Worker injured in New Orleans collapse is arrested and may be deported
A Honduran worker injured in the partial collapse of a hotel under construction in New Orleans last week escaped the worst of the accident, but he did not escape the long arm of immigration agents.
Delmer Ramirez, who worked on the project, was arrested shortly after he gave an interview to a Hispanic television couple and is in the custody of ICE, awaiting his deportation.
The Honduran's lawyer, Daryl Gray, said the main concern is with Ramirez's health, due to the injuries he suffered in the collapse. According to the lawyer, Ramirez is not having necessary medical care in jail, and needs surgery.
The collapse of a part of the Hard Rock Hotel, still under construction, in New Orleans, killed three people and injured 20 others. The Honduran filed a lawsuit asking for compensation for the injuries sustained in the work.
ICE spokesman Bryan Cox confirmed to the HuffPost news website that Ramirez is in custody, but also said the arrest was not made by his agency. The Honduran was arrested by agents at the Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge (USFW), about 14 miles from New Orlean, while fishing without a license, the spokesman said. An information check revealed that Ramirez has an open deportation order since 2016, and for that reason is in custody. Cox also said that the charges that the ICE was chasing undocumented workers who were injured in the collapse are "downright offensive and outrageously false."
According to the New Orleans Advocate, USFW agents called Border Patrol when Ramirez identified himself only with foreign documents. Ramirez's arrest and the prospect of deportation scared other workers, who are now afraid to seek medical help, according to Ramirez's lawyer.
“I spoke to several people and they are afraid. I spoke to the families and they are afraid. They are afraid of also being arrested and deported, ”said Gray. "They are not able to seek the necessary medical help".
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