• 66°

Immigration agents arrest man who left NC church after a year

By Jonathan Drew

Associated Press

RALEIGH — An immigrant who sought refuge from deportation in a North Carolina church for 11 months was detained Friday at a scheduled appointment with immigration officials, prompting more than a dozen supporters to block a law enforcement van and wind up under arrest themselves.

Mexican national Samuel Oliver-Bruno, 47, was detained at a Raleigh area immigration office, according to a U.S. Immigration and Customs enforcement news release.

The advocacy group Alerta Migratoria NC said in a statement that 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 U.S. and had exhausted his “extensive” appeals. Oliver-Bruno 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 documents.

Several dozen protesters came to the federal immigration office in Morrisville in hopes of dissuading authorities from arresting Oliver-Bruno. Alerta Migratoria said Oliver-Bruno was detained and put into a van after entering the office, and that supporters were arrested trying to block the van.

The Morrisville Police Department issued a statement saying it was called to the scene because the crowd, though peaceful, refused to allow immigration officers to drive away with Oliver-Bruno. The department said it tried to de-escalate the situation, but demonstrators ignored two orders to disperse before arrests were made.

Online booking records show at least 20 demonstrators were arrested at the immigration office on charges including failure to disperse and resisting officers.

Alerta Migratoria said Oliver-Bruno had filed an application with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services seeking to avoid deportation. The group’s statement said he was asked to come in for a biometric screening as part of the application, and he was aware he had to “risk getting detained.”

Advocates say Oliver-Bruno’s family had “recently faced threats” in his home state of Veracruz, Mexico, where drug cartels are active. They said he fears for his safety if he is deported.

USCIS spokesman Pamela Wilson said the agency generally can’t discuss individual applications for deportation deferment.

Comments

Landis

Landis approves new land development ordinance, zoning map

Landis

Landis approves body camera, stun gun purchase for public safety officers

Crime

One charged, another dead on sheriff’s most wanted list

Crime

No injuries after car shot eight times on Old Concord Road

Education

RSS talks first steps for new federal relief totaling $66 million

China Grove

Gary’s Barbecue staff, customers look back at 50 years

News

Salisbury Lions Club names Person of the Year, Lion of the Year at 78th annual banquet

Education

Student COVID-19 numbers show first decline since plan A

High School

High school golf: Fowler competes in state tournament

News

Amazon announces new distribution center for North Carolina

News

House passes bill to bar Cooper from mandating COVID shot

Coronavirus

Rowan County sees death 302 from COVID-19; Health Department to host final mass vaccine clinic

Ask Us

Ask Us: What happened to work on South Fulton Street home?

Crime

Blotter: Woman says she was shot in hand on Lincolnton Road

Crime

Rowan Sheriff’s Office charges Salisbury man with operating illegal gambling business

Crime

Blotter: Rockwell man arrested on felony drug, breaking and entering charges

Local

Rep. Amber Baker discusses legislative session during Rowan Democrats breakfast meeting

Local

Thousands of locals, out-of-towners gather for a groovy time at annual Hippie Fest

News

N.C. Zoo ready for expansion if lawmakers OK funding

Education

RSS budgeting for tens of millions in federal COVID-19 relief funding

East Spencer

‘Back in full swing’ for the spring: East Spencer community gathers for food, fun and fellowship at Spring Fest

Local

Rowan native Lingle among those honored with NC Military Veterans Hall of Fame induction

Business

Former pro baseball player, Tar Heel standout Russ Adams finds new career with Trident Insured

Education

Profoundly gifted: Salisbury boy finishing high school, associates degree at 12