BK council member arrested during immigration rights rally

"In each review, the courts have uniformly held that Mr. Ragbir does not have a legal basis to remain in the US", she said.

Newly elected City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Brooklyn Councilman Jumaane Williams and Upper Manhattan Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez were shoved by police officers at a rally for Trinidadian-American immigrant activist Ravi Ragbir.

The arrests did not damper the spirits of immigration supporters as they continued to rally for Ragbir's release.

Rachael Yong Yow, a spokeswoman for the NY field office of ICE, said in a statement on Thursday that in the last 12 years Mr. Ragbir's immigration case has undergone extensive judicial review at multiple levels.

He now faces permanent exile from the USA, most likely back to TT from which he emigrated to the U.S. in February 1991 on a visitor's visa.

New Sanctuary Coalition NYC co-chair Rev. Kaji Dousa, senior pastor of Park Avenue Christian Church, said Ragbir "means everything to this city".

Newsday was updated on Ragbir's situation yesterday by Kirk Cheyfitz.

While reporting to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for a routine check-in at 26 Federal Plaza, Ragbir, executive director of the New Sanctuary Coalition of NYC-an interfaith organization that helps undocumented immigrants fight detention and deportation- was detained on Thursday morning.

Witnesses said Ragbir was driven away in an ambulance after fainting, surrounded by a crowd of supporters shouting "Ravi, Ravi" trying to prevent the vehicle from leaving, which descended into scuffles.

Mayor de Blasio blamed federal officials for ratcheting up the tensions, insisting the "original sin" came when ICE detained Ragbir during a routine check-in with the intention to deport him.

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"People are outraged. Give people the space to be outraged that their friend, their colleague, a father, a husband, whose wife is here, who has a USA citizen daughter, is not going to come home", Linda Sarsour, an organizer of the Women's March who was at the protest, told BuzzFeed News.

"We've been told that he will be processed and taken to a detention facility, they will not tell us where". "His lawyers are fighting to have him returned to the NY region". Born in Trinidad and Tobago, Ravi has lived in the United States for 27 years, but he faces deportation because of a 2002 wire fraud. His attorneys are seeking to have that conviction vacated and, separately, plan to challenge the legality of the deportation order based on that conviction. After he served his sentence, Mr. Ragbir was ordered deported in 2006 and detained by immigration officials.

"Ravi has the support of thousands of New Yorkers and people around the world, including the leading elected officials of NY". "A longtime New Yorker, a husband and a father, Ravi is beloved by all of us".

"Ravi's deportation would be a colossal loss for so many people", he said.

This included, yesterday, accompanying friends to their court hearings and ICE check-ins.

Vanessa Coleman

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