A worker injured in the collapse of the Hard Rock Hotel in New Orleans earlier this month has been detained by immigration authorities after he spoke with a television news station about the incident, his attorneys said. Delmer Joel Ramirez Palma, who is from Honduras, is one of five laborers who filed a lawsuit seeking damages for injuries suffered in the collapse. Ramirez was arrested by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents on Monday, two days after the building collapsed, which killed three workers and injured dozens, Nola.com reports. One of Ramirez’s attorneys, Daryl Gray, said Ramirez has not seen a doctor since he was taken into custody, and that he requires surgery for his injuries.
A Border Patrol spokeswoman told Nola.com that U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agents had summoned officers to arrest Ramirez after spotting him fishing without a license. Bryan Cox, a regional spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said the claims that Ramirez has not been able to receive medical treatment are “baseless.” Cox also said it is “simply false” to suggest Ramirez’s arrest was tied to his employment at the Hard Rock Hotel construction site or to his comments on the news.