Legal Update on the Detention of Immigrant Rights Leader Ravi Ragbir

Jan 12, 2018
7:55 AM

EDITOR’S NOTE: Latino Rebels received the following media release Thursday night:

On January 11, 2018, Ravi Ragbir, a nationally recognized immigrant rights leader and Executive Director of the New Sanctuary Coalition of New York City, was detained while reporting to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for a routine check-in.

Upon his detention, Mr. Ragbir’s attorneys filed a lawsuit challenging ICE’s actions in federal court in downtown Manhattan (Ragbir v. Sessions, No. 18-cv-00236, S.D.N.Y.). The federal court has ordered a hearing on January 29, 2018, to consider whether the actions of ICE are lawful, and issued both a temporary stay of removal and a temporary order preventing Mr. Ragbir’s transfer away from his family and counsel in the New York region pending consideration of the case. However, ICE’s detainee locator system currently lists Mr. Ragbir as being detained at Krome Detention Facility in Florida. Mr. Ragbir’s family and community supporters continue to demand Mr. Ragbir’s immediate release, and Mr. Ragbir’s lawyers are working to ensure his return to the New York region and his family.

Mr. Ragbir, who received lawful permanent residency in the U.S. in 1994, faces deportation based on a single conviction for wire fraud that he received in 2001. Based on this single conviction, he was detained by ICE for deportation proceedings in 2006-2008, but was released in light of his pending legal challenges and his lack of dangerousness to the community. Since that time, Mr. Ragbir has devoted himself to the immigrant rights movement. As Executive Director of the New Sanctuary Coalition, Mr. Ragbir has worked tirelessly with faith communities every day to create safe communities for all residents regardless of immigration status.

Since his release from his initial immigration detention in 2008, Mr. Ragbir has complied with all legal requirements and has diligently challenged both his conviction and his deportation order in legal proceedings. Contrary to a reported statement by ICE, Mr. Ragbir has pending legal cases that have the potential to prevent his deportation. These legal cases include a federal petition for a writ of coram nobis, to vacate his criminal conviction and/or sentence, pending with a federal court in New Jersey (Ragbir v. United States, No.17-CV-01256, D.N.J.), as well as a motion  to reopen his proceedings pending with the Board of Immigration Appeals based on newly available evidence and constitutional concerns. Neither of these legal cases has been adjudicated.

Mr. Ragbir has been represented by NYU Immigrant Rights Clinic since 2008.