An illegal alien was busted in North Carolina last week after leaving a church to meet for a scheduled appointment with immigration officials. Samuel Oliver-Bruno, 47, was evidently living for almost a year in the basement of a Methodist church while trying to get his deportation to Mexico delayed. ICE doesn’t make arrests in churches so they waited until he left this one.
Oliver-Bruno was asked to provide his fingerprints to move his petition forward. He was promptly arrested in the USCIS office when he arrived. To be fair, this guy is a convicted criminal and is not some innocent victim here. Clergy from the church formed a human wall around the vehicle taking him to detention, singing “Amazing Grace” and chanting “Let him stay!” Several were arrested. The Hill has more on this misguided intervention:
An undocumented man was arrested in North Carolina on Friday after leaving a church to meet for a scheduled appointment with immigration officials, The News & Observer reported.
Samuel Oliver-Bruno, 47, was living in the basement of Durham’s CityWell United Methodist Church for nearly a year while he petitioned for his deportation to Mexico to be delayed. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement does not make arrests in churches.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services asked Oliver-Bruno to appear in person to provide his fingerprints in order for his petition to be processed. He was then arrested inside the USCIS office, the paper reported.
“Mr. Oliver-Bruno is a convicted criminal who has received all appropriate legal process under federal law, has no outstanding appeals, and has no legal basis to remain in the U.S.,” U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spokesperson Bryan Cox told The News & Observer in a statement.
Faith leaders and church members who had accompanied Oliver-Bruno formed a human wall around the vehicle taking him to detention, singing “Amazing Grace” and chanting “Let him stay!” Several were arrested, according to CNN.
“It was presented as a legitimate appointment but ICE utilized due process as bait,” Cleve May, a pastor at the church, told CNN. “So we went to the appointment with him, to offer protection, knowing that ICE could not be trusted. We were thinking we would be in and out in 30 minutes.”
“Samuel’s sudden and inappropriate arrest in the middle of the Thanksgiving season reflects the callous and cruel approach we’ve come to expect from the Trump administration. As Members of Congress representing the Durham community, we will continue to do everything in our power to keep the Oliver-Bruno family together,” they said.
“In a call with us this afternoon, ICE has committed to allow Mr. Oliver-Bruno to remain in the U.S. in detention while his case is adjudicated. While this means he will not be immediately deported, we remain committed to fighting for his release.”
Oliver-Bruno was arrested in El Paso, Texas, in 2014 after using a Texas birth certificate to enter the U.S., according to CNN. He lived for 11 months in sanctuary at the Durham church, where he helped with renovations, including a bedroom and shower after CityWell agreed to take him in the facility.
Oliver-Bruno said he feared he will be deported, leaving behind his son and wife, who has lupus and depends on her husband financially, the News & Observer reported.
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