NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A high-profile Brooklyn immigration activist facing deportation got back Wednesday from seeing the man he blames for his troubles – President Donald Trump.
WCBS 880’s Ethan Harp spoke with Ragbir at a rally Wednesday afternoon.
Ragbir and his wife, Amy Gottlieb, were invited to watch the State of the Union address in person.
“It was really difficult to sit there and listen to those words,” Ragbir said.
Ragbir and his wife said they did not buy the president’s tone of compassion, after Ragbir was arrested during a routine Immigration and Customs Enforcement check a few weeks ago.
“We went there not to listen to him, but as a form of defiance,” Ragbir said.
On the steps of City Hall Wednesday, city Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez (D-10th) was among several city lawmakers demanding Ragbir’s freedom. Rodriguez was arrested at a protest for Ragbir a few weeks ago.
“This movement is more than Ravi,” Rodriguez said. “We are fighting for our nation. We’re fighting for America. This is a nation of immigrants.”
Ragbir was ordered freed from jail Monday by a federal judge. But he told WCBS 880’s Steve Scott on Tuesday that his troubles were far from over.
“Even though I’m out here with my family, my wife Amy, and speaking to you, they told me I have to go back to them on Saturday, February 10, to be deported,” Ragbir said. “So the noose has not loosened around my neck, and it is still the same intensity; the same anxiety – not only myself, but everyone is feeling around me.”
ICE agents took Ragbir into custody on Jan. 11 during what was supposed to be a routine check-in. His detention sparked a large protest, which ended with the arrest of Councilman Rodriguez, as well as Councilman Jumaane Williams (D-45th).
Ragbir’s legal status in the country was stripped away in 2006, because of a past conviction.
ICE said Ragbir’s case has been reviewed extensively for more than a decade and he has exhausted his appeals.