Ask a Reporter is an occasional series about civic engagement in and around the city. Do you have a question about how you can make a difference in your neighborhood, city or state? What about voting, the elections or navigating civic life in New York? Ask us! We want to help you get involved by answering your questions.
Q: How can I become civically engaged without risking my immigration status?
A: “So it depends on what you mean by status,” said Ravi Ragbir as he reclined on a sofa in the Greenwich Village offices of the New Sanctuary Coalition, where he serves as executive director.
Since his arrest in January after a routine check-in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the subsequent clashes between his supporters and police, Ragbir has become one of the most well-known immigrant activists in America. Originally from Trinidad, he’s still fighting deportation in two federal courts. We figured he’d know as well as anyone how an immigrant can become civically engaged without putting themselves at risk.