Illegal alien who took 'sanctuary' in a church arrested by ICE when he left

A North Carolina illegal alien who had taken "sanctuary" in a local church was arrested by ICE agents when he arrived at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office where he was seeking to defer his deportation.

Samuel Oliver-Bruno was in the US illegally for 22 years. He was detained at the border last year after he returned from a trip to Mexico. He was released pending a hearing, which is when he began living in the church.

Following his arrest, there were demonstrations at the USCIS offices, where dozens of people were taken into custody.

During Oliver-Bruno's arrest, there was a scuffle involving his son and several ICE agents.


"Samuel’s sudden and inappropriate arrest in the middle of the Thanksgiving season reflects the callous and cruel approach we’ve come to expect from the Trump administration," the Democratic Congressmen said in their statement. "As Members of Congress representing the Durham community, we will continue to do everything in our power to keep the Oliver-Bruno family together."

May said he knew it was possible for ICE officials to arrest Oliver-Bruno at the USCIS appointment, an appointment that an ICE spokesman said would have been made at his request.

Oliver-Bruno was trying to go through the process to become a legal resident.

“This was a bait-and-switch,” May said. “A legal process was put into place that was used as the bait to pull Samuel out of sanctuary.”

Outside the USCIS building, he and other protesters formed a human wall around the van Oliver-Bruno was placed in, keeping him and officials from leaving for about two hours.

"I hope the world sees this," May said. "They're choosing to show exactly how dehumanizing their agency is. They're choosing to engage in tactics that are devious, to say it lightly."

May and 25 other protesters were arrested and charged with failing to disperse on command. Many of the protesters were members of CityWell.

One might gently inquire as to why Oliver-Bruno did not apply to become a legal resident sooner. Twenty two years is a long time to be in violation of the law, and if he had bothered to go through the process of becoming a legal resident sooner, he never would have had to take refuge in a church and never have been subject to arrest.

The notion of "sanctuary" is silly. It might have been recognized during Medievil times, but there's no such thing in modern America. ICE won't arrest anyone in a church, school, or hospital largely because of the bad PR that would ensue.

Oliver-Bruno's story is a tragedy. But what was ICE supposed to do, let it slide? Fail to enforce the law that they have sworn to uphold? All of this wailing and gnashing of teeth by the virtue signallers and moral posturers fails to mention the only salient point; Oliver-Bruno was in violation of the law and it was the job of federal immigration officials to enforce it.

If you believe it to be a bad law, the remedy is to change it. If advocates for illegal aliens spent one tenth the energy they expend in calling ICE and Trump names in trying to change the law, they might have my sympathy. 

ICE did absolutely nothing wrong. Advocates for Mr. Oliver-Bruno should accept that fact and, like anyone else, work to change the law according to their own lights.

If you experience technical problems, please write to