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Thread: Federal judge blasts ICE for ‘cruel’ tactics, frees immigrant rights activist

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  1. #1
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    Federal judge blasts ICE for ‘cruel’ tactics, frees immigrant rights activist

    Federal judge blasts ICE for ‘cruel’ tactics, frees immigrant rights activist Ravi Ragbir










    By Derek Hawkins January 30 Email the author

    Ravi Ragbir, executive director of the New Sanctuary Coalition, being escorted by supporters after his annual check-in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement on March 9 in New York. (Seth Wenig/AP)
    Comparing the Trump administration’s immigration practices to those of an authoritarian regime, a federal judge in Manhattan on Monday ordered the immediate release of a detained immigrant rights activist. U.S. District Judge Katherine B. Forrest said it was unconstitutional and cruel for authorities to “pluck him out of his life without a moment’s notice.”
    Forrest ruled that immigration officials violated Ravi Ragbir’s due process rights when they abruptly detained him during a Jan. 11 check-in. Ragbir, a Trinidad and Tobago native who was facing a final deportation order, should have been allowed “the freedom to say goodbye” and to organize his affairs before being taken into custody, the judge said.
    “It ought not to be — and it has never before been — that those who have lived without incident in this country for years are subjected to treatment we associate with regimes we revile as unjust, regimes where those who have long lived in a country may be taken without notice from streets, home, and work. And sent away,” said Forrest, who read her seven-page opinion aloud in court.
    “We are not that country,” Forrest said, “and woe be the day that we become that country under a fiction that laws allow it.”
    Supporters in the packed downtown courtroom cheered when the judge said Ragbir must be freed, according to the Associated Press. He was released Monday night from the Orange County Correctional Facility in Goshen, N.Y., and plans to continue fighting his deportation, his attorney Alina Das told The Washington Post.
    A spokesman for U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment Monday night. In a statement to the Associated Press, ICE said it was “concerned with the tone of the district court’s decision, which equates the difficult work ICE professionals do every day to enforce our immigration laws with ‘treatment we associate with regimes we revile as unjust.'” The agency added it was “actively exploring its appellate options.”
    While short on legal analysis, Forrest’s ruling amounted to an unusually stinging rebuke of the administration’s crackdown on immigration, even amid a flurry of other strongly worded judicial opinions regarding President Trump’s immigration policies that have come down in recent months.

    Ragbir is the director of the immigrant advocacy group New Sanctuary Coalition in New York, a collection of 150 faith-based organizations. He became a lawful U.S. resident in 1994. In 2000, he was convicted of wire fraud and conspiracy for accepting fraudulent loan applications while working at a mortgage lender.
    After serving a prison sentence, he was ordered deported based on his conviction. He spent about two years in detention but was released under supervision in 2008 while his case moved through immigration courts. Over the following decade, he became a prominent voice in New York’s immigrant community, testifying before the city council and once meeting with President Barack Obama’s transition team to discuss immigration policy, according to his attorneys. He married a U.S. citizen in 2010.
    During that time, he received work authorization and four stays of removal. The government’s court papers show he checked in regularly with ICE as required.
    Eventually, Ragbir’s appeals ran out and he received a final order of deportation. His last stay was valid through Jan. 19, according to court documents. But on Jan. 11, during a check-in with immigration agents, ICE took Ragbir into custody. Ragbir was apparently so shocked by the decision that he lost consciousness and had to be taken to the hospital, court records show.

    His attorneys filed a habeas corpus petition the same day in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, arguing his detention was unjustified.
    Attorneys for the government said they had obtained travel documents from the Consulate of Trinidad and Tobago at the beginning of the year that were valid through Jan. 14. They argued in court papers that ICE had the final say over Ragbir’s status in the United States because he was already subject to a final removal order.
    “Mr. Ragbir has received all the due process he is constitutionally due,” read a brief from the government.
    In her ruling Monday, Forrest said there was no question that Ragbir knew he was facing imminent deportation and had been given multiple opportunities to fight his deportation.
    “But if due process means anything at all, it means that we must look at the totality of circumstances and determine whether we have dealt fairly when we are depriving a person of the most essential aspects of life, liberty and family,” Forrest said.

    It was wrong to “pluck him out of his life without a moment’s notice, remove him from his family and community without a moment’s notice,” she said. “The process that is due here is the allowance that he know and understand that the time has come, that he must organize his affairs, and that he do so by a date certain.”
    Since being released from prison, Forrest said, Ragbir had lived the life of a “redeemed man.” She said the government had offered no evidence that he had acted unlawfully, nor any evidence that he would not have left the country on his own accord, as many immigrants in his position are allowed to do.
    “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,” the judge wrote. “ . . . The Constitution commands better.”
    Read the judge’s opinion

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.7abd6c109358


  2. #2
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    NYC: Immigration Rights Activist Ravi Ragbir Detained at ICE Check-in Amid Protest, Police Violence
    STORYJANUARY 12

    The executive director of New York City’s New Sanctuary Coalition has been detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Ravi Ragbir is a nationally known immigrant rights activist whose wife and daughter are U.S. citizens. 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. On Thursday morning, Ravi was taken into custody, sparking a peaceful protest that was met with police violence. Police arrested 18 people including members of the New York City Council. Democracy Now’s Renée Feltz was there.


    Transcript
    This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
    AMY GOODMAN: And the executive director of New York City’s New Sanctuary Coalition has been detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Ravi Ragbir is a nationally known immigrants’ rights activist whose wife and daughter are U.S. citizens. Born in Trinidad and Tobago, Ravi had lived in the United States for 27 years, but faces deportation because of a 2002 wire fraud conviction, for which he already served time in jail.


    Democracy Now! has closely followed Ravi’s case. He was on the show in March, the day of his last check-in, when he was told to return in January. Well, on Thursday morning, Ravi was taken into custody, sparking a peaceful protest that was met with police violence. Democracy Now!’s Renée Feltz was there.


    RENÉE FELTZ: At 26 Federal Plaza in downtown Manhattan, Ravi Ragbir met with ICE for his regular check-in. Outside, hundreds circled the building in a Jericho walk, some raising their hands to pray he’d come out. Ravi went in accompanied by his lawyer and wife and several city councilmembers and state lawmakers. After nearly two hours, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson came out with an update.


    SPEAKER COREY JOHNSON: Ravi had passed out. An ambulance had arrived.


    RENÉE FELTZ: Johnson said Ravi fainted when ICE agents told him he was being detained. Just as Johnson spoke, an ambulance pulled up, that people believed was carrying Ravi in handcuffs, on its way to an immigrant jail blocks away.


    POLICE OFFICER: Back up! Back up! Back up!


    RENÉE FELTZ: New York police officers violently shoved people out of the way who were shouting support, some crying. As the ambulance drove down Broadway, City Councilmembers Ydanis Rodríguez and Jumaane Williams sat down to block its way, and were violently handcuffed and marched away. At least 18 people were arrested. The police union later claimed the ambulance was headed to a hospital. Hundreds regrouped hours later for a vigil in front of the ICE jail on Varick Steet where Ravi was reportedly taken.


    PROTESTERS: Where is Ravi? Where is Ravi? Where is Ravi?


    RENÉE FELTZ: Ravi’s wife Amy joined in a Jericho walk around the jail, as she has often done with her husband in weekly vigils.


    AMY GOTTLIEB: [echoed by the People’s Mic] Ravi Ragbir is here with us in spirit, and he knows that we are going to win this fight and that nobody is backing down.


    RENÉE FELTZ: ICE said, late Thursday, that Ravi had, quote, “exhausted his petitions and appeals.” Ravi’s lawyer, Alina Das, disagreed and told Democracy Now! what happened when Ravi was told he was being deported.


    ALINA DAS: Well, we went in to the check-in with Ravi and his wife Amy, and we were told by the immigration representative that they would be trying to enforce the deportation order and they would be taking him in. It was horrible news to receive. We had been in conversations with ICE for many years, and Ravi has been receiving stays of removal in recognition of both his community and family ties, his contributions as a leader, executive director of the New Sanctuary Coalition, and also in recognition of the legal challenges that we have filed, that would actually have a chance of resolving his case and allowing him to stay here.


    They didn’t allow me to accompany him as he left the building. They put handcuffs around him, and they led him to a secure part of the facility, and they escorted me out. So I have not been able to talk to him since that moment, to reassure him that we continue to fight for him. But I believe that he knows—he knows what’s happening here. This is the kind of community mobilization, the community support, that he has certainly galvanized for other people who have been in similar situations over the years. And I think he would take great comfort in knowing that the community has rallied behind him.


    AMY GOODMAN: Ravi Ragbir’s lawyer, Alina Das. Thanks to Democracy Now!'s Renée Feltz and Nat Needham for that report. A federal court has now responded to an appeal Ravi's lawyers filed Thursday, setting a new hearing for January 29th and issuing a temporary stay of removal and a temporary order blocking Ravi Ragbir’s transfer away from the New York region. This comes as ICE’s online detainee locator system lists Ravi as being detained in Florida at the Krome detention facility, and neither his family nor his lawyers know for sure where he’s been taken. We’ll continue to follow the case, and you can watch democracynow.org for updates.


    This is Democracy Now!—these are the headlines—democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman. Back after this break.

    https://www.democracynow.org/2018/1/...st_ravi_ragbir

    VIDEO AT LINK!

  3. #3
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    Since being released from prison, Forrest said, Ragbir had lived the life of a “redeemed man.” She said the government had offered no evidence that he had acted unlawfully, nor any evidence that he would not have left the country on his own accord, as many immigrants in his position are allowed to do.
    “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,” the judge wrote. “ . . . The Constitution commands better.
    Sorry but it does not - an illegal is an illegal - no papers no stay. A "redeemed" illegal is a judgement call that we don't have time to discern the validity of with 12millon and up illegals in this country UNWELCOME! We have OUR citizens to care for. You have citizenship to a country - go there and be redeemed.
    Beezer, Judy and European Knight like this.

  4. #4
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    Take it to the US Supreme Court. STOP THESE STUPID JUDGES from exploiting their positions to perpetuate violations of US immigration law. The federal judge should be impeached. It is not cruel to enforce the just and necessary laws that protect our citizens from the scourge of illegal immigration.

    And anyone who doesn't believe the judge in the Trump University lawsuit wasn't biased against Trump over his intentions to enforce US immigration law if elected President is well .... just another idiot whose stupid notions have bankrupted our country.
    Beezer likes this.
    Support our FIGHT AGAINST illegal immigration & Amnesty by joining our E-mail Alerts at http://eepurl.com/cktGTn

  5. #5
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    How many of these rogue Judges are on the phone with O'vomit? Like the one in Hawaii.

    Tap O'vomits phones!
    Judy likes this.
    NO DACA - NO AMNESTY - NO PATH TO STAY - LET WORK PERMITS EXPIRE
    DEPORT ALL ILLEGAL ALIENS WITHIN 24 HOURS
    END BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP!

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    Geez, this guy had already exhausted all possible legal remedy and was under a deportation order. He was only here at the discretion of ICE. When they decided his time was up, it was up, period end of discussion. He should have kissed his wife and and petted his dog each time he walked out his front door because he knew any minute could be his last here in the United States! These activist judges are ridiculous.
    Beezer and artist like this.

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" ** Edmund Burke**

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