and was not the man they were looking for.
His family says they want him to get the medical care he needs in jail while he waits for a deportation hearing.
Today the lawyer for the government said Illinois doesn’t have any immigration facilities in Illinois that can accommodate inmates who have special needs.
McHenry County jail officials say they have been bending over backwards to give Catalan-Ramirez the medical care he needs but it’s a jail, not a hospital.