December 14, 2018

Two City Council members placed in handcuffs at deportation rally

13 January 2018, 04:46 | Devin Moran

Image via Sojourners

Image via Sojourners

Following the detention of prominent immigrant rights activist Ravi Ragbir by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, 18 peaceful protesters were arrested by police at a demonstration in lower Manhattan yesterday morning. State Sen. Gustavo Rivera and New York City Councilmembers Jumaane Williams and Ydanis Rodriguez were also with him. At the time, his lawyer, Alina Das, said Ragbir would have to go back in a month to try to secure a travel document. Both were then arrested and removed from the protest. When he was released, the NY resident became an outspoken activist for immigrants in the country.

At the time this report was published, ICE had not responded to VOA's request for comment regarding Ragbir's arrest. And seeing how he's even married to a United States citizen, so he is a citizen, but they want to strip him of every single thing that the naturalization process allowed him.

He immigrated to the U.S. from Trinidad in 1991 and became a permanent resident in 1994, but an immigration judge placed an order of deportation on him in 2006 on the basis of his fraud conviction.

He received a stay-of-removal in 2011 and has since been subject to prosecutorial discretion, which allows an agency or officer to figure out how to handle individual cases on a yearly basis-and which prevented his expulsion again in March. From an undocumented immigrant to a Nobel Prize victor, here's how immigration affects people.

The judge, Katherine B. Forrest, ordered Mr. Ragbir to be detained in the NY area so that he could be near his lawyer and family. "It always comes down to the hope that they will not detain me, and they will not deport me".

Reverend Dr. Donna Schaper of Judson Memorial Church said that the city and the nation would be much worse off if Ragbir were to be deported.

Ragbir was transported via ambulance to New York Presbyterian Hospital, a spokesperson for the Immigrant Defense Project confirmed, because he had fainted while being detained by ICE.

In a statement, Yow said over the last 12 years, Ragbir's immigration case has undergone extensive judicial review at multiple levels of the country's judicial system. ICE justified its decision and said he will remain in custody pending removal to Trinidad.

"[He] does not have a legal basis to remain in the US", spokeswoman Rachael Yong Yow said.

"He has since exhausted his petitions and appeals through the immigration courts, the Board of Immigration Appeals and the U.S. District Court", Yow said in a statement. The vigil, which included over 200 protesters, gathered in Foley Square in Manhattan across the street from 26 Federal Plaza, where immigrants must check in with ICE officers. That isn't to say that that's what happened here, but just to say that we know there are some ways in which the NYPD enables ICE to continue raids and targeting undocumented folks.

"Ravi is an acclaimed community leader, a loving father, and a steadfast immigrant rights activist", he said in a statement. "They said he has a deportation order which of course he's had for many years that we've been trying to challenge", Das said.

Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.), the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, called for Ragbir's release Thursday.

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