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

Image via Sojourners

Ragbir, who is the executive director of New Sanctuary Coalition of NY, is a prominent immigration rights activist in the country. His detention is entirely unwarranted and reflects the Trump administration's predatory behavior in New York City and across the country. This video shows NYPD shoving aside City Council Speaker Corey Johnson just minutes after Johnson came out from accompanying Ragbir to his check-in, and documents officers telling council member Ydanis Rodriguez to "stop resisting" arrest as he sat down on Broadway in front of the ambulance, and appeared to be cooperating with orders.

New Sanctuary Coalition Co-Chair Rev. Kaji Dousa, Senior Pastor of Park Avenue Christian Church, stated that "Ravi Ragbir means everything to this city".

Ravi Ragbir, Leading immigrant rights activist and an Indian-descent from Trinidad and Tobago, was arrested on Friday during a routine check-in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and ordered immediate deportation, irking local community in NY. Ragbir was one of those individuals headed in for a routine check-in when he was detained, community members said.

Ragbir has lived in the United States for more than 26 years.

In 2006, Ragbir was ordered by an immigration judge to be detained and deported, stemming from a 2001 conviction of wire fraud - an aggravated felony. "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".

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Until his detention, Ragbir had an administrative stay of removal in place, which suspends an order of removal. Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer, both of NY.

In a statement, an ICE spokesperson said that over the last 12 years, 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". He has since exhausted his petitions and appeals through the immigration courts, the Board of Immigration Appeals and the U.S. District Court.

Among those arrested were Councilman Jumaane Williams, who was seen being bent over the hood of a auto and grimacing in pain as he was handcuffed in video shot by Buzzfeed, and whose suit jacket was torn in the encounter; and Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, whose account tweeted a photograph of an officer in front of him with both arms around Ydanis' neck, while the councilman's hands were pulled behind him by another officer. "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".

"The area is covered extensively by cameras", Phillips tweeted, "and we'll be reviewing the footage to get to the bottom of what happened".

Soon thereafter hundreds gathered outside the federal immigration building in downtown New York City to show solidarity with Ragbir.

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