Here in New York City, hundreds gathered to oppose the detention and possible deportation of prominent immigrant rights activists Ravi Ragbir and Jean Montrevil. Ravi Ragbir was detained Thursday at a scheduled check-in with immigration agents. He is executive director of the New Sanctuary Coalition of NYC. Just a week prior, Jean Montrevil, another leader with the organization, was detained outside of his home and could be deported as early as today to Haiti. On Monday, hundreds circled Washington Square Park in a Jericho walk and then gathered at Judson Memorial Church. This is Ravi’s friend Rhiya Trivedi, a member of his defense committee who visited Ravi in detention in Florida over the weekend. She’s reading from a letter written by Ravi entitled “Letter from an Immigrant Jail.”
Rhiya Trivedi: “It was a wild and crazy ride. Every moment was uncertain except the certainty that they wanted me gone. I’m still here because of all of you. Thank you. I miss everyone. I feel very heartbroken to see how many of you are suffering for me, how many people were abused during this process. I feel heartbroken that care for someone evokes violence. I want everyone to stand strong. At this moment, we need to speak about changing the system so that no one has to face this type of harm, not just for me but for all the families who face being torn apart. Until we get reform, we need to repeal the act that criminalizes immigrants, that makes us less than human because of a document.”
That was Rhiya Trivedi, a member of Ravi’s defense committee, reading a letter written by Ravi Ragbir while in detention in Florida. We’ll have more on Ravi and Jean’s cases tomorrow on Democracy Now!