I didn’t know that church sanctuary was still a thing. In any case, hats off to ICE for finally catching the scofflaw.
An immigrant who sought refuge from deportation in a North Carolina church, staying there for 11 months, was arrested on Friday after arriving at an appointment with immigration officials.
The arrest led to protests and the arrest of some supporters of Samuel Oliver-Bruno, the 47-year-old Mexican national who, according to a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) news release, was detained at a Raleigh-area immigration office.
An advocacy group, Alerta Migratoria NC, said in a statement Oliver-Bruno went to have fingerprints taken so he could apply to stay in North Carolina with his wife and son.
He has been living in CityWell United Methodist Church in Durham since late 2017, to avoid the reach of immigration officers, who generally avoid making arrests at churches and other sensitive locations.
Ice said Oliver-Bruno, who has lived in North Carolina for two decades, had no legal basis to be in the US and had exhausted his “extensive” appeals. In 2014, according to court documents, Oliver-Bruno pleaded guilty to using false documents to try to re-enter the US in Texas.