United Methodists were among more than two dozen people arrested Friday, Nov. 23, while trying to block the removal of an unauthorized immigrant who had taken sanctuary in City Well UMC in Durham.
Samuel Oliver-Bruno, 47, had taken refuge in the church for 11 months while applying to remain in the United States to care for his ill wife, Julia.
He left the church Nov. 23 to meet with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in Morrisville, for an appointment as part of his application to delay his deportation to Mexico. Less than half an hour after he walked into the Morrisville offices, ICE agents arrested him. United Methodists, including members of CityWell, and other community members formed a human wall around the van taking Oliver-Bruno to detention and refused to leave. Morrisville police arrested 27 people who were blocking the vehicle’s path.
Oliver-Bruno has been transported to a detention facility in Georgia and in less than a day of his arrival there, his appeal to defer his deportation was denied.
There will be a vigil at 7 p.m. tonight, Tuesday, Nov. 27 at the Cary ICE Office in support of Samuel Oliver-Bruno and his family.