Immigrant deported after seeking refuge in N Carolina church

A Mexican immigrant who sought refuge in a North Carolina church for nearly a year was deported Thursday, federal authorities said.

Samuel Oliver-Bruno, 47, was removed from the U.S. and taken to Mexico at 8:45 p.m., said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Bryan Cox.

Oliver-Bruno was arrested Nov. 23 at an immigration office near Raleigh after he left the church to have his fingerprints taken as part of an application to stay in the U.S. to financially support his son and ailing wife. His application to stay in the U.S. was denied earlier this week. He had been living in the Durham church since late 2017 to avoid immigration officers, who generally don’t make arrests in churches and other sensitive locations.

Plainclothes officers detained him when he entered the Morrisville office of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services last week. Outside the office, more than two dozen of his supporters were arrested on misdemeanor charges including resisting officers after some blocked the van being used to drive Oliver-Bruno away.

ICE previously said Oliver-Bruno, who has lived in the U.S. for two decades, had no legal basis to be in the country. He pleaded guilty in 2014 to using false documents to try to re-enter the U.S. in Texas after a trip outside the country, according to court records.

Since his arrest, dozens have held rallies and organized a campaign to lobby elected officials and the federal government to reverse their decision. Democratic U.S. Reps. David Price and G.K. Butterfield, both of North Carolina, had urged Homeland Security to release him, calling his treatment unacceptable.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.