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Mexican National From Montana Loses Appeal, Will Be Deported

Nate Hegyi

A Mexican national who settled a lawsuit over claims he was sexually assaulted while detained in an Immigrations and Customs Enforcement facility in Montana’s Jefferson County may be deported within the next two weeks. 

“We had a phone call this morning from him saying that he might be deported within this week or next, he’s not sure," says Juan Orozco-Ramirez.

His father, Audemio Orozco-Ramirez, has spent the past five months in an Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, detention center in Aurora, Colorado.

Now, if his father is sent back to Mexico, Juan doesn’t know when he’ll see him next. 

“My mom doesn’t want us to go out there because she just had one of her brothers murdered by the bad people," he says. "Yeah, he was… it was bad he was decapitated, shot sixteen times, tortured, burned up.”

Orozco-Ramirez and his family entered the U.S. illegally almost two decades ago. In 2013, he was arrested during a traffic stop in eastern Montana.  That’s when he was detained by immigration officials.

Orozco-Ramirez says he was then sexually assaulted while in ICE custody at a jail in Jefferson county.

His former attorney, Shahid Haque, says video of that sexual assault was deleted.

“There’s no adequate explanation for the missing footage," he says. "Their explanation as to why there’s no footage during the night in question was that they claimed motion sensors made the cameras turn off. But we were able to show, without a doubt, that the video cuts out while there’s motion.”

Orozco-Ramirez agreed to a $125,000 settlement with the county in 2016. 

He was detained again by immigration officials during a routine check-in in Billings. He was sent Colorado. His lawyer, Mitchell Shen, says he lost an appeal and confirmed the deportation.