Immigration Rights Activist Ravi Ragbir Detained at ICE Check-in Amid Protest, Police Violence

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The executive director of New York City’s New Sanctuary Coalition has been detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Ravi Ragbir is a nationally known immigrant rights activist whose wife and daughter are US citizens. Born in Trinidad and Tobago, Ravi has lived in the United States for 27 years, but he faces deportation because of a 2002 wire fraud. On Thursday morning, Ravi was taken into custody, sparking a peaceful protest that was met with police violence. Police arrested 18 people including members of the New York City Council. Democracy Now’s Renée Feltz was there.

TRANSCRIPT

AMY GOODMAN: And the executive director of New York City’s New Sanctuary Coalition has been detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Ravi Ragbir is a nationally known immigrants’ rights activist whose wife and daughter are U.S. citizens. Born in Trinidad and Tobago, Ravi had lived in the United States for 27 years, but faces deportation because of a 2002 wire fraud conviction, for which he already served time in jail.

Democracy Now! has closely followed Ravi’s case. He was on the show in March, the day of his last check-in, when he was told to return in January. Well, on Thursday morning, Ravi was taken into custody, sparking a peaceful protest that was met with police violence. Democracy Now!’s Renée Feltz was there.

RENÉE FELTZ: At 26 Federal Plaza in downtown Manhattan, Ravi Ragbir met with ICE for his regular check-in. Outside, hundreds circled the building in a Jericho walk, some raising their hands to pray he’d come out. Ravi went in accompanied by his lawyer and wife and several city councilmembers and state lawmakers. After nearly two hours, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson came out with an update.

SPEAKER COREY JOHNSON: Ravi had passed out. An ambulance had arrived.

RENÉE FELTZ: Johnson said Ravi fainted when ICE agents told him he was being detained. Just as Johnson spoke, an ambulance pulled up, that people believed was carrying Ravi in…

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