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Thread: Article: The Evolving Rights Of Deportable Immigrants As Seen In The Case Of Ravi Ragbir By Cyrus D. Mehta

  1. #1

    Article: The Evolving Rights Of Deportable Immigrants As Seen In The Case Of Ravi Ragbir By Cyrus D. Mehta




    The Evolving Rights Of Deportable Immigrants As Seen In The Case Of Ravi Ragbir

    by






    Foreign nationals with removal orders are in an extremely vulnerable
    situation. Even if they are asked to report on a regular basis under an
    order of supervision, there is no guarantee that a whimsical ICE officer
    the next they show up to an interview may decide to apprehend this person
    with handcuffs and expel them from the country. ICE may also decide to make
    a pre-dawn arrest of an undocumented person at home in front of family
    members
    href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/10/opinion/sunday/syed-jamal-ice-deportation.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fopinion&action=click&contentCollection=opinion&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=3&pgtype=sectionfront"
    >
    including children

    , arrest those who are attempting to
    href="https://www.aclu.org/blog/immigrants-rights/immigrants-rights-and-detention/mother-two-goes-immigration-interview-and"
    >
    regularize this status

    , or even
    href="https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/when-a-day-in-court-is-a-trap-for-immigrants"
    >
    victims of domestic violence

    seeking to escape their abusers.



    Or if this person is an activist protesting against ICE’s tactics and
    fighting for the rights of immigrants, ICE could retaliate by arresting him
    or her with the goal of removing this so called “irritant” from the United
    States. Indeed, no one appears to be beyond the reach of ICE’s heavy
    handedness in the Trump era.



    At issue is whether a removable person has been allowed to stay in the US,
    and regularly report to ICE, can this person one day be suddenly
    apprehended without the chance to say goodbye to his family?



    This was the very issue raised in

    Ragbir v. Sessions

    before Judge Katherine B. Forrest in a petition for habeas corpus in the
    United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Ravi
    Ragbir has lived in the US for over 25 years, but in the last ten years was
    subject to a final order of removal based on a deportable criminal
    conviction. Because of his special contributions to the community as the
    Executive Director of New Sanctuary Coalition of New York City, ICE until
    recently allowed him to remain in the US with his citizen wife and
    daughter, granting him an order of supervision and four administrative
    stays of removal. On January 11, 2018, however, while the administrative
    stay was still in place, ICE suddenly and inexplicably detained him during
    a routine check in.



    Mr. Ragbir’s petition for habeas corpus was granted. The decision in Ragbir v. Sessions is astounding as it acknowledged the right of a
    removable person to say goodbye to loved ones and leave in an orderly and
    dignified fashion, especially one who did not pose a flight risk, was not a
    danger to the community and who was routinely checking in with ICE. The
    Court wrote that “[i]t 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.”



    Although the Court’s decision granting the habeas corpus petition was thin
    on legal authority, it broadly relied on the Fifth Amendment’s liberty and
    due process guarantees. “In such circumstances, the Fifth Amendment’s
    liberty and due process guarantees are North Stars that must guide our
    actions,” the Court eloquently stated. Although Mr. Ragbir had a final
    order of removal, “his interest in due process, required that we not pluck
    him out of his life without a moment’s notice, remove him form his family
    and community without a moment’s notice.” He should have at the very
    minimum been given to understand that he must organize his affairs and
    leave by a due date.



    As this victory was being celebrated, Mr. Ragbir was still required to
    report to ICE for removal on February 10, 2018. This would have possibly
    been in compliance with Judge Forrest’s order that he be asked to leave by
    a due date in an orderly fashion rather than suddenly arrested and
    separated from his family. However, Mr. Ragbir, together with New Sanctuary
    Coalition of New York City, CASA de Maryland, Detention Watch Network, the
    National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, and the New
    York Immigration Coalition filed suit on February 9, 2018,
    href="https://dlbjbjzgnk95t.cloudfront.net/1011000/1011176/ravi-ragbir-and-immigrant-groups-lawsuit-against.pdf"
    >
    Ragbir v. Homan

    , in the Southern District of New York to challenge the recent targeting of
    immigrant rights activists by federal immigration officials. The government
    has agreed to stay Mr. Ragbir’s deportation temporarily pending further
    briefing in this action. The lawsuit seeks, among other forms of relief, a
    preliminary and permanent injunction restraining the government from taking
    further action to effectuate a deportation order against Mr. Ragbir, while
    also seeking a preliminary and permanent injunction restraining the
    government from selectively enforcing immigration laws against individuals
    based on protected political speech.



    It is hoped that Mr. Ragbir’s case will shine the torch on the draconian
    impact of deportation on the individual and the family that is left behind
    in the US. There have been far too many instances where removable persons
    have been suddenly and abruptly plucked from their families without giving
    them a chance to leave in an orderly and dignified fashion, or to consider
    allowing them to remain while they collaterally challenge their deportation
    orders or seek to reopen them. And as was done under the President Obama
    administration, allow such people to remain in the US if they have family
    members and have lived a life without incident apart from the ground that
    caused their deportation order. It is important for all of us to examine
    our collective morality when the government preys upon the most vulnerable
    populations among us.



    As early as 1945, the Supreme Court in

    Bridges v. Wixon

    held:



    Though deportation is not technically a criminal proceeding, it visits a
    great hardship on the individual, and deprives him of the right to stay and
    live and work in this land of freedom. That deportation is a penalty — at
    times, a most serious one — cannot be doubted. Meticulous care must be
    exercised lest the procedure by which he is deprived of that liberty not
    meet the essential standards of fairness.



    Under our immigration system, people may be removed for a number of
    reasons. In Mr. Ragbir’s case, although he was a lawful permanent resident,
    his order of deportation was based upon a felony conviction for wire fraud
    in 2001. Mr. Ragbir paid his dues for that conviction under the criminal
    justice system. If Mr. Ragbir had been a citizen, he would not have been in
    this predicament. But because of his non-citizen status, he was also put in
    removal proceedings and thus was punished further for his criminal
    conviction even though as a citizen he would not be. A deportation
    proceeding is a civil proceeding, and the purpose is to remove the
    non-citizen rather than to punish, and yet it ironically results in a far
    greater punishment than the criminal proceeding.



    Others are removed simply for not being in lawful status. It is a
    href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/28/opinion/immigrations-border-enforcement-myth.html"
    >
    myth that undocumented immigration can be controlled or eliminated

    . Indeed, undocumented immigration is an inexorable outcome of restrictive
    immigration policy, a situation bound to worsen under the Trump
    Administration’s proposals to severely limit legal pathways. No matter how
    many more ICE agents that the Trump administration may add to enforce
    immigration law, there will always be undocumented immigrants who will
    desperately try to stay in the US to be with loved ones.



    If ICE enforces the law harshly and egregiously, they will be even less
    effective as law suits like Mr. Ragbir has filed will push them back, as we
    have already begun to see in courts in
    href="http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ice-detainer-lawsuit-20180209-story.html?outputType=amp&__twitter_impression=true"
    >
    Southern California

    and
    href="https://nypost.com/2018/02/03/deportation-of-indonesian-christians-halted-by-judge/"
    >
    New Jersey

    . Judge André Birotte in Los Angeles, ruling on the unconstitutionality of
    ICE detainers (requests to local law enforcement to detain an individual
    for an additional 48 hours so ICE may decide whether or not to place the
    individual into removal proceedings),
    href="https://www.aclusocal.org/sites/default/files/aclu_socal_roy_20180208_order_re_msjs.pdf"
    >
    wrote

    “The LASD [Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department] officers have no
    authority to arrest individuals for civil immigration offenses, and thus,
    detaining individuals beyond their date for release violated the
    individuals’ Fourth Amendment rights.” Judge Esther Salas in New Jersey
    temporarily halted the deportation of Indonesian Christians with “
    href="https://www.aclu-nj.org/files/3015/1761/8636/Pangemanan_ruling.pdf"
    >
    administratively final orders of removal predating 2009 and were
    subject to an order of supervision

    ,” pending further adjudication of their claims. As the ACLU has argued, “
    href="https://www.aclu.org/news/judge-temporarily-halts-deportation-indonesian-christians-response-aclu-nj-and-aclu-suit"
    >
    This case involves life-and-death stakes and we are simply asking that
    these longtime residents be given opportunity to show that they are
    entitled to remain here

    .”



    No amount of cruel and egregious enforcement measures can eliminate
    undocumented immigration. Rather, having sensible immigration laws that
    allow foreign nationals to more easily legalize their status will be more
    effective in solving the undocumented immigration problem in America, and
    would be more consistent with its values. This would be a better way to
    deal with the issue rather than to cruelly pluck people away from their
    families in violation of their rights and liberties enshrined in the
    Constitution.



    This post originally appeared on The Insightful Immigration Blog.






    About The Author







    Cyrus D. MehtaCyrus D. Mehta is the Founder and Managing Partner of Cyrus D. Mehta & Partners PLLC. He is a prolific speaker and writer on contemporary immigration topics. He graduated with law degrees from Cambridge University and Columbia Law School.






    The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of
    ILW.COM
    .



  2. #2
    Cyrus, you can say that it is harsh and egregious to deport an alien who is subject to a final order of deportation, but that doesn't make much sense. Whether their orders are based on unlawful presence or a conviction for murdering a group of nuns, if an immigration judge has issued a deportation order against them, ICE is supposed to deport them.

    I think this is a be careful what you wish for situation. If the courts make it burdensome to deport an alien with a final order of deportation who has been released, ICE can stop releasing them...subject of course to the limit the Supreme Court has set on detaining a deportable alien.

    Nolan Rappaport

    If ICE

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