USA arrests Trinidad-born activist for deportation


New York City police arrested 18 people outside the building, an NYPD spokesperson confirmed to BuzzFeed News, including NYC Council Members Jumaane D. Williams and Ydanis Rodriguez.

According to New York Immigration Coalition, Ragbir has lived with the threat of deportation for almost a decade, as the result of a 16-year old conviction for wire fraud. Ragbir was one of those individuals headed in for a routine check-in when he was detained, community members said.

Witnesses said Ragbir was driven away in an ambulance after fainting, surrounded by a crowd of supporters shouting "Ravi, Ravi" trying to prevent the vehicle from leaving.

In each review, the courts have uniformly held that Ragbir does not have a legal basis to remain in the US, ICE said. Just a year ago, Ravi was recognized with the Immigrant Excellence Award by the New York State Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators, given to those who show "deep commitment to the enhancement of their community".

"The detention of both Ravi and Jean is an affront to faith-based communities everywhere", Rev. Chloe Breyer, executive director of the Interfaith Coalition of New York City, said in a statement. "I was shoved. Dozens of other people were aggressively pushed to the ground as video will show you".

Mahfuzur Rahman, a student at City College of NY, said, "We know with Ravi, their entire accusation is based on a conviction from 20 years ago, which he served and since then he's been an excellent citizen-he's a better citizen than me!"

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

In 2011, Ragbir was offered a stay of removal which was renewed ever since. 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.

Previously, those community members said, ICE officials had granted Ragbir "prosecutorial discretion, including a stay of removal that was in effect until next week".

Officers are seen grabbing Williams, handcuffing him and slamming him onto the front of a auto. "He will remain in custody pending removal to Trinidad", Yong said. "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".

In a statement late Thursday, an ICE spokeswoman said Ragbir had "exhausted" his petitions and appeals and would be deported.

"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. After he served his sentence, Mr. Ragbir was ordered deported in 2006 and detained by immigration officials.