Kirsters Baish| Two high profile activists have been detained/deported by the Trump administration due to their illegal status in the United States. It was reported by the Daily Caller that Ravidath Ragbir and Jean Montrevil, who are both prominent figures in the pro-illegal immigration group called New Sanctuary Coalition of New York City, were picked up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement following years of being granted the privilege to stay in the United States at the discretion of federal officials. Both have been convicted of serious crimes in the past.
Ragnir is the executive director of New Sanctuary. He was checking in at the ICE office in New York City when agents detained him. He had come to the United States from Trinidad and Tobago illegally in 1991. In the year 2000, he was convicted of wire fraud. He was cited a deportation order in 2006, however in 2001 ICE officials in New York City allowed him a reprieve of deportation. This reprieve was extended all the way until April of 2017. ICE officials explained to Ragbir that the reprieve would not be extended any further than that. His fate is now in the hands of the judge.
Just a week after Ragbir was detained, Haitian national Jean Montrevil (a co-founder of New Sanctuary) was also deported after being taken into custody earlier this month. He had come to our country in 1986. He served time in jail on a drug possession charge and was in the process of appealing a deportation order.
It was reported by the Intercept that Montrevil’s lawyer claimed his client “believed that he had reached an understanding with ICE officials.”
Members of the activist community have claimed that these arrests were targeted acts by the Trump administration.
Policy director for Detention Watch Network, an immigrant rights activist group, Mary Small, spoke to the New York Times. Small claimed, “It seems really clear to us that this is an escalation of retaliation, not just against individual rights leaders, but against the right of the movement to exist.”
I don’t see this as “retaliation” or “escalation.” ICE simply feels ready to go after activists in addition to everyday illegal immigrants at this point in time.
Both Ragbir and Montrevil were not in control of criminal empires, however they did support activism on behalf of millions of illegal immigrants.
Conservative Tribune reported:
This isn’t agenda-driven policing. It isn’t using the power of law enforcement to silence critics of the administration who’ve done nothing wrong. Mr. Montrevil and Mr. Ragbir made themselves targets. Not only did they violate the law, they brought attention upon themselves for doing so. They tried to invite sympathy upon themselves, essentially, for being convicts who had to face the consequences of those convictions.
Montrevil served five years in prison and was sentenced to 11 (indicative of a case of drug possession that was far more serious than just getting caught with a bag of cocaine, no matter how activists wish to spin it). In fact, he was set to be deported under the Obama administration in 2010, but a fellow detainee with a fever delayed his removal, and then an earthquake in the intervening days made it impossible, according to The New York Times.
Meanwhile, Ragbir spent time in prison on a $400,000 embezzlement scheme and has obtained several stays of deportation since, seemingly hiding behind his quasi-celebrity in the “Democracy Now!”-viewership community. Indeed, Ragbir’s wife Amy Gottlieb wrote a piece for The New York Times published Thursday that was all-too-subtly titled “ICE Detained My Husband for Being an Activist.”
Gottlieb waited to mention that her husband was being deported due to his having committed a crime. She almost seemed to brush it under the carpet. She stated that the crime happened 18 years ago while she skated over the fact that Ragbir has been granted multiple stays in the United States by federal officials.
The Trump administration is ready to make a point, and they are willing to do whatever they have to in order to make this point clear. We will not be tolerating illegal immigrants swarming our country. It’s time to put an end to the influx of criminal illegal aliens in the United States.