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UPDATE: Judge Orders ICE to Release Detained Immigration Activist

by Countable | 1.30.18

UPDATE - January 30, 2018: U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest said it was unconstitutional and cruel for authorities to “pluck [detained immigrant rights activist Ravi Ragbir] out of his life without a moment’s notice.”

Forrest ruled Immigration and Customs Enforcement violated Ragbir's due process rights when they detained the Trinidad native during a January 11 check-in with ICE officials.

"It ought not to be - and it has never before been - that those who have lived without incident in this country for years are subjected to treatment we associate with regimes we revile as unjust, regimes where those who have long lived in a country may be taken without notice from streets, home, and work. And sent away,” Forrest said, reading from her seven-page opinion.

In a statement to the Associated Press, ICE said it was:

“Concerned with the tone of the district court’s decision, which equates the difficult work ICE professionals do every day to enforce our immigration laws with ‘treatment we associate with regimes we revile as unjust.'”

The agency is “actively exploring its appellate options.”

Countable's original story appears below.


ICE has Detained or Deported Immigration Activists

What’s the story?

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has detained or deported a number of foreigners who are also immigration activists. Advocates are accusing the Trump administration of improperly targeting political opponents.

Why does it matter?

According to the Washington Post, Seattle Times, and other outlets, ICE has targeted several prominent immigration activists in recent weeks, including Eliseo Jurado in Colorado, Maru Mora Villalpando in Washington state, and Jean Montrevil and Ravi Ragbir in New York.

Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York, the ranking Democrat of the House Judiciary Committee, said that ICE is "trying to intimidate people." He continued:

"These are well-known activists who’ve been here for decades, and they’re saying to them: Don’t raise your head."

Matthew Albence, ICE’S executive associate director for Enforcement and Removal Operations, denied the claims.

"U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement does not target unlawfully present aliens for arrest based on advocacy positions they hold or in retaliation for critical comments they make. Any suggestion to the contrary is irresponsible, speculative and inaccurate," Albence said.

What do you think?

Is the Trump administration improperly targeting political opponents? Is ICE "trying to intimidate people"? Or should activists – given their illegal status – be targeted? Hit Take Action and tell your reps, then comment below.

—Josh Herman

Related Reading

(Photo Credit: Molly Adams via Flickr)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(196)
  • Rob
    01/24/2018
    ···

    I’m so tired of this BS. Most immigrants are hard working family men and women. America used to be a country with empathy and humanity. Where did this go.

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  • Rebecca
    01/24/2018
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    Of course the Trump administration is targeting activists and its political opponents! They’re the first to go when fascists come to power. Don’t believe Trump’s lies that ICE is just going after criminals. It’s clear that they are casting the broadest possible net. How despicable!

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  • UnapologeticallyAmerican
    01/24/2018
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    We are all blessed to live in the greatest country on earth and I can't blame anybody who wants to live here. But we are also a country built on the foundation of the rule of law. Those who choose to enter this country illegally, or to overstay their visa, have knowingly chosen to break the law. Meanwhile, millions of people who have become permanent members of our society through the proper legal channels, they have shown their respect for the rule of law and for the American people. If you love this country you must respect its laws or respect those that keep you safe. ICE officers do not do what they do because they hate what's standing in front of them. They do what they do because they love what is behind them.

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  • Truly
    01/24/2018
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    They are obviously targeting people for political purposes. And for all the “they have broken a law by coming here” folks, let me remind you that trump has broken more laws than any ten illegal immigrants and his party is infamous for ignoring lawbreakers if they are rich and white enough.

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  • Patrick
    01/25/2018
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    Going after activists and people who think differently than you. This is how democracies die. It’s sad the White House and Congress are hastening the downfall of the great American experiment. Representatives that truly care about American values will stop supporting President Draft Dodger and his reign of terror.

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  • J
    01/24/2018
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    Love It!!! Round them up and get them out!!! It’s our country. If you are an activist in the US you should be here legally, if not go home and be an activist from your side of the border! Don’t break our immigration laws and then try to get us to change our policy.

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  • Daniel
    01/25/2018
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    Countable.... Left wing biased site? These DACA "children" are in the 30-40 age group. They run around waving the MEXICAN flag. Time to send them to the country of their loyalties. The sooner, the better!

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  • John
    01/24/2018
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    Another attempt by 45 & his goons to stifle dissent. Most of these people came here as children, brought by parents, and know no other country. Rather than deal with the facts and come up with a sensible and humane program, 45 wants to use his “police state” to intimidate people & squelch opposition. And no, right wingers, most of the people who came to this country did not have visas. They came and stole land from the First Nations before slaughtering them. Or, they came shackled, starved and beaten in the holds of slave ships. So don’t talk about a country founded on laws and morality. Talk about a country trying to be better and more humane than it’s past.

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  • Angel
    01/25/2018
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    The activist from New York was convicted of fraud. I don’t feel any sympathy for him. If they are undocumented and they are detained and deported well... ICE is doing their job. Anyone in the country illegally is subject to deportation. Did you know that if you are caught entering illegally into Mexico once you got two years jail? Twice you get 10 years! You don’t get to cherrypick which laws are ought to be enforced

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  • Mitchell
    01/25/2018
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    Illegal is illegal. We must enforce our laws while also having empathy. Can you imagine illegally entering Canada or any other country to protest the government? Yeah, me neither.

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  • Emily
    01/25/2018
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    Just because someone holds a different view than us does not give us the right to silence them, and that is exactly what is happening here under this administration. Once we do this, America becomes no better than other states who detain journalists and activists not residents of their country for speaking out, such as Turkey, Azerbaijan or China.

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  • Jamil
    01/25/2018
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    No less than I would have done. Once upon a time, being an illegal was something you kept low-key. Now? Deport them all.

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  • Alyssa
    01/24/2018
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    To be in America is a privilege, not a right. Fighting against illegal immigration has nothing to do with ethnicity. Protecting our borders and rules of law has to do with American sovereignty. We are still a nation, despite arguments to the contrary that we should bow to the whims of the “global community”. The condemnation of the world is worth acquiring if it means we are doing the right thing by protecting the citizens of our nation - that is the primary job of Washington, even if the Democrats and select Republican politicians don’t vote like it.

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  • Poli.Sci
    01/24/2018
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    To be honest, this is a wonderful country to be in, but it does have its problems. One of those problems comes from the lack thereof a immigration system and its bureaucratic red tape to get people in. I have no problem with immigrants who take the process seriously, but I do not have ANY empathy or sympathy for those who are illegal. Any country would toss them out, no questions asked, why should we be any different? For those that want to live here yet break the law by being here illegally is actually a slap in the face to the Framers of our country and the beliefs we hold dear to our hearts. If ICE is doing their job, we hear the bad news. If illegal immigration was rampant and we had millions and millions who are here illegally and ICE did nothing, there would be an uproar. Pick your battles and remember this country has LAWS that must be respected and followed, not abused, thwarted, or ignored.

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  • Mark
    01/25/2018
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    They’re here illegally. Round them up and deport them.

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  • Jerry
    01/24/2018
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    This administration is doing all it can , legally and illegally , to make the United States as close to being all white as possible. The GOP is far more dangerous to democracy than illegal immigrants or ISIS for that matter. This nation was built by the sweat and blood of immigrants , slaves and indentured servants . Not by money hungry egotistical whites like Donald Trump. The vast majority of immigrants in this country are hard working people who do many of the jobs that blacks and whites will NOT do. As long as a person is willing to work we should pave a way for them to be tax paying citizens. Trump said he would build a wall and Mexico would pay for it. Let him prove himself to not being a LIAR . No taxpayer money should be spent on a wall. Wonder why his supporters swallowed that lie , hook ,line and sinker then want their hard earned money used to build a wall . Like I said earlier Trump and the GOP are our real enemy NOT immigrants.

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  • Jbev
    01/24/2018
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    The current administration has lost all humanity, not that they had any to begin with.

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  • John
    01/25/2018
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    2nd that opinion. Move em out if they are not legal. Let them protest in there home country. Unless they’ll get locked up there.

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  • RadicalModerate
    01/25/2018
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    The laws of this land are unjust, and the system in place to effect change is broken. What then, should good people do to break free of tyranny? Break the laws.

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  • Robert
    01/24/2018
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    I Say, “Move them Out if they are NOT Here Legally!!” How about You??

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