Activists are outraged after another undocumented immigrant was arrested attempting to meet at the U.S. Immigration Office. The 47-year-old immigrant from Mexico had reportedly been living in a North Carolina Church for over a year before taking recent steps to gain legal citizenship.
According to initial reports, Samuel Oliver-Bruno has been living inside the basement of the North Carolina CityWell United Methodist Church since the tail-end of 2017. Many community members appeared to have befriended the man, and they eventually convinced him to seek citizenship the right way rather than hide in the sanctuary church.
The suspect’s 19-year-old son, immigration attorneys, members of the community and several clergy members went with Oliver-Bruno to the U.S. Immigration office where he submitted a petition for deferred action. Oliver-Bruno was returning to the office to complete necessary background and biometrics check when suddenly dozens of ICE agents in plain clothing surrounded him. The agents coerced the man to the back of the building where a van was waiting to transport him into police custody.
Oliver-Bruno’s crowd of supporters had been waiting for him outside of the office when they witnessed what was happening. Several individuals rushed to the back of the building and attempted to block the van from going forward. Eventually, the Morrisville Police Department responded to the demonstrators. They warned the group that they needed to disperse or face criminal charges. About 27 people, including the Pastor at CityWell, Cleve May, were arrested for failing to comply with police orders.
Oliver-Bruno was also taken into custody. One ICE spokesman told media outlets that the suspect is a convicted criminal who has “no legal basis to remain in the U.S.” After researching Oliver-Bruno’s history, it’s become apparent that he was arrested attempting to illegally enter into the U.S. back in 2014. He moved to the church last year when ICE agents told him they would be seeking to deport him from the country. He knew that ICE would not arrest him at the church, so he attempted to seek asylum there despite knowing he was not in the country legally.