Saturday, January 27, 2018

Legislators Question Detentions of Immigrant Activists

Press conference, New York Federal Building. Photo: Murad Awawdeh
A number of local politicians held a press conference in front of the Federal Building in Lower Manhattan today focusing on the detention of immigrant rights activists such as New York residents Jean Montrevil and Ravi Ragbir. So far, thirty-three members of Congress have signed on to a letter questioning the detentions, and speakers were often quite passionate: Rep. Yvette Clarke denounced the building behind her as “the headquarters of the Gestapo of the United States of America.” In response to reporters’ questions, several members of Congress spoke out against New York police actions supporting federal immigration agents; they said local politicians are meeting with Mayor Bill de Blasio to discuss the issue.

Still, the Congress members were vague about how much they might be willing to compromise with Republican hardliners to get legal status for DACA recipients—although Rep. Nydia Velázquez did dismiss the White House’s new immigration proposal as “a ransom note” using the Dreamers as “hostages.” There was no discussion of the administration’s termination of TPS programs or of strategies for longterm immigration reform. So we’ll have to wait and see how well the politicians’ actions match their rhetoric.—TPOI editor

Statement: Velázquez, Crowley Call on ICE to End Targeting of Immigrant Activists

By Justice for Ravi
January 27, 2018
(New York, New York) —Flanked by community leaders and immigration rights activists, Reps. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY), Joe Crowley (D-NY), Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, and members of the New York City Congressional delegation called today for a meeting with the Secretary of Homeland Security and the acting Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement to discuss the agency’s recent targeting of immigrant activists for detainment and deportation.

Outside of local ICE headquarters, the Members of Congress highlighted four cases of community leaders who were recently detained after speaking out against the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant policies.  This includes Ravi Ragbir, a prominent New York City activist, who was detained by ICE in January.[…]

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Ragbir Report

By Tequila Minsky, The Villager
January 25, 2018
After being detained during a routine check-in at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office
Ravi Ragbir. Photo: Tequila Minsky
  at Broadway and Worth St. on Jan. 11, immigrant-rights activist Ravi Ragbir was promptly flown down to the Krome Detention Center in Miami. There, Ragbir, the executive director of the Judson Church-based New Sanctuary Coalition, was poised to be deported back to Trinidad. Ragbir’s lawyers quickly filed an appeal to block his deportation and also return him to the New York area.  In Miami detention, Ragbir spent Martin Luther King Day with fellow immigrant activist and New Sanctuary Coalition co-founder Jean Montrevil, who was deported to Haiti the following day.[…]

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