In a strongly-worded ruling that condemned the Trump administration’s immigration policies, a federal judge ordered that immigrant rights activist Ravi Ragbir be released from jail on Monday, more than two weeks after he was abruptly detained during a routine check-in with immigration officials.
“There is, and ought to be in this great country, the freedom to say goodbye,” Judge Katherine Forrest said in a New York courtroom. “It ought not 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.”
The judge’s statement drew attention from supporters on social media.
Forrest argued that Ragbir was denied his due process rights when he was detained by an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) official on January 11.
While immigration law allowed Ragbir’s arrest, Forrest argued, his Fifth Amendment rights should be seen as “North Stars that must guide our actions.”
Ragbir came to the U.S. from his native Trinidad and Tobago in 1991 and got a green card in 1994. He co-founded the New Sanctuary Coalition, which works to protect immigrants from deportation and detention.
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