Activist detained and 18 arrested at Manhattan immigrant rights protest

Activist detained and 18 arrested at Manhattan immigrant rights protest

"Now, more than ever, it is important to show solidarity in the face of policies that threaten our communities".

Ragbir is an activist and legal permanent resident who's been contesting a deportation order since 2006 and was granted prosecutorial discretion. Ragbir was one of those individuals headed in for a routine check-in when he was detained, community members said.

The judge, Katherine B. Forrest, ordered Mr. Ragbir to be detained in the NY area so that he could be near his lawyer and family.

At the time this report was published, ICE had not responded to VOA's request for comment regarding Ragbir's arrest.

"Ravi Ragbir means everything to this city", said New Sanctuary Coalition Co-Chair Rev. Kaji Dousa. "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". "The fact that ICE has taken him as if his spirit, family ties and contributions to the community mean nothing is inhumane".

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

The decision to detain Ragbir, who has been called a "fixture in the immigrants' rights movement", and immediately clamp down on a protest in support of him reflects the attempts to intimidate large numbers of workers and youth who are opposed to the attack on immigrants. Ydanis Rodriguez and Jumaane Williams - were handcuffed and taken into custody, along with 16 others. Following removal proceedings in 2006, he spent almost two years in immigration detention before his release in February 2008, a period during which he became a rising voice for the country's immigrant community.


"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.

A crowd of almost 300 people amassed outside the federal building as Ragbir showed up to his check-in with officials, according to several reports. "He will remain in custody pending removal to Trinidad", Yong said.

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". "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".

He is married to Amy Gottlieb, a USA citizen and fellow immigration activist, but has been unable to regularize his immigration status through marriage because of his prior conviction.

"We are definitely going to investigate what happened with our police officers because I am concerned to know exactly what happened, why it happened and if anything happened that was not appropriate in the handling of the protesters, that needs to be acted on", de Blasio said on his weekly appearance on WNYC's Brian Lehrer Show.

Another protest rally in support of Ragbir is planned for 5 p.m. Thursday in front of Varick Street Detention Center, where he will be detained.

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