Immigrant facing deportation cuts off monitor, flees
"I'm not going back to Brazil" he said in note
A BRAZILIAN IMMIGRANT who was expected to turn himself in for deportation on Tuesday cut off his electronic monitoring device and escaped.
According to a filing by the Department of Justice, federal agents found Romilson Batista Ferreira’s ankle bracelet in a box outside of an undisclosed church in Massachusetts, along with a note reading, “I’m not going back to Brazil.”
Todd Pomerleau, an attorney who presents Ferreira, said he learned his client went missing from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, and doesn’t know where he is. Pomerleau also said Ferreira’s wife, who is a US citizen, doesn’t know where he is.
According to court documents and his attorney, Ferreira had previously testified that he was not a flight risk because he has four children.
ICE originally declined to release Ferreria, saying he was a flight risk. But Ferreira and two other detainees were released in October after Judge Mark Wolf ruled that ICE had violated the due process rights of the detainees. Under the conditions of their release, Ferreira and the other immigrants had to allow ICE to deport them, although they could continue to seek legal immigrant status from outside the country.
Ferreira had previously been convicted for assaulting a police officer, although his attorneys have argued the alleged assault occurred when he was suffering a psychotic breakdown at a supermarket. He spent 18 months in custody with ICE after that incident.Jeffrey Rubin, an attorney at Rubin & Pomerleau, said the plan had been for Ferreira to go back to Brazil while an appeal of his conviction and his bid for a green card were being worked on. Rubin said the firm has had success winning such cases, even when clients were deported from the country.
“Certainly him not agreeing to depart isn’t helpful,” Rubin said.