Wednesday, 17 January, 2018

NYC Council Members, Protestors Shoved by NYPD Officers at Immigrant Activist Rally

NYC Council Members, Protestors Shoved by NYPD Officers at Immigrant Activist Rally NYC councilmen arrested at rally for immigrant rights activist detained by ICE
Ellis Copeland | 13 January, 2018, 06:14

A spokesperson from the Immigrant Defense Project later confirmed that Ragbir was placed in an ambulance because he had fainted while being detained by ICE.

"This was the toughest one I've experienced", he said.

The NYPD arrested 18 people outside of the building, including Councilmen Williams and Rodriguez, according to BuzzFeed.

Ragbir was attending his required annual ICE check-in when federal agents made the arrest.

Ragbir was able to avoid detention then, but not this time around. He's been called a "fixture in the immigrants' rights movement" and was awarded the 2017 Immigrant Excellence Award by the New York State Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators for his efforts to help the immigrant community.

In 2001, Ragbir was convicted of wire fraud while working as a loan processor for a US -based mortgage lender, making his green card subject to review despite the fact that his wife is a USA citizen and is the father a USA -born daughter.

"Ravi Ragbir means everything to this city", New Sanctuary Coalition Co-Chair Rev. Kaji Dousa told Democracy Now! on Thursday.

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!"

NYC Council Members, Protestors Shoved by NYPD Officers at Immigrant Activist Rally

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

These supporters of immigrant rights are also hostile to the ongoing negotiations between Democrats and the Trump administration over the potential elimination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) policy, which defers the deportation of individuals who came to America as minors.

"In an exercise of discretion, the agency had previously allowed him to remain free from custody with periodic check-ins, while his case was under court review", Yong Yow said.

The decision to detain Ragbir, who has been called a "fixture in the immigrants' rights movement", and immediately clamp down on a protest in support of him reflects the attempts to intimidate large numbers of workers and youth who are opposed to the attack on immigrants.

He is married to Amy Gottlieb, a USA citizen and fellow immigration activist, but has been unable to regularize his immigration status through marriage because of his prior conviction.

In a video of the rally posted to Twitter by Buzzfeed News, Williams was seen being held face-down on the hood of a auto by a police officer while saying, "Freedom. He will remain in custody pending removal to Trinidad". "Resist. Freedom. Resist. We are going to resist".

Eric Phillips, press secretary for Mayor Bill de Blasio, indicated City Hall is reviewing the matter.

Another protest rally in support of Ragbir is planned for 5 p.m. Thursday in front of Varick Street Detention Center, where he will be detained.

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