Press Release: Ravi Ragbir, Immigrant-Rights Leader Fighting Deportation, to be Honored with Bishop’s Cross, Deliver Sunday Sermon at Episcopal Pro-Cathedral in Brooklyn Heights

FOR RELEASE SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2018

Ravi Ragbir, executive director of New Sanctuary Coalition and an internationally known leader of the immigrant rights movement, will receive one of the Episcopal Church’s highest honors and deliver the homily at the main service at historic St. Ann & The Holy Trinity Church in Brooklyn Heights at 11:15am this Sunday, February 4. Continue reading

Press Advisory: NY City Council Members and Advocates Declare that Ravi Must Stay

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THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK

OFFICES OF COUNCIL MEMBERS YDANIS RODRIGUEZ and JUMAANE WILLIAMS

CITY HALL, NEW YORK, NY 10007

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

***Press Advisory***

Contact:

  • Stephanie Miliano / 954-534-2144 / smiliano@council.nyc.gov
  • Kevin Fagan / 917-608-8784 / kfagan@council.nyc.gov

New York, NY – Tomorrow, January 31st at 1pm on the steps of City Hall, Council Members Ydanis Rodriguez and Jumaane Williams, alongside other elected officials, and advocates will stand with Ravi Ragbir to call for his permanent presence in the United States.

Yesterday, Monday, January 29th, a federal judge ordered Ragbir’s release from ICE detention. While his deportation has been stayed until February 9th, his deportation order is still in effect. Local and federal elected officials, and advocates will continue to work to reverse the Department of Homeland Securities decision to deport him.

WHAT: Press conference calling for Ravi Ragbir’s permanent presence in the United States

WHO: Ravi Ragbir; Council Members Ydanis Rodriguez, Jumaane Williams, Justin Brannan; New Sanctuary Coalition; elected officials; advocates; list in formation

WHEN: Wednesday, January 31st, 2018 at 1pm

WHERE: Steps of City Hall

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Press Release: Immigrant Rights Leader Ravi Ragbir Returns Home As Community Continues to Call for An End to the Targeting of Activists

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Photo by Alina Das

New York, NY –  Nationally recognized immigrant rights leader Ravi Ragbir was released from ICE detention yesterday evening following a federal court decision calling for his immediate release. Mr. Ragbir, Executive Director of the New Sanctuary Coalition of New York City, was detained on January 11, 2018, at a routine ICE check-in in New York City.

After being processed at 26 Federal Plaza on Monday evening, Mr. Ragbir was brought by an ICE officer to Judson Memorial Church around 8:00 pm, where a large group of supporters were gathered to welcome him home.

Today, Mr. Ragbir and his wife, Amy Gottlieb, are traveling to Washington D.C., as Ms. Gottlieb will be attending the State of the Union at the invitation of Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez. Last week, 31 Congressional representatives and nearly 1,800 community organizations and private individuals sent letters to U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen condemning the targeting or Mr. Ragbir and other immigrant activists by ICE.

“I am thrilled to be home with my family and loved ones, and I know that it is due to the extraordinary community and legal support that I am privileged to have,” said Mr. Ragbir en route to Washington, D.C. “We have a struggle in front of us, but it is through our collective commitment to justice that human rights and happiness will persevere.”

“Ravi and I are so gratified by Judge Forrest’s order to release him and that she recognized that his detention was unconstitutional,” said Amy Gottlieb, wife of Mr. Ragbir and an immigrant rights advocate with American Friends Service Committee. “As we travel to Washington, DC, we are aware of the need to push even harder for fair and humane immigration laws that allow people to remain with their families in the United States, and we are committed to that effort. Attending the State of the Union with Congresswoman Velazquez is an important step that we hope will help raise awareness of the need for change.”

Mr. Ragbir, who received his greencard in 1994, was previously detained by ICE for nearly two years when he was placed in removal proceedings in 2006 for an old wire fraud conviction. He was released from immigration detention in 2008 when ICE determined that he was not a flight risk or danger to the community. Following his release, Mr. Ragbir became a community activist and currently leads a coalition of over 150 faith based groups that advocate for immigrant rights.

Mr. Ragbir has a challenge to his underlying conviction pending in federal court in New Jersey and a motion to reopen his removal proceedings before the Board of Immigration Appeals, neither of which have yet been adjudicated.

For further information, please visit:

Press Release: Federal Court Orders Release of Detained Immigrant Rights Leader Ravi Ragbir As Community Continues to Call for An End to the Targeting of Activists

New York, NY –  A federal court judge today ordered the immediate release of nationally recognized immigrant rights leader Ravi Ragbir. Mr. Ragbir, Executive Director of the New Sanctuary Coalition of New York City, was detained on January 11, 2018, at a routine ICE check-in in New York City.

Judge Katherine B. Forrest, who presided over the case, held that ICE violated Mr. Ragbir’s due process rights by his “abrupt and by all counts unnecessary detention.” “Taking such a man, and there are many such men and women like him, and subjecting him to what is rightfully understood as no different or better than penal detention is certainly cruel,” wrote Judge Forrest. “We as a country need and must not act so. The Constitution commands better.”

The New York University School of Law’s Immigrant Rights Clinic represents Mr. Ragbir in his lawsuit. Brittany Castle and Jeremy “Cody” Cutting, who presented the case on behalf of Mr. Ragbir with clinic supervisors Alina Das and Jessica Rofé at today’s hearing, stated, “Thousands of our community members live and work in this country with removal orders just like Mr. Ragbir. We are pleased that Judge Forrest recognizes that this slip of paper erases neither their constitutional rights nor their humanity.”

Mr. Ragbir, who received his greencard in 1994, was previously detained by ICE for nearly two years when he was placed in removal proceedings in 2006 for an old wire fraud conviction. He was released from immigration detention in 2008 when ICE determined that he was not a flight risk or danger to the community. Following his release, Mr. Ragbir became a community activist and currently leads a coalition of over 150 faith based groups that advocate for immigrant rights.

“The judge’s decision restores my faith in the power of our institutions to protect the rights of people facing such a cruel and inhumane system,” said Amy Gottlieb, wife of Mr. Ragbir and an immigrant rights advocate with American Friends Service Committee. “I am so thrilled that Ravi will be home with me, as he always should have been. Now the fight is to make sure Ravi can remain here with his family and continue his work to support immigrant rights in the United States.”

In the days since Mr. Ragbir’s detention, a growing number of community organizations and elected officials have questioned ICE’s motives in targeting Mr. Ragbir. Last week, nearly 30 Congressional representatives and nearly 1,800 community organizations and private individuals sent letters to U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen condemning the targeting or Mr. Ragbir and other immigrant activists by ICE.

The spectre of political motivations was felt in the courtroom as the parties debated why ICE had taken Mr. Ragbir into custody after previously recognizing his contributions to the community and his pending legal challenges to his removal for so many years. In a statement following the hearing, Das explained, “Detention can never be used to silence dissent. Mr. Ragbir is a husband, father, and community leader who has worked tirelessly to advocate for justice in our immigration system. There was simply no legitimate basis to detain him.”

Mr. Ragbir has a challenge to his underlying conviction pending in federal court in New Jersey and a motion to reopen his removal proceedings before the Board of Immigration Appeals, neither of which have yet been adjudicated. “We have been pursuing justice for fundamental errors in Mr. Ragbir’s criminal and immigration proceedings for several years,” said Rofé. “We will continue to fight for his day in court on these claims as the community calls for an end to the pursuit of Mr. Ragbir’s deportation and the targeting of other activists.”

Mr. Ragir’s legal team and wife traveled to the facility after the hearing and anticipate that he will be released later today.

For more information, please visit:
http://www.law.nyu.edu/immigrantrightsclinic/case-campaign-materials
https://ravidefense.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/ragbir-decision-jan29.pdf

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