And immigrant rights activist Ravi Ragbir, executive director of the New Sanctuary Coalition of New York, heads to court today in New Jersey, where he’s challenging his 2001 conviction for wire fraud—in a case that could see a judge stay an order for his pending deportation. Ragbir has been ordered to report to a check-in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Saturday in Manhattan, and supporters have secured a permit to protest at 9 a.m. This week, the New York City Council held a hearing about whether NYPD should have helped ICE agents escort Ragbir when they tried to deport him after his last check-in. This is Ragbir speaking Thursday.
Ravi Ragbir: “I have a lot of terror in my heart. My wife has a lot of terror right now that she is dealing with. Many of you who are here with me are feeling that terror together with me.”
This comes as Mayor Bill de Blasio wrote a letter to ICE this week saying the “beloved New York City community leader” should get to stay, and Congressmember Nydia Velázquez has introduced a private immigration bill that, if passed, would provide Ragbir with a path toward permanent legal immigration status.