An undocumented man, who lived for nearly a year in a sanctuary church, was arrested on Nov. 23 when he went to talk to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in Morrisville, North Carolina.
Samuel Oliver-Bruno lived in the basement of CityWell United Methodist Church for 11 months while he petitioned to have his deportation to Mexico delayed, notes The News & Observer.
USCIS asked Oliver-Bruno to provide fingerprints, a part of his petition, according to a news release from Alerta Migratoria, an immigrants rights advocacy organization.
Faith leaders, family members and other supporters went with Oliver-Bruno to the USCIS office in Durham where he was tackled inside and arrested.
ICE spokesperson Bryan Cox provided a statement in an email to The News & Observer:
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.
USCIS spokesperson Michael Bars issued a generic statement:
USCIS is committed to adjudicating all petitions, applications and requests fairly, efficiently, and effectively on a case-by-case basis to determine if they meet all standards required under applicable law, policies, and regulations.
It appears ICE has acted in concert with officials at USCIS, who instructed Mr. Oliver-Bruno to appear at local USCIS offices to discuss his deferred deportation.
He was then apprehended by plainclothes ICE agents upon entering the building. At best, Mr. Oliver-Bruno was presented with a catch-22 dilemma; at worst, he was entrapped. It’s clear that while Mr. Oliver-Bruno was attempting to follow the law in pursuit of his legal petition, ICE coordinated with USCIS to target him upon his leaving the City Well United Methodist Church.
ICE has reportedly agreed to keep Oliver-Bruno in a detention center until his case his heard.
(Source: The News & Observer)