Indian-Origin Immigrant Rights Activist Faces Deportation Following Arrest in US

Image via Sojourners

Image via Sojourners

Among those arrested during the protest outside the Jacob K. Javits Federal Building were city councilmen Ydanis Rodriguez and Jumaane Williams.

Ragbir legally immigrated to the U.S.in 1991 from Trinidad and Tobago and received permanent residence status a few years later. Ragbir was one of those individuals headed in for a routine check-in when he was detained, community members said. Ragbir, head of the New Sanctuary Coalition of NY, was detained when he checked-in with ICE, as hundreds held a silent Jericho prayer walk outside.

"In each review, the courts have uniformly held that Mr. Ragbir does not have a legal basis to remain in the US", she said. He's been called a "fixture in the immigrants' rights movement" and was awarded the 2017 Immigrant Excellence Award by the New York State Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators for his efforts to help the immigrant community.

"The detention of both Ravi and Jean is an affront to faith-based communities everywhere", Rev. Chloe Breyer, executive director of the Interfaith Coalition of New York City, said in a statement. "A longtime New Yorker, a husband and a father, Ravi is beloved by all of us". When Ragbir had to show up for a check-in with ICE in March, hundreds of supporters showed up with him in support. "The fact that ICE has taken him as if his spirit, family ties and contributions to the community mean nothing is inhumane".

According to Common Dreams, he had a "stay of removal", which would prevent him from being deported, that was supposed to be in effect until next week.

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De Blasio, who has been arrested in decidedly calmer, more choreographed situations at past protests, said he believed the council members were engaging in "a conscious act of civil disobedience", but that it had not gone the way civil disobedience usually had in his experience. He spent 22 months in immigration detention.

Brittany Ramos DeBarros, a veteran, said, "I think this goes against the ethics and values that our nation is supposed to stand for, and as a person who cares about the moral integrity of our country, I think that it's important that we stand up, especially given the long history of federal agents targeting leaders of resistance and liberation movements to dismantle the momentum of those movements". "He will remain in custody pending removal to Trinidad".

Video footage showed Williams being forcibly taken off the street and thrown against the hood of a auto before being handcuffed. He has since exhausted his petitions and appeals through the immigration courts, the Board of Immigration Appeals and the U.S. District Court. "We continue to pursue our options - the legal challenges - to see that he will hopefully be freed soon and back with his wife and with the community that loves him".

Ragbir's lawyer, Alina Das, told BuzzFeed News he has multiple legal challenges to his deportation underway, and should not have been detained by ICE today.

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