Indian-descent activist arrested in USA, faces immediate deportation

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

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

"The detention of Ravi Ragbir shows the shocking impact of the unjust, inhumane, and immoral immigration policies of this administration", Rev. Noel Anderson, a coordinator for the Church World Service and a leader in the New Sanctuary Movement, told Sojourners.

"This was the toughest one I've experienced", he said.

Media reports said hundreds gathered on Manhattan's Lower East Side on Thursday to protest Ragbir's arrest.

Ragbir's arrest prompted a protest at Foley Sqaure in New York, where 18 protesters were arrested during the rally, the New York Police Department said, according to the New York City Patch.

Rachael Yong Yow, a spokeswoman for the NY field office of ICE, said in a statement on Thursday that in the last 12 years Mr. Ragbir's immigration case has undergone extensive judicial review at multiple levels.

In each review, the courts have uniformly held that Ragbir does not have a legal basis to remain in the US, ICE said. Just previous year, Ravi was recognized with the 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".

Mahfuzur Rahman, a student at City College of NY, said, "We know with Ravi, their entire accusation is based on a conviction from 20 years ago, which he served and since then he's been an excellent citizen-he's a better citizen than me!"

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"We were suddenly-many of us suddenly and without warning or provocation shoved and pushed", Johnson said in a meeting following the Council's monthly stated meeting on Thursday afternoon.

Advocates say Ragbir's strong community ties and history of complying with ICE check-ins should be taken into account by ICE. "We call for him to be released from detention and granted a new stay of removal". He was placed into removal proceedings in 2006 and spent 22 months in immigration detention before being released in February 2008.

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.

Ragbir, who is the executive director of New Sanctuary Coalition of NY, is a prominent immigration rights activist in the country.

In a video of the rally posted to Twitter by Buzzfeed News, Williams was seen being held face-down on the hood of a auto by a police officer while saying, "Freedom". ICE justified its decision and said he will remain in custody pending removal to Trinidad. "Resist. Freedom. Resist. We are going to resist".

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

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.


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