Thank You for Your Service
The American Civil Liberties Union sounded the alarm after a Hispanic man was arrested and handed over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which treated the case as a routine illegal immigration procedure and initiated deportation proceedings against the man. There was just one catch: The man was a U.S. citizen. Not just any citizen, but a Marine veteran who had served his country in Afghanistan.
Jilmar Ramos-Gomez, 27, a former lance corporal and tank crew member, had long struggled with mental-health issues and tended to wind up in strange places outside his home in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was born. His mother is originally from Guatemala and is working with a lawyer to establish residency under a program that grants special consideration to parents of U.S. service members. It was her lawyer, Richard Kessler, who sounded the alarm when he found out Ramos-Gomez was in deportation proceedings.
Regardless of the circumstances, Ramos-Gomez should never have been under ICE detention. Kessler quickly obtained his release, but the ACLU demanded to know exactly what went wrong to place a U.S. citizen at the brink of deportation.
"It is incomprehensible that the Sheriff's Department turned a vulnerable, mentally ill United States citizen over to ICE so that he could be deported from his country — a country for which he fought on the battlefield," the ACLU stated in a Jan. 16 complaint letter.
Keep Calm, Gimme the Keys
What do you do when an elderly driver is clearly not in the right mental state to get behind the wheel? What do you do when that person, only two days earlier, had provoked a serious accident by veering into an oncoming lane of traffic, causing his car to overturn and sending the other car's passengers to the hospital? What do you do when that elderly person gets behind the wheel and goes driving yet again — this time, without a seat belt?
And finally, what do you do when that person is Britain's Prince Philip, age 97? If you're his wife, Queen Elizabeth II, you take away the car keys and command your loyal subject to cease and desist, henceforth and forevermore.
No Good Deed ...
Four women may face up to six months in federal prison. Their crime? Leaving water and other supplies on federal land for migrants crossing from Mexico. The aid volunteers committed their "crime" during a 2017 heat wave at Arizona's border with Mexico. They pre-positioned jugs of water and canned food for migrant groups trying to survive the desert crossing.
Their depositories, prosecutors said, were located in an 860,000-acre national wildlife refuge, where leaving disposable items is illegal. Yes, as the U.S. government jails children and breaks up immigrant families, it is prosecuting people for littering as they try to save lives.
REPRINTED FROM THE ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH