New Sanctuary Academy Session 2: The Racist History of US Immigration Laws

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ICE is the legacy - not the start - of our racist immigration system.

About this Event

Join New Sanctuary Coalition for the second session of New Sanctuary Academy, our popular education series, as our panelists discuss the racist history of US immigration laws and how our immigration system has used institutional racism to justify systematic violence since its inception.

*Spanish translation and ASL interpretation will be provided*


  • Angelo Guisado, Staff Attorney, Center for Constitutional Rights
  • Ravi Ragbir, Executive Director, New Sanctuary Coalition
  • Sarah Sklaw, PhD Candidate, NYU


  • Kevin Zambrano, NYU Gallitan/Class of 2020

More about our participants


Angelo Guisado is a Staff Attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, where he specializes in government misconduct, racial justice, and immigrants’ rights issues. His practice currently focuses on challenging oppressive state power and the denial of migrants’ rights at the U.S.-Mexico border, including litigating Al Otro Lado v. Nielsen and the Asylum Ban cases. Outside of the courtroom, his advocacy efforts have allowed him to support and collaborate with groups such as No More Deaths, No New Jails, and Migrant Justice.

Prior to coming to the Center for Constitutional Rights, he practiced at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, where he litigated cases in federal and state courts across a broad docket. He is a graduate of the Fordham University School of Law, cum laude, and a former law clerk to the late-Judge Damon J. Keith of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

He has published law review articles on constitutional law in the Nebraska and University of San Francisco Law Reviews, and his missives on a broad array of legal topics can be read in Slate, Jacobin, and Current Affairs. He is available for media requests in English and Spanish, and has contributed to NPR, Al Jazeera, and Telemundo.

Ravi Ragbir is a NYC immigrant rights activist who has helped thousands of people as an organizer and now as the Executive Director of the New Sanctuary Coalition of New York. He works directly with those facing deportation to empower them in struggle to remain in the US. He has trained advocates from various immigrant and allied organizations and many faith-based organizations nationwide on the impact of our immigration policies, on creating sanctuary spaces, and on how to accompany immigrants through the challenging deportation process. Working with these groups Ravi has organized Beyond Your Rights and community forums to educate and train communities to advocate for the individual but more importantly to advocate for a fair and humane immigration policy.

In the last few years Ravi has developed a clinic that brings together immigrants who are facing deportation and with volunteers who assist them in getting ready for their applications, check-ins and court cases. Up to 150 immigrants come to New Sanctuary Coalition weekly to the Pro Se Clinic and up to 50 are accompanied by ministers and other U.S citizens to ensure that immigrant seen by ICE and the courts are treated with dignity and are shown to have strong community support in this struggle.

Ravi has been called to testify before the New York City Council, has presented at both local and national conferences, and provides information on immigration to city and state agencies, and to consulates. He spearheaded the campaign for New York State legislation to confront the situation of children being brought to New York by Immigration and Custom Enforcement and most recently the targeted separation of children from their families.

Sarah Sklaw is a PhD candidate in History at NYU and a volunteer interpreter for New Sanctuary Coalition. Sarah's research focuses on US imperialism in Central America and histories of immigration and exclusion in the US. She was a co-author of Sanctuary Syllabus and organizer with NYU Sanctuary. Her writing has been published in NACLA, The Washington Post, and Public Seminar.


Kevin Zambrano is a senior at NYU Gallatin and a life-long Brooklyn community organizer. Kevin’s concentration is centered on "Ecology, Narrative, and Human Rights,” his research focuses on narrative as a tool for articulating human rights violations, while also exploring the current absence of climate and ecology in the human rights framework. In his time at Gallatin, he has co-founded City Hall Park Alliance, a volunteer led community organization and been the recipient of the Gallatin Undergraduate Initiative for Discovery in Education scholarship.

Art Credit: Thomas Evich (@tommyevich on instagram)

About New Sanctuary Coalition

Founded in 2007, New Sanctuary Coalition (NSC) is a multi-faith immigrant-led organization that creates support systems for and empowers those navigating the immigration system. We do this by bringing together citizen volunteers and immigrants – our Friends – to achieve two primary goals: equip Friends with the knowledge they need to navigate the immigration system and lead the movement, and train and mobilize citizens and faith leaders to support and fight alongside our Friends, advocating for urgently needed changes to the system.

To learn more or to get involved, please visit our website:

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