News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Friday, Feb. 22, 2019: A Caribbean-born immigration advocate, who has had his own run in with the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, has dubbed the body “rogue.”
Trinidad-born Ravi Ragbir, executive director of the New Sanctuary Coalition, who was arrested and detained by ICE and is fighting deportation from US, says: “ICE is a rogue agency that targets vulnerable communities for raids and deportation ignoring New York City’s support for its immigrant population.”
His comments come in ‘The Demographics of Detention,’ a new report from New York City Comptroller, Scott Stringer, on ICE’s increased enforcement across the Big Apple.
Ragbir insists that “people of faith (must) stand with immigrants as they fight to stay here with their loved ones.”
In the same report Caribbean-born Congressman, Adriano Espaillat, insists that “ICE has strayed too far from its original mission and has been allowed to function with little to no oversight during the Trump administration as the agency carries out the President’s continuous attacks on immigrant communities.”
“It remains critical that we continue our efforts to ensure protections and immigrant rights, especially for individuals and families seeking asylum here in America,” Congressman Espaillat added.
Stringer is demanding greater protections for the families suffering from the draconian rise in ICE activity in the City under the Trump Administration – an increase that is more profound in New York than virtually all other major cities in the US.
The report from Stringer shows that deportations in NYC have soared 150 percent since Trump came to office and there has been a 265 percent jump in deportations of immigrants in the city with no prior criminal convictions – the largest increase of any major city in the country.
Overall ICE arrests in NYC are up 88 percent, the third highest increase of any major city in U.S., with Queens now home to half of all immigration court proceedings in NYC
Immigrants from China account for 20 percent of all immigration court cases in NYC. Indian immigrants account for the second largest percentage followed by immigrants from the Latin American nations of Guatemala, Ecuador, Mexico, Honduras and El Salvador. The Dominican Republic accounts for the highest number of Caribbean immigrants with 750 involved in immigration court proceedings.
Stringer is calling on other city and state officials to support universal legal representation, ban ICE from in and around courthouses and help detained immigrants afford bond payments.