This Nation article explains why the center-left has been so flummoxed over the last week by the arrest of Trinidadian con man Ravi Ragbir after twelve years of his publicly flouting his deportation order for being convicted on seven counts of wire fraud: the Obama Administration felt that rule of law did not apply to leftist activist celebrities because they were … leftist activist celebrities.
From The Nation:
Under Trump, nowhere is safe for undocumented immigrants—not in the shadows and not in the spotlight.
By Julianne Hing TODAY 11:38 AM
The logic may seem backward, but it worked. For years, being publicly out and outspoken as an undocumented person could serve as a kind of shield.
… During the Obama years, an undocumented person nabbed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement could rally their community around them, involve lawmakers in their campaigns, and shame the federal government into approving their release. Under President Barack Obama, this kind of righteous truth-telling was a powerful tool.
Under President Donald Trump, ICE now appears determined to put those years behind it. Increasingly, ICE seems intent on proving that there is no safety for undocumented immigrants anywhere—not in the shadows and not in the spotlight.
This week, longtime New York immigrant-rights activist Jean Montrevil, who had lived in the US for 31 years and was arrested just a week prior, was deported to Haiti. On Thursday, Ravi Ragbir, a leader alongside Montrevil with New York City’s New Sanctuary Movement, was transferred back to the New York area from Miami after ICE took him into custody during a check-in on January 11. Ragbir, like Montrevil, has been fighting a deportation order pegged to old criminal convictions, and has been an outspoken leader in New York City for immigrants in similar situations.
… On Tuesday, the longtime Seattle-based immigrant-rights activist Maru Mora Villalpando went public with details of ICE’s enforcement against her. On December 20 she received in the mail what’s known as a notice to appear. This document, sent by the Department of Homeland Security, signals the beginning of deportation proceedings that the federal government intends to pursue against Mora Villalpando.
“This is the first time I’ve ever heard from immigration,” Mora Villalpando told The Nation.
Indeed.[Comment at Unz.com]