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.
Chaos as protesters and police clash after Ravi Ragbir was detained pic.twitter.com/MGJEv6YxXY— Michael Scotto (@mikescotto) January 11, 2018
.@JumaaneWilliams gets arrested while protesting against the detention of Ravi Ragbir this morning outside the Javits Federal Building in NYC #DACA #DreamAct @BuzzFeedNews @Nigrotime pic.twitter.com/unq9Z77ZBl— Andrew Kimmel (@andrewkimmel) January 11, 2018
“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.
Meet us at 5pm TODAY at Varick Street & Houston Street to stand with #RaviRagbir who was detained by ICE today in NYC. He is a leader in NYC who stand for ALL people. Come stand with him & his family. #FreeRavi pic.twitter.com/m9EdGJ52oS— Linda Sarsour (@lsarsour) January 11, 2018
Truly horrified to hear that #RaviRagbir—immigrant rights activist, community leader, husband, father, and @NewSanctuaryNYC Exec Director—has been detained by @ICEgov. He should be released from detention and granted a stay of removal. #IStandWithRavi https://t.co/Z75wxAJHYZ— (((Rep. Nadler))) (@RepJerryNadler) January 11, 2018