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:

Mon. 1/15 in NYC: MLK Solidarity Day for the Release of Immigrant Rights Leaders Ravi Ragbir and Jean Montrevil

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***MEDIA ADVISORY***

 MLK SOLIDARITY DAY FOR THE RELEASE OF IMMIGRANT RIGHTS LEADERS RAVI RAGBIR AND JEAN MONTREVIL

 Vigil to Be Held at Washington Square Park

Press Conference to Follow at Judson Memorial Church

WHAT: Rally to call for the immediate release of immigrant rights leaders, Ravi Ragbir, Executive Director of New Sanctuary Coalition of New York City, and Co-Founder Jean Montrevil. Mr. Ragbir was detained on Thursday while reporting to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for a routine check-in. Mr. Ragbir’s detention comes just one week after ICE detained Jean Montrevil, another immigrant rights leader.

In the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., faith leaders, elected officials, and immigration and legal advocates will come together to condemn the institutional oppression of marginalized communities and hold a “Jericho Walk” in Washington Square Park, around Ai Wei Wei’s “Arch” migration sculpture. A press conference will be held following the vigil to call for Mr. Montrevil and Mr. Ragbir’s release, and to honor the 18 people who were arrested putting their bodies on the line in the tradition of peaceful civil disobedience in defense of Mr. Ragbir.

In the face of Trump’s unprecedented assault on immigrant communities and blatant racism, the fight for the rights and dignity of immigrants is more important than ever.  Trump’s recent disparaging remarks about immigrants from Caribbean, Central American, and African countries highlight the critical need for continued resistance and unity.

SPEAKERS: New York City Councilmembers Jumaane Williams and Ydanis Rodriguez, who were among the 18 people arrested in an act of civil disobedience during Thursday’s solidarity vigil; Rev. Kaji Douša, whose grandfather stood with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as he delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial; Rev. Donna Schaper, civil rights leader and senior minister at Judson Memorial Church; Alina Das, Professor at New York School of Law and legal counsel to Ravi Ragbir; and loved ones of Jean and Ravi.

WHERE: Washington Square Arch & Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square S, New York, NY 10012 

WHEN: Monday, January 15

Media are also invited earlier events at the church the same day:

To join the conversation on social, please use hashtags #IStandwithRavi and #FreeJeanNow.

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