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Judge who freed detained immigrant raises targeting issue

January 30, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) — A federal judge who ordered a detained immigration rights activist facing deportation to be immediately released is raising “grave concern” over the argument that he had been targeted because of his political activities.

U.S. District Judge Katherine B. Forrest ruled that Ravi Ragbir be freed after a hearing on Monday in Manhattan federal court. The activist had been detained since Jan. 11. He’s been fighting deportation following a wire fraud conviction and is executive director a coalition of faith-based groups.

Concern over activism-based targeting by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement also has been expressed in recent weeks by immigrants and their advocates over Ragbir’s and others’ cases.

ICE says it doesn’t target anyone “based on advocacy positions they hold or in retaliation for critical comments they make.”

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