NY City Councilmen Arrested as Immigrant Rights Leader Is Detained

NYC Council Members, Protestors Shoved by NYPD Officers at Immigrant Activist Rally

NYC Council Members, Protestors Shoved by NYPD Officers at Immigrant Activist Rally

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents detained immigrant rights activist Ravi Ragbir on Thursday after a routine check-in in New York City.

Ragbir has not lived in Trinidad for 25 years.

Ragbir is an activist and legal permanent resident who's been contesting a deportation order since 2006 and was granted prosecutorial discretion.

In 2011, the NY field office of ICE granted him a stay of removal. Ragbir was one of those individuals headed in for a routine check-in when he was detained, community members said. Eastern Time, at the ICE detention center on 201 Varick St., in New York City, where Ragbir is being held. City Councilmen Jumaane Williams and Ydanis Rodriguez were among those who were arrested during the protest.

An ICE spokesperson said that Ragbir's case has been under extensive investigation by the nation's judicial system in both the courts of immigration and appeals, for years.

Videos that have surfaced on social media also show a heavy police presence, with NYPD officers forcibly pushing demonstrators out of the way of the ambulance and grabbing others to arrest them with zip-tie handcuffs.

Eighteen people were arrested during the protest, Buzzfeed reported.

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". "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". So why should his rights and all he's done for his community be stripped away just because of this lunatic in the [White] House?

"We've been told that he will be processed and taken to a detention facility, they will not tell us where".

The sudden arrest of the Trinidadian-born migrant, whose legal status - like many migrants - has been in a state of limbo for nearly ten years, sparked demonstrations outside the Manhattan federal building where he is being held. "He was just going for a check-in, that's the only thing".

Hundreds of people - including several Indian Americans - gathered in front of the Jacob Javits Federal Building where Ragbir was detained. "We're not even one bit afraid". He has been instrumental in advocating for rights of immigrants, especially undocumented immigrants, and perhaps it's supposed to send a message to those of us who are in the movement, sort of a scare tactic and an attempt to damage the movement. The NYPD did not confirm the arrests to Observer.

"In each review, the courts have uniformly held that Mr. Ragbir does not have a legal basis to remain in the USA", she said. "I know that they're not legally required to share the information with ICE, and that they're not legally required to abet ICE raids, but I know that's what's happening here".

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