NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio writes to ICE asking to stay Ravi Ragbir’s deportation

[View the original letter here]

Screen Shot 2018-02-07 at 14.36.37 PMESTFebruary 1,2018

Mr. Thomas Decker
Field Office Director
New York Field Office
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement 9th Floor, Suite 9-110
26 FederalPlaza New York, New York 10278-0004

Dear Director Decker:

I am writing to urge you to stay the removal of a beloved New York City community leader, Ravi Ragbir.

In his more than 20 years as a lawful permanent resident in the United States, Mr. Ragbir has made significant contributions to the city’s civic life and has been widely recognized for his work as a speaker, educator, and organizer on issues related to immigrant rights. He and others like him have played a crucial role in making New York a beacon of diversity and inclusion for so many. Forcing him to retum to Trinidad would not only affect his wife and child – who are U.S. citizens – but would adversely impact the larger immigrant community. The breadth and depth of Mr. Ragbir’s ties in our city should weigh heavily in favor of a stay of his removal.

Despite your office’s claim to prioritize for deportation those individuals who pose a public safety risk, these actions and others have raised serious concems about how ICE is targeting immigrants. Over this past year, New York City has experienced a spike in ICE activity, especially in courtrooms – an area most New Yorkers consider safe.

These activities not only create fear in immigrant communities, but undermine public safety. New York City is the safest big city in America because of the trust between law enforcement and communities, including immigrant New Yorkers. When ICE takes aggressive action against leaders in immigrant communities, it casts a chilling effect on immigrants’ willingness to engage with govemment and law enforcement generally, undercutting that trust.

The safety and interest of New Yorkers should be central to any determination concerning Mr. Ragbir, or other individuals arrested by ICE. Therefore, I request that ICE exercise its discretion to permit Mr. Ragbir to remain with his family in New York.


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Bill de Blasio Mayor