ICE Detains Immigrant Rights Activist Ravi Ragbir During Routine Check-In

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By the Web Editors 1-11-2018
Image via Sojourners

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents detained immigrant rights activist Ravi Ragbir on Thursday after a routine check-in in New York City. Ragbir is the executive director of the New Sanctuary Coalition of New York and has been nationally recognized for his work.

Allies accompanied Ragbir to his scheduled 9:00 a.m. check-in Thursday. The crowd outside the ICE office grew as news about Ragbir’s detainment spread and prompted a protest in New York City’s Foley Park. Eighteen people were arrested in that protest, according to New York City Patch.

“The detention of Ravi Ragbir shows the shocking impact of the unjust, inhumane, and immoral immigration policies of this administration," Rev. Noel Anderson, a coordinator for the Church World Service and a leader in the New Sanctuary Movement, told Sojourners. "The attack on Ravi and his family is an attack on the entire Sanctuary Movement and all of the hundreds of faith communities that support his work throughout this country. As the administration escalates their attack on activist leaders the faith community will also respond through prophetic resistance."

Ragbir legally immigrated to the U.S. in 1991 from Trinidad and Tobago and received permanent residence status a few years later. But in 2001, his status came under review after a wire fraud conviction. Both his wife and his daughter are U.S. citizens.

Ministers and supporters regularly went to check-ins with Ragbir. At the Sojourners Summit in 2015, he spoke about his mistreatments during his regular ICE check-ins and the role of the church in walking alongside the immigrants in their community.

Support from activists, community leaders, politicians, and supporters continues to build momentum.

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