Elizabeth, New Jersey is a hub of U.S. immigration. Tons of South American, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Mexican and Central American immigrants (both legal and illegal) call the city home. Ironically, the Federal Government and the State of New Jersey also plan to launch a federal detention facility nearby.
Some are fighting back. Take a case in point. It is quite possible that Ravi Ragbir will be deported soon. Ragbir, age 46, came to this country from Trinidad more than 20 years ago. He married a U.S. citizen and has a 15-year-old girl, an American citizen as well.
Mr. Ragbir, unfortunately, was convicted of fraud and was sent to jail. Later, he was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement and was detained for two more whole years. Now, almost three years later, he fights to be able to remain in the United States.
Ragbir was lived in Jersey City but now in Brooklyn. He was accompanied by dozens of other protesters and immigrants today for a 12-mile hike from Ellis Island to the Elizabeth immigration detention facility to voice his opposition to the detention process.
“When you are taken into detention you are criminalized,” Ragbir said. “People are judged on what they look like and not what they have done. When you have seen what goes on in a detention facility, you know it is not the right place for immigrants.”
This is an annual protest, which takes place Ash Wednesday coinciding with the commencement of Lent. The March is seen as a way to raise salience in regard to the challenges facing by immigrants and their families.
If you are seeking help with an immigration problem in Elizabeth, New Jersey, call now to speak with a New Jersey Immigration Attorney.