Wednesday, 23 May, 2018


NYC to probe NYPD conduct in rally against activist's deportation

Image via Sojourners Image via Sojourners
Bennie Garza | 13 January, 2018, 01:29

Despite the Trump administration's stated goal of focusing on deporting immigrants with violent criminal offenses, Ragbir's supporters suspect he was targeted by ICE officials for his activism. As of 12:40 p.m. EST, there had been 18 arrests at the rally the New York Police Department told International Business Times.

Council members Jumaane Williams (D-Brooklyn) and Ydanis Rodriguez (D-Manhattan) were out in support of Ravi Ragbir, an undocumented immigrant and executive director of the New Sanctuary Coalition of New York City, during their arrest. Hundreds are gathered outside the federal immigration building at 26 Federal Plaza in downtown New York City to show solidarity with all those affected by the deportation machine, including Ragbir, when ICE detained him.

Ravi Ragbir, an immigration rights activist, in the United States is being held by ICE agents after he was arrested along with over a dozen other protesters and two New York City Council members on Thursday.

Mayor de Blasio blamed federal officials for ratcheting up the tensions, insisting the "original sin" came when ICE detained Ragbir during a routine check-in with the intention to deport him.

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Ragbir has been facing the threat of deportation for almost a decade, community members said, due to a "16-year-old conviction for wire fraud".

Until his detention, Ragbir had an administrative stay of removal in place, which suspends an order of removal.

He described Ragbir as "a dedicated community educator, spokesperson, and advocate for immigrants". "We need your help to secure his release & halt his deportation", said a statement by New Sanctuary Movement. Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer, both of NY. He was placed into removal proceedings in 2006 and spent twenty-two months in immigration detention before being released in February 2008.

Following a group prayer, Schaper, who works closely with Ragbir, remained resilient, asserting the strength of her surrounding community.

Democracy Now! has closely covered Ragbir's case over the years. He has since exhausted his petitions and appeals through the immigration courts, the Board of Immigration Appeals and the U.S. District Court. "He will remain in custody pending removal to Trinidad", the statement added.

In a video of the rally posted to Twitter by Buzzfeed News, Williams was seen being held face-down on the hood of a vehicle by a police officer while saying, "Freedom".

Ragbir has been active on the immigration scene and was recognized with the Immigrant Excellence Award by the New York State Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators, given to those who show "deep commitment to the enhancement of their community".

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