ICE Detains Immigrant Rights Activist Ravi Ragbir During Routine Check

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Ravi Ragbir was taken away in an ambulance, by ICE [US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency].

A Caribbean-American legislator was arrested in NY on Thursday while protesting the detention of Trinidadian community leader Ravi Ragbir.

Williams said he and some of his City Council colleagues had joined New York State Senator Gustavo Rivera and State Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon, along with Ragbir's supporters and a group of activists in protesting, as the ambulance left the building. He became a full-time organizer for the New Sanctuary Coalition of New York City, one of the largest coalitions in the city that focused on immigrant rights, in 2010. Hundreds are gathered outside the federal immigration building at 26 Federal Plaza in downtown New York City to show solidarity with all those affected by the deportation machine, including Ragbir, when ICE detained him.

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. For a number of years, Ragbir's check-ins were routine. "We call for him to be released from detention and granted a new stay of removal". Ragbir is a fixture in the immigrant rights movement, and 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".

"Ravi Ragbir means everything to this city", said New Sanctuary Coalition Co-Chair Rev. Kaji Dousa. Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer, both of NY.

"We came into the check-in with the hope that they would allow him to continue checking in as he has for many years, complying with all the rules that have been required of him", said Alina Das, one of Ragbir's attorneys who was present with him in the meeting, along with Ragbir's wife. "He will remain in custody pending removal to Trinidad", she said.

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"In each review", the statement continued, "the courts have uniformly held that Mr. Ragbir does not have a legal basis to remain in the U.S".

The statement adds that Ragbir is a long-time permanent resident of the United States, community activist, father, and husband.

"He has since exhausted his petitions and appeals through the immigration courts, the Board of Immigration Appeals, and the US District Court".

Eric Phillips, Mayor Bill de Blasio's spokesman, said in a statement that the mayor was briefed on the protest and police activity.

Trivedi told India-West that after Ragbir was released from immigration detention in 2008, he was inspired by his experiences while incarcerated to speak out on prison reform and immigrant rights.

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