Ravi has a case in the Third Circuit with oral argument set for Wednesday, October 30, 2019 in Philadelphia, at approximately 9am. The case is on appeal from the federal court in New Jersey, which denied Ravi post-conviction relief that would have given him the opportunity to reverse his deportation order.
Depending on the number of people who can come, the New Sanctuary Coalition and Ravi’s Defense Committee will coordinate a bus or carpools.
If you are interested in attending, please sign up here by Wednesday, October 23. Once you have signed up, you will receive information about traveling to Philadelphia to the hearing on October 30.
CONTACT: Alex Haurek
May 21, 2019 (202) 225-2361
Velázquez Fights for Prominent NY Immigrant Activist Ravi Ragbir
Introduces Private Bill Protecting NYC Community Advocate from Deportation
Washington, D.C.¬¬ – Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) has taken legislative action to grant legal status to prominent local immigrant rights advocate, Ravi Ragbir. Last year, after being taken into custody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Ragbir was ordered released by the Courts, following an outcry from elected officials, advocacy groups and others. Most recently, the 2nd Circuit Court ruled that Ragbir cannot be deported for now because it is possible ICE tried to silence his advocacy by deporting him.
Velázquez’s bill would grant Ragbir legal permanent status and, should he be deported, provide him a legal right to return to the United States. While the 2nd Circuit ruled in Ravi’s favor, he remains in jeopardy should courts rule against him in the future.
“Ravi Ragbir has been a pillar in our community and ICE’s efforts to deport him are cruel and immoral,” said Velázquez. “Not only am I concerned for Ravi from a humanitarian perspective, but ICE’s repeated targeting of him raises serious 1st Amendment concerns and fit a broader pattern of the agency unfairly pursuing those who speak out against the Trump Administration’s anti-immigrant policies.”
“I wish to thank Rep. Velázquez for introducing this bill because the immigration system is inhumane and we need to keep families together,” said Ragbir.
Separately, Velázquez has been a leader on immigration issues, authoring the American Promise Act, legislation that would prevent deportation of beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED). That measure has been paired with other Democratic efforts to assist DREAMers and is expected to be considered in the House in the next several weeks.
Her legislation to assist Ragbir has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee for consideration.
New York, NY — A federal appeals court has ruled in favor of immigrant-rights activist Ravi Ragbir, concluding that the First Amendment prohibits the government from targeting immigration activists for deportation based on their political speech. “To allow this retaliatory conduct to proceed would broadly chill protected speech, among not only activists subject to final orders of deportation but also those citizens and other residents who would fear retaliation against others,” the decision states. It goes on to explain:
Ragbir’s speech implicates the apex of protection under the First Amendment. His advocacy for reform of immigration policies and practices is at the heart of current political debate among American citizens and other residents. Thus, Ragbir’s speech on a matter of “public concern” is at “the heart of . . . First Amendment protection,” and “occupies the highest rung of the hierarchy of First Amendment values.’” Because Ragbir’s speech concerns “political change,” it is also “core political speech” and thus “trenches upon an area in which the importance of First Amendment protections is at its zenith.” Indeed, his “speech critical of the exercise of the State’s power lies at the very center of the First Amendment.” (citations omitted).
The court of appeals concluded: “Ragbir’s speech implicates the highest protection of the First Amendment,” and “he has adduced plausible — indeed, strong — evidence that officials responsible for the decision to deport him did so based on their disfavor of Ragbir’s speech (and its prominence.”
The decision further held that a federal statute stripping courts of their power to hear these First Amendment claims is itself unconstitutional. The court of appeals sent the case back to the district court to consider the case in light of its conclusions, directing the district court to stay Mr. Ragbir’s deportation as it considers the next steps in the case.Continue reading →
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 →
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.”
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.
By Amy Gottlieb, American Friends Service Committee
Jan. 11, 2019
Exactly a year ago, I sat in a cold conference room as a stone-faced senior official with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) told my husband Ravi Ragbir that he was being detained. Ravi’s lawyer and I desperately tried to convince the officer not to detain Ravi – there were still legal avenues we were pursuing to prevent his deportation. But the officer just became more aggressive, and Ravi was handcuffed and escorted out.
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
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
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.
Federal Appeals Court Grants Immigrant Rights Activist Ravi Ragbir Stay of Removal
On November 1, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit granted Ravi Ragbir a stay of removal days after hearing oral argument in Ragbir v. Homan, a First Amendment challenge to retaliation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) against immigrant rights activists. The court has not yet issued a ruling on the First Amendment claim. The stay ensures that Mr. Ragbir will not be deported while the case is pending.
Mr. Ragbir, Executive Director of the New Sanctuary Coalition, was abruptly detained by ICE in January 2018 for deportation based on a decade-old deportation order. A federal court in New York ordered Mr. Ragbir’s release later that month, and a federal court in New Jersey ordered a stay of removal in a pending case challenging the conviction underlying Mr. Ragbir’s deportation order. ICE has continued, however, to pursue Mr. Ragbir’s deportation, requiring him to report “for removal” if no stay was in place.
In February 2018, Mr. Ragbir, joined by New Sanctuary Coalition, CASA, Detention Watch Network, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, and New York Immigration Coalition, sued ICE, arguing that ICE’s actions against Mr. Ragbir and other immigrant activists violated the First Amendment. In May 2018, after a federal court denied the plaintiffs’ request for preliminary protections pending the First Amendment litigation for Mr. Ragbir, the plaintiffs appealed to the Second Circuit and sought a stay while appeal is pending. The Second Circuit granted a stay on November 1, 2018.