Protest erupts after ICE arrests man who had lived in sanctuary at church

Protest erupts after ICE arrests man who had lived in sanctuary at church
Posted at 11:33 AM, Nov 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-24 07:00:51-05

MORRISVILLE, NC (WNCN/CNN) - Protesters in North Carolina confronted an Immigration and Customs Enforcement van planning to take an undocumented immigrant into custody on Friday.

Inside was Samuel Oliver-Bruno, who was arrested earlier in the morning.

He came to an immigration office in Morrisville, situated between Raleigh and Chapel Hill, with his family for fingerprinting as he sought a path to stay in the U.S.

For almost a year, he's lived in sanctuary at a church in Durham.

ICE took him into custody soon after his appointment in Morrisville.

"They had tackled him like he was not a human being, just like used brute force to arrest him,” said a protester, Ismael Patino.

The sheriff's office also charged his son with assault, saying he jumped on an ICE agent and put the agent in a headlock.

Outside, protesters tried to stop ICE from taking Oliver-Bruno.

Police warned them to move, then minutes later began arresting people.

"He's an unbelievable human being that cares for his family,” another protester, Dave Swanson, said of Oliver-Bruno.

Police arrested more than two dozen protesters, including the pastor from Oliver-Bruno’s church.

Pastor Cleve May of Citywell United Methodist Church said he was protesting “because Samuel is my friend.”

"Because he's a father. Because he's a husband. He's my brother in Christ,” he added.

A spokesman for ICE said Oliver-Bruno was convicted in 2014 of coming into the country illegally from Mexico using fraudulent identification documents.

He had no further appeal.

"This is wrong. And, ICE knows it. And, our members of Congress know it,” said Viridiana Martinez, an activist.

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