Four years ago Audemio Orozco-Ramirez was arrested by federal immigration agents in Montana; while awaiting awaiting deportation he was raped. Just months after settling a lawsuit with Jefferson County, which agreed to pay him $125,000, Orozco-Ramirez was arrested at his monthly check-in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Orozco-Ramirez, who is a married father of seven, was detained by ICE on Wednesday evening in Billings, MT. Following his 2013 arrest and subsequent rape — which the county refused to acknowledge despite settling with him — Orozco-Ramirez was granted a work permit and met with ICE for years without incident.
Orozco-Ramirez’s attorney, Shahid Haque, confirmed his detention in a statement to the Associated Press. Haque also said President Trump’s nationalist immigration policies had precipitated an influx of arrests.
From The Star Tribune:
“Ever since President Trump took office and he issued these new priorities, we’ve been seeing more and more that people who previously had been allowed to just check in and be free from detention, they’ve been arrested now,” Haque said.
ICE officials told Haque they planned to put Orozco-Ramirez on a plane to Mexico within days. The attorney attributed the unusual speed to the high-profile rape allegations Orozco-Ramirez made while he was in federal immigration custody in 2013.
Orozco-Ramirez applied for a victims of crime visa in 2015, but his application was never acknowledged. Haque claimed that Ramirez was eligible for the so-called U visa because he cooperated with an investigation into the jailhouse rape. According to The Helena Independent Record, ICE “would not certify” that Orozco-Ramirez had cooperated.
On Wednesday evening, a group of protesters arrived at the ICE office in Billings, MT, to protest his arrest. Orozco-Ramirez’s older son, who declined to give his first name, spoke at the “emergency vigil” and implored ICE to allow him to see his father.
“It’s so painful for us. All he does for us, I mean honestly, all he does is work every day,” Orozco-Ramierz’s oldest son said through tears. “I love him. Now I have to take over and help out our family.”