Ragbir safe from deportation for now


These high profile actions prompted the law firm Arnold & Porter and the New York University Immigrant Rights Clinic to file suit today to challenge federal immigration officials' retaliatory and discriminatory enforcement of immigration laws against Ragbir and other immigrant rights activists on the basis of their protected political speech.

As a result of the lawsuit, immigration agents agreed to defer any new arrest of Ragbir, said the New York Immigration Coalition, a migrants' defense group.

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The government agreed to temporarily halt the deportation of nationally known immigrants' rights advocate Ravi Ragbir after he filed a lawsuit in federal district court on February 9 alleging that the Trump administration is deliberately targeting immigrants activists who speak out on behalf of their cause. However, he was ordered to report to ICE for deportation on Saturday, Feb. 10.

Ragbir was to be deported to Trinidad and Tobago Saturday morning, a month after his January 11 arrest during a routine check-in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement that led to protests. He had been technically in deportation proceedings for years, after a 2001 wire-fraud conviction, because of work he did for a crooked mortgage company.

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Ragbir filed the suit along with the immigrants' rights organization he co-founded - the New Sanctuary Coalition of New York - and four similar groups, including the New York Immigration Coalition. But those proceedings had always been halted. That judge, Katherine Forrest, expressed "grave concern" over allegations he was targeted for deportation because of his political activities. Montrevil was sentenced to an 11-year prison term for selling cocaine.

On Friday, is asking a judge in Newark to allow him to stay in the country pending that appeal.

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