When President Donald Trump took office one year ago, he promised that he would crack down on illegal immigration like no other president had before. One year later, Trump has followed through with this promise big time, and he’s showing no signs of slowing down.
Western Journalism reported that the Trump administration just sent a huge message to illegal aliens by detaining two prominent activists who are themselves illegal immigrants. The two men have openly lived in the U.S. for years and have until recently enjoyed a de facto immunity from deportation, thanks to their status as high-profile immigrants’ rights activists.
Though Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials denied that the arrests were politically motivated, this move shows that immigration agents are now emboldened to arrest even the most connected of illegal immigrants.
The two arrested activists are leaders of the New Sanctuary Coalition of New York City, a network of religious and social organizations that works to prevent the detention and deportation of illegal immigrants. Haiti national Jean Montrevil had lived in the U.S. since 1986 despite having served a prison term for drug possession that resulted in a deportation order. Montrevil, who was one of the founders of the coalition, was deported back to Haiti last Tuesday.
Ravidath Ragbir, the executive director of New Sanctuary, was arrested last week during his check-in with officials at the ICE office in New York. He came to the U.S. in 1991 as a legal permanent resident, but he was ordered deportation in 2006 following a wire fraud conviction for which he served a two-and-a-half year prison sentence. In 2011, Ragbir was granted a stay of removal. The Trump administration granted an extension of that stay last April, but only until January 19.
Ragbir’s wife Amy Gottlieb, an immigration attorney, has accused the Trump administration of singling out her husband because of his outspoken activism.
“Like Jean (Montrevil) and thousands of other immigrants caught in ICE raids, Ravi threatens no one,” she wrote in a New York Times op-ed published Thursday. “On the contrary, he and other immigrant leaders have lead their communities with dignity and courage during a brutal time. That’s why they were snatched — and why ICE wants to deport them”
Despite this, ICE is preparing to deport Ragbir to Trinidad, saying last week in a statement that he had “exhausted his petitions and appeals through the immigration courts, the Board of Immigration appeals, and the U.S. District Court.”
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