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For the past few years, immigration officials have focused on deporting immigrants who commit crimes. Convictions for drug offenses or sex offenses, aggravated felonies, weapons possession, and crimes of moral turpitude could all get a legal immigrant deported to his or her home country.
But can owing over $84,000 in child support get you deported? To heaven? That's what one "sovereign citizen" was wondering in an Alaska courtroom last week. Unfortunately, the answer is no.
Kevin Francis "Birdman" Ramey, former city councilman of Togiak, Alaska and current head of the sovereign citizens group Sui Juris Court Angels, was dragged into a Dillingham court room to answer charges that he owed $84,351.18 in child support. When Judge Pat Douglass asked if he understood his rights at the arraignment, Ramey needed one clarification:
"It says if you're not a US citizen you could be deported. I know I have three citizenships: number one in heaven, number two in America, number three in California. And that's my primary citizenship, is of course, in heaven. So I was kinda wondering, are you guys going to deport me to heaven?"
Sadly, the court did not deport Ramey to heaven. Instead it set his bail at $1,000 and will require Birdman to have a third party custodian if he wants to be released from jail.
Ramey owed enough back child support that he was charged with criminal nonsupport, a Class C felony under Alaska law. While most citizens would be scared of facing five years in jail and $50,000 in additional fines, Ramey is a "sovereign citizen," and therefore not subject to U.S. or state laws. (Just FYI, Birdman, "sovereign citizen" claims haven't worked so well with the courts in the past.)
KDLG in Dillingham has a few pages from Ramey's court filings, which include wonderful misspellings, questions regarding whether he should remit payment in 84,351 drops of "ball sweat," and a request that God bless America, a country whose laws can't touch Birdman.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.