A family in Moreno Valley, Calif. is trying to figure out what happened to a loved one who was deported without warning. According to The Riverside Press-Enterprise, Ramon Ruiz Ortiz went to a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office in San Bernardino to file for his green card at 10 a.m. on May 11. By 7 p.m. the same day, Ruiz Ortiz was in Tijuana. His family and attorney are trying to figure out why.
“There’s no explanation of what happened,” Hadley Bajramovic, an attorney that represents the Mexican consulate in San Bernardino, told The Press-Enterprise. “There isn’t anything that shows he was even deported properly.”
According to The Press-Enterprise, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials claim that Ruiz Ortiz applied for his green card under a false name. The accusation of a false identity coupled with a previous removal from the U.S. in 1999 are the only facts ICE has given to the press about Ruiz Ortiz’s deportation. The Press-Enterprise has reported that Bajramovic is now pursuing legal remedies to have Ruiz Ortiz brought back to the U.S. and is looking into whether or not immigration officials broke rules and policies when deporting Ruiz Ortiz.
Bajramovic and Ruiz Ortiz’s family say he has no criminal history, has worked at the same place for 14 years, and can prove that he has been paying his taxes. The sudden removal of Ruiz Ortiz is part of an increase in the arrests of noncriminal immigrants under the Trump administration’s increased enforcement of immigration policies.
These same policies were relaxed under the Obama administration that often gave relief to undocumented immigrants with clean criminal record or U.S.-born children. According to The Washington Post, the arrests of noncriminal undocumented immigrants has seen the highest increase compared to the same time last year, doubling to 11,000. The arrest of immigrants with criminal records, including murder suspects and gang members, has increased by 18 percent over the same period.