Deportation stayed for immigration activist Ravi Ragbir

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Ravi Ragbir asked a judge in Newark to allow him to stay in the country pending an appeal to avoid deportation. The judge agreed. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

An activist whose long battle with immigration officials has drawn support from Democratic politicians in New York appeared before a federal judge in a last-ditch attempt to avoid deportation.

Ravi Ragbir is appealing a 2001 criminal conviction for wire fraud that led federal authorities to order him out of the U.S.

Ragbir asked a judge in Newark to allow him to stay in the country pending that appeal. The judge heard arguments on the case Friday.

His legal fight has been supported by members of Congress, New York City's mayor and several city councilmen. Mayor Bill de Blasio posted this message to social media after the decision was announced:
Protesters blocked traffic after authorities detained Ragbir for deportation to Trinidad and Tobago on Jan. 11.

A federal judge ordered him released last week, saying people being deported have a right to say goodbye to loved ones.

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