Man injured in Hard Rock collapse detained by immigration authorities

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Emergency officials are on the scene of a partial building collapse at the Hard Rock Hotel construction site downtown New Orleans, Louisiana on October 12, 2019. – One person died and at least 18 others were injured Saturday when the top floors of a New Orleans hotel that was under construction collapsed, officials said. The New Orleans fire department received reports at 9:12am local time that the Hard Rock Hotel in downtown New Orleans had collapsed. (Photo by Emily Kask / 30238387A / AFP) (Photo by EMILY KASK/30238387A /AFP via Getty Images)
EMILY KASK

(CBS) — A man injured in the New Orleans Hard Rock hotel collapse is being detained by immigration authorities, an attorney representing him told CBS News on Saturday. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesperson Bryan Cox confirmed to CBS News that Ramirez, a native of Honduras, has been in their custody since Monday.

Delmer Joel Ramirez-Palma is one of five people who filed a lawsuit in Orleans Parish Civil District Court seeking damages for injuries suffered in the collapse.

According to Ramirez’s attorney, Daryl Gray, Ramirez is one of the 20 people injured on October 19 when a large portion of the Hard Rock Hotel that was under construction collapsed. Three people were killed.

Gray said Ramirez’s family reached out to him after Ramirez was taken into custody.

In a statement, ICE said Ramirez was taken into custody by the U.S. Border Patrol on Monday at the Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge in New Orleans East after an encounter with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. A federal immigration judge had ordered Ramirez be deported to Honduras in February 2016, according to ICE.

Gray said it is unclear to Ramirez’s attorneys why he is being held. He is currently being detained at La Salle Detention Facility in Jena.

Gray said Ramirez has not seen a doctor since he was taken into custody but Cox said that allegation that he has not received medical treatment is “baseless.” Gray said Ramirez requires surgery from his injuries.

Gray told NOLA.com that besides seeking compensation for Ramirez’s injuries, they are also seeking to oppose his deportation. Gray alleged Ramirez’s arrest was set in motion after he gave an interview to a Spanish-language television station.

The news of Ramirez’s arrest was first reported by NOLA.com.

The lawsuit was filed Friday on behalf of Ramirez and four other workers at the hotel alleging a failure to provide safe working conditions. Gray told CBS News there were many other workers injured who are undocumented and afraid to come forward out of fear of legal fallout.

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