Councilman appears in court for his arrest at deportation protest

( – Brooklyn City Councilman Jumaane Williams appeared in court Tuesday for his arrest in January while protesting the deportation of immigration activist Ravi Ragbir.

Williams and 16 other people who were arrested Jan. 11 during the protest, which broke out following Ragbir’s detainment, appeared in court in Lower Manhattan.

Manhattan City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez was also arrested that day, and pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in his court appearance Feb. 28.

Judge James Clynes said the two misdemeanor charges — Obstructing Emergency Medical Services and Disorderly Conduct — against the Brooklyn city councilman could be dismissed, as long as he “stays out of trouble.”

But Williams said he will continue to fight for immigrant rights.

“We have to move further. We have to go out of our comfort zone,” Williams said. “Whatever privileges we have, we have to use that. I think I’m privileged to be a citizen, I’m privileged to be an elected official, and I felt it is my duty to use those things to try to push this forward — in particular, the plight of immigrants.”

Williams was released on his own recognizance. The case was adjourned to May 8.

A federal Judge in New Jersey extended Ragbir’s stay in the U.S. until at least March 15.

Ragbir has been fighting deportation to his native country of Trinidad, after he was convicted of wire fraud more than a decade ago.

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