Activist detained and 18 arrested at Manhattan immigrant rights protest

Image via Sojourners

Image via Sojourners

Brittany Ramos DeBarros, a veteran, said, "I think this goes against the ethics and values that our nation is supposed to stand for, and as a person who cares about the moral integrity of our country, I think that it's important that we stand up, especially given the long history of federal agents targeting leaders of resistance and liberation movements to dismantle the momentum of those movements".

Ragbir, a Trinidadian citizen, reportedly passed out while in custody and was put in an ambulance to be taken to a hospital.

"Ravi Ragbir is an extraordinary man, beloved in his community and dedicated to fighting for immigrant rights", Jumaane wrote in a Facebook post.

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. "We can't call ourselves progressives and pro-immigrants when the @NYPDnews is doing chokehold to us", tweeted Rodriguez after his arrest.

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Vivek Trivedi, Indian American communications director for South Asian Americans Leading Together, alleged to India-West that protestors were "dragged through the streets" by NY police.

His detention coincided with a "Solidarity Vigil Against Deportation" that was called by a variety of religious, legal and immigrants' rights organizations-including the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), Faith in New York, Immigrant Defense Project and Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights. Ragbir arrived in the United States from Trinidad and Tobago in 1991 on a visitor's visa. In 1994, he became a lawful permanent resident.

In 2001, Ragbir was convicted of wire fraud while working as a loan processor for a US -based mortgage lender, making his green card subject to review despite the fact that his wife is a USA citizen and is the father a USA -born daughter. He was placed into removal proceedings in 2006 and then spent 22 months in immigration detention before being released in February 2008.

Democracy Now! has closely covered Ragbir's case over the years. He was mandated to periodically check in with ICE. "I have the knife of the guillotine over my head".

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"The fact that ICE has taken him as if his spirit, family ties, and contributions to the community mean nothing is inhumane", said Kaji Dousa, senior pastor of Park Avenue Christian Church and co-chair of Ragbir's immigrant rights group, the New Sanctuary Coalition of NYC.

"Ravi has served as a leader in the immigrant community, creating channels for access to information and legal resources. We need your help to secure his release & halt his deportation", said a statement by New Sanctuary Movement. The couple lives with their daughter, Deborah, in Brooklyn.

During immigration detention and since his release, Ragbir has worked tirelessly to end the use of immigration detention, stop deportations, and secure relief for countless individuals.

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