Press Release: Supporters of Immigrant Rights Leader Ravi Ragbir Hold Solidarity Rally On Day of His ICE Check In

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Photo by Gili Getz

Ragbir not detained but must check in again July 23

Today at Foley Square in Lower Manhattan, 150-200 community members rallied to support immigrant rights leader Ravi Ragbir for his check in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Ragbir was accompanied by a delegation of elected officials and faith leaders to his appointment inside 26 Federal Plaza. Although he was not detained, Ragbir must return on July 23.

At the rally, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams told the assembled crowd, “I happen to have the privilege of being a citizen. And everybody who has privilege has to use that to protect those who don’t, those who are being abused and oppressed. That is our duty to stand in the gap. It is our duty to make sure we are lifting up those who have been oppressed by a system…. How do you have a life when you have to check in every six months and you don’t know what’s going to happen?”

Pastor Kaji Dousa, Senior Pastor, Park Avenue Christian Church and co-chair, New Sanctuary Coalition, said at the rally, “Ravi Ragbir is one of the strongest forces in the immigration movement, standing up with and for righteousness, rights, and the soul of our city & nation. For his work, ICE has tried to silence and disappear him. Ravi belongs right here, in his home, New York City, which stands with him every step of the way. When he walks out of ICE today, he will walk right back into his activism. Because the government of this impeached President cannot and will not stop this movement.”

Congressmember Yvette Clarke, who also spoke at the rally and accompanied Ragbir inside the ICE office, said “I was honored to accompany Ravi, a highly revered human rights activist to his check in today, joined by Congressmember Nydia Velasquez. Of course there was a lot of bureaucratic tousling but we ultimately got into his check in. He is stayed again for another six months, but this system needs to be changed. He is no threat to our communities. He has been lawful in his presence and we look forward to his vindication.”

Alina Das, Ragbir’s attorney said, “When ICE detained Ravi two years ago, they said it was because of public safety. But we are the public, and we are safer because Ravi is here. ICE targeted Ravi because he spoke out against a cruel and unjust system. He is still here because the public has spoken out for him. We are grateful that Ravi is still with us, and we will continue to fight to protect the rights of all immigrants.”

Ragbir’s wife, Amy Gottlieb, said “We are so grateful to have the support of our legal team, our families, our friends, our elected officials, our faith leaders, as ICE continues to try to exert power over our lives. But we know that we will walk out each time, and that our power as a united community will overcome injustice and lead us to victory.”

Background: Ragbir received his greencard in 1994, but now faces the double punishment of deportation based on a single fraud conviction he received almost twenty years ago. He was given a final order of deportation in 2007 but was placed on an order of supervision in 2008, allowing him to live and work in the U.S. During that time, he became active in the immigrant rights movement, and paid the price for that activism when ICE detained him on Jan. 11, 2018, and tried to deport him.

A federal appeals court has recognized that the First Amendment protects immigrants from retaliation for their protected political speech and has issued a temporary stay of Mr. Ragbir’s deportation. The government is deciding whether to appeal the decision.

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Press Advisory: Supporters of Immigrant Rights Leader Ravi Ragbir Will Hold Solidarity Rally On Day of His ICE Check In: Thursday, Jan. 23

Jan 23 raviFor Immediate Release

Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020

***PRESS ADVISORY***

On Thursday, Jan. 23, Ravi Ragbir, Executive Director of the New Sanctuary Coalition, will be attending his supervision appointment with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The agency continues to target Ravi for his activism, as part of a nationwide pattern and practice of targeting activist leaders. A federal court stay of removal prevents ICE from deporting him.

Supporters, including elected officials, will gather to speak out against ICE’s harassment of our communities and its targeting of our leaders. We will honor those leaders who have already been deported, and we will continue to fight to dismantle this system.

What: Solidarity Action for Ravi Ragbir at his ICE check-in including a rally with speakers and a silent Jericho March vigil Continue reading

Press Release: Ravi Ragbir Emerges from ICE Check In Surrounded by Community

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Photo by Erik McGregor (click on image for more photos)

Photo by Erik McGregor (click image for more photos)

For Immediate Release: Monday, January 28, 2019

RAVI RAGBIR EMERGES FROM ICE CHECK-IN SURROUNDED BY COMMUNITY

New York, NY: Prominent immigrant rights activist, Ravi Ragbir, reported to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for a check-in today, one year after a federal court ordered ICE to release Mr. Ragbir under similar circumstances. Community members, elected officials, and faith leaders gathered outside ICE headquarters at 26 Federal Plaza in lower Manhattan to show solidarity with Mr. Ragbir and others like him who are under threat of imminent detention and deportation. Mr. Ragbir is the Executive Director of the New Sanctuary Coalition, a faith-based organization devoted to immigrant rights. He is scheduled to report to ICE again in six months. Continue reading

Jan. 28: Stand with Ravi! Accompany Ravi to His Report Date with ICE

Stand with Ravi as he reports for a check-in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. As many of you know, Ravi has been scheduled to report to ICE at 26 Federal Plaza in Manhattan on Jan. 28, 2019, for deportation. Ravi cannot be deported because he continues to have stays of removal from the Federal District Court of New Jersey and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. But instead of cancelling this report date, as ICE has done in the past, ICE has changed it from a deportation date into a “check in.”

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Even though the federal government is shut down, ICE aggressively targets our community members, and is spending its resources on requiring Ravi and countless others to check in. But we know the power of community. In the spirit of New Sanctuary’s accompaniment program, we ask that you all join us in accompanying Ravi and joining us in a Jericho Walk, starting at 9:30am.

Invite others with this Facebook listing:

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Vigil to Mark One-Year Anniversary of Unlawful ICE Arrest of Immigrant Rights Leader Ravi Ragbir

light-brigadeFor Immediate Release

Friday, January 11, 2019

***PRESS ADVISORY***

One year ago, on January 11, 2018, Ravi Ragbir was unlawfully detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in retaliation for speaking out against our unjust immigration system. Since then, Ravi and his supporters have continued to stand up against the current administration’s escalating attacks against immigrant communities.

At a vigil and “Jericho Walk” demonstration around the Varick Street Immigration Court on Friday night, local activists and families facing deportation will pay tribute to all those who have suffered at the hands of our immigration enforcement system in the past year, including fellow New Sanctuary Coalition c-founder, Jean Montrevil.

What: Vigil and Jericho Walk (silent procession) around the ICE facility

Where: 201 Varick Street, Lower Manhattan

When: Friday, January 11. Start, 6:00 – Vigil, 6:15 – Speakers, 6:45 – Prayer, 7:00 – Jericho Walk around Varick Immigration Court

Speakers:

  • Ravi Ragbir, New Sanctuary Coalition
  • Rev. Donna Schaper, Judson Memorial Church
  • Reverend Kaji Dousa, Park Avenue Christian Church

Audio: Brief statements by speakers, prayers, chanting, etc.

Visuals: Supporters with posters and candles outside immigration court building

Sponsors: Ravi Ragbir’s Defense Committee, New Sanctuary Coalition, Judson Memorial Church, Park Avenue Christian Church

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Ravi Ragbir and Other Immigrant Rights Defenders Testify at The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

Adapted from a media advisory from the Center for Human Rights: University of Washington:

Prompted by efforts from immigrant rights leader Maru Mora Villalpando, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) met in Washington, D.C. on December 5th to dialogue with the Government of the United States of America about the Situation of Human Rights Defenders of Migrants in the country. Prominent immigrants’ defenders from throughout the country, targeted by the Trump Administration for their human rights work, testifed before the Commission. The IACHR will hold its 170th Period of Sessions from December 3 to 7, 2018, in its headquarters in Washington, D.C., United States of America.

The University of Washington’s (UW) International Human Rights Clinic (IHRC) and Center for Human Rights (CHR) in collaboration with the North West Detention Center Resistance (NWDCR), New York University (NYU) Immigration Clinic, and Migrant Justice supported the leaders sharing their experiences and the impact of the infringement of freedom of speech on their work, their families and their communities. The organizations also presented the UW Center for Human Rights Report Secret Police: Access to information about immigration enforcement in the contemporary United States”. After the hearing the groups will hold a press conference to update the public and press.

Speakers: Immigrant activists and leaders, Alejandra Pablos, Shacorrie Tunkara, Maru Mora Villalpando, Janay Cauthen- Jean Montrevil’s wife-, Kike Balcazar, Ravi Ragbir, and members of the Universities UW Law School IHRC, UW CHR, NYU Immigration Clinic, University of Notre Dame, and National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG).

The hearing came after the United Nations and the Inter-American Commission expressed concern about the United States actions against immigrant leaders, calling the government to adopt measures to ensure an environment in which human rights defenders can work freely, without threat of retaliation.

The Inter-American Commission is and independent body of the Organization of American States, and has the mandate to promote respect for and to defend human rights in the region.

Access to the broadcast of the hearing can be found here. For in person coverage, find more info here.

 

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Click to read Alina Das’ live tweet thread from the hearing.
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