Rally held as immigrant activist granted deportation stay

Deportation temporarily halted for Ragbir

Perdue said the lawsuit seeks injunctions preventing Ragbir's deportation and restraining the government from selectively enforcing immigration laws against those who speak out.

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. The lawsuit alleges that the federal government has unfairly arrested and deported numerous immigrants' rights activists over the past two years - including co-founder of the New Sanctuary Coalition Jean Montrevil, who was deported to Haiti last month.

A well-known immigrant rights activist who was on the cusp of being deported this week has filed a lawsuit that allows him to stay in the USA, for now.

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".

Protesters hailed the decision to grant Ragbir a temporary stay and called on legislature to preserve the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) protections for undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"Our clients, including Mr. Ragbir, have spoken out about USA immigration law and policy, and the immigration authorities have retaliated against them by detaining or seeking to deport them", said Perdue, "and the First Amendment prohibits that".

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Gottlieb said they were grateful to the mayor for weighing in and lending his voice to their cause.

"We thought it was a shot in the dark", Ragbir said to his supporters today.

Ragbir was to be deported to Trinidad and Tobago Saturday morning, a month after his January 11 arrest during a routine check-in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement that led to protests.

According to Perdue, Ragbir is the second leader of the New Sanctuary Coalition targeted for deportation. He has routinely checked in with the immigration agency for more than a decade and complied with all conditions of his release, the suit says.

Scheduled to start at 9 am, the rally will be held in Foley Square, Manhattan, next to ICE's offices.

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