Richard Kessler, an immigration lawyer in Grand Rapids, Mich., said he was surprised when a woman he had worked with called to tell him that her son, a 27-year-old Marine veteran with mental-health issues, was being held in an immigration facility, apparently awaiting a possible deportation.
Jilmar Ramos-Gomez, whose service as a lance corporal and tank crewman included time in Afghanistan, was born in the Michigan city of 200,000. Kessler said he didn’t understand what was going on.
“I was shocked,” he said in an interview. “Everybody knows that Jilmar is a U.S. citizen and a Marines vet.”
Because Kessler had worked on a case to secure temporary residency for Ramos-Gomez’s mother, who is originally from Guatemala, under Citizenship and Immigration Services’ “parole in place” stipulations for parents of service members, he said he had Ramos-Gomez’s proof of citizenship readily available, including the veteran’s birth certificate and Social Security information.
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