Police and immigrant-rights protesters clashed Thursday outside 26 Federal Plaza, New York City's immigration court, after word spread that Ravi Ragbir, a well-known activist known to protect immigrant families from deportation, had himself been detained by immigration authorities inside the building.
Ministers and supporters regularly went to check-ins with Ragbir. In 2001, he was sentenced to 30 months in jail on a dubious wire fraud conviction, and he was given a deportation order in 2006 as a result. Previously, ICE officials had granted Ragbir prosecutorial discretion, including a stay of removal that was in effect until next week. However, he was detained by ICE during one of his regularly scheduled check-ins. Soon thereafter hundreds gathered outside the federal immigration building in downtown New York City to show solidarity with Ragbir. Mr. Ragbir fainted when.
Videos that have surfaced on social media also show a heavy police presence, with NYPD officers forcibly pushing demonstrators out of the way of the ambulance and grabbing others to arrest them with zip-tie handcuffs.
Eighteen people were arrested during the protest, Buzzfeed reported.
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.
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.
"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", Dousa said in a statement.
"We've been told that he will be processed and taken to a detention facility, they will not tell us where". So, it makes no sense to send him back to Trinidad, and I'm here today with my fellow people just to do what is necessary.
"Ravi represents so much of what's great about this country, we'll continue to fight for him. He was just going for a check-in, that's the only thing". "Ravi must be released immediately", said Congressman Joe Crowley, a top Democratic leader. "We're not even one bit afraid".
Julia, another protester, noted, "Honestly, [Ragbir's arrest] appears to be because of collaboration between the NYPD and ICE".
He argued people have the right to protest and pledged resistance to President Donald Trump's aggressive immigration enforcement agenda. The NYPD did not confirm whether those arrested had been charged.
Until Thursday, he had avoided ICE detention by the agency's discretion, according to media reports. "I know that they're not legally required to share the information with ICE, and that they're not legally required to abet ICE raids, but I know that's what's happening here".