United States arrests Trinidad-born activist for deportation

NYC councilmen arrested at rally for immigrant rights activist detained by ICE

NYC Councilman discusses immigration rally arrests

Democratic City Council members Ydanis Rodriguez and Jumaane Williams were among those arrested. "I was shoved. Dozens of other people were aggressively pushed to the ground as video will show you".

Police arrested demonstrators who blocked an ambulance, thinking Ragbir was inside.

Ragbir is the executive director of the New York City-based New Sanctuary Coalition, an anti-deportation interfaith organization, and who has been fighting his own deportation for years.

"Over the last 12 years, Mr. Ragbir's immigration case has undergone extensive judicial review at multiple levels of the nation's judicial system, including both immigration courts and federal appeals courts", said Rachael Yong Yow, ICE public affairs officer.

Known as a fixture in the immigrant rights movement, Ragbir was awarded the 2017 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".

According to New York Immigration Coalition, Ragbir has lived with the threat of deportation for almost a decade, as the result of a 16-year old conviction for wire fraud.

In 2011, the NY field office of ICE granted him a stay of removal.

Video footage showed Williams being forcibly taken off the street and thrown against the hood of a auto before being handcuffed. After he was suddenly told by ICE that he would be deported, Ragbir collapsed and an ambulance was brought to transport him to a nearby hospital. Under prosecutorial discretion, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) delays execution of a final order of deportation for immigrants who are considered low priority.

"A longtime New Yorker, a husband and a father, Ravi is beloved by all of us who have had the privilege of working with him to make NY a welcoming community for all of its residents", Dousa said in a statement.

"Obviously we are incredibly disappointed and, frankly, outraged by this decision", Das told VOA. So, it makes no sense to send him back to Trinidad, and I'm here today with my fellow people just to do what is necessary.

"Ravi represents so much of what's great about this country, we'll continue to fight for him. He was just going for a check-in, that's the only thing".

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.


"I don't think it's a mistake that Ravi is such an engaged leader at a time when supporting immigrants' rights is so unpopular with a certain few".

Julia, another protester, noted, "Honestly, [Ragbir's arrest] appears to be because of collaboration between the NYPD and ICE". The NYPD did not confirm whether those arrested had been charged.

He said he believed the sudden nature of Ragbir's detention was part of the problem.

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