A law suit filed in federal district court in the Southern District of NY on Friday, has resulted in the government agreeing to stay Ravi Ragbir’s deportation temporarily. Ragbir was slated to report for deportation on Saturday, Feb. 10.
Immigrant rights leader Ragbir wth the New Sanctuary Coalition (of which he is executive director), CASA de Maryland Detention Watch Network, the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild and the New York Immigration Coalition filed the suit—Ragbir v. Homan.
Ragbir said, “This lawsuit is not just about me, it is about all of the members of our community who are speaking out in our struggle for immigrant rights.”
Ragbir’s recent detentions and ICE’s attempts to deport him come amid a string of ICE actions against immigrant rights activists.
Co-founder of the New Sanctuary Coalition, Jean Montrevil was deported to Haiti last month.
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.
Sally Peil of Arnold & Porter said, “ICE’s targeting of immigrant-rights activists based on their protected speech and political advocacy plainly violates the First Amendment. We intend to put an end to this vindictive practice.”
Ragbir is now able to remain in the United States free until the Court reviews his constitutional claims,” said R. Stanton Jones from Arnold & Porter.
Alina Das of the NYU Immigrant Rights Clinic who has been working closely with the Ragbir case, commented on what a testament it is to his work for so many “incredible organizations (to) have stepped up to challenge the unjust targeting of our movement leaders through this lawsuit.”
Ragbir will still check-in February 10, at 10 a.m. to the ICE office at 26 Federal Place. The community of immigrant-rights activists will still rally in solidarity at Foley Square on Saturday at 9 am.