Chicago man wrongly accused of being gang member freed after months in ICE custody

EMBED </>More Videos

A Chicago man is free Monday night after he was arrested in March 2017 and wrongly accused of being a gang member. (WLS)

A Chicago man is free Monday night after he was arrested in March 2017 and wrongly accused of being a gang member.

Wilmer Catalan-Ramirez hugged his family for the first time in 10 months Monday night.

"It's thanks to all the support that he is here with us and not deported," said Irene Romulo, Organized Communities Against Deportations.

"Immigration authorities raided his home because of bad information they got from the Chicago Police Department labeling him a gang member," said his attorney Sheila Bedi.

But the 32-year-old father of three was never a gang member. His attorney said CPD found its gang database was wrong. Activists fought for his freedom from federal custody.

Speaking through a translator, Catalan-Ramirez said, "I thank everybody from the bottom of my heart. I have no words to express the gratitude I feel for all the people that have supported me."

He went home with his family, a mostly-free man. Catalan-Ramirez is applying for a U-Visa, which is a nonimmigrant status "set aside for victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity," according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

While his application is being expedited, Catalan-Ramirez will have to report regularly to immigration officials.

Related Topics:
ICEgangChicagoSouth Loop
(Copyright ©2018 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.)