Sunday, 21 January, 2018

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

“Ravi Ragbir means everything to this city,” New Sanctuary Coalition Co Chair Rev. Kaji Dousa “Ravi Ragbir means everything to this city,” New Sanctuary Coalition Co Chair Rev. Kaji Dousa
Melinda Barton | 13 January, 2018, 06:15

Eighteen people were arrested during the protest, Buzzfeed reported.

"When undocumented people are arrested by the NYPD, their information is vulnerable to being shared with a federal database that ICE can access". "Two of my colleagues, as I mentioned upstairs, Ydanis Rodriguez and Jumaane Williams, were arrested".

From Twitter, Councilman Rodriguez denounced the shameful treatment of migrants.

"I was shoved and I was not obstructing anyone, I was not blocking anyone, I was not resisting in any way".

Activists are encouraging others to call the ICE offices and NY senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand to demand Ragbir's release.

"This is NOT how you treat people who are protesting for Human Rights". "He has demonstrated the kind of character that we need more of". "We will not be intimidated". In response, Johnson asks, "Officer, who's your commanding officer?"

Video footage showed Williams being forcibly taken off the street and thrown against the hood of a vehicle before being handcuffed. "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".

Eric Phillips, press secretary for Mayor Bill de Blasio, indicated City Hall is reviewing the matter. They added that the video evidence was now being reviewed. "The NYPD was attempting to clear a path for that ambulance, which was purposely and repeatedly being blocked". He was granted permanent residency in 1994, but it was revoked after he was convicted of wire fraud in 2000.

These supporters of immigrant rights are also hostile to the ongoing negotiations between Democrats and the Trump administration over the potential elimination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) policy, which defers the deportation of individuals who came to America as minors.

He said he believed the sudden nature of Ragbir's detention was part of the problem.

ICE officials issued Ragbir a stay of removal in 2011, which has been renewed since.

Ragbir was transported via ambulance to New York Presbyterian Hospital, a spokesperson for the Immigrant Defense Project confirmed, because he had fainted while being detained by ICE.

In a statement late Thursday, an ICE spokeswoman said Ragbir had "exhausted" his petitions and appeals and would be deported. "He will remain in custody pending removal to Trinidad", Yong said.

New Sanctuary Coalition NYC co-chair Rev. Kaji Dousa, senior pastor of Park Avenue Christian Church, said Ragbir "means everything to this city". "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".

Advocates say Ragbir's strong community ties and history of complying with ICE check-ins should be taken into account by ICE.