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Following high-profile raids in major cities, tensions between communities and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have reached new highs. This can be seen in Nashville where neighbors formed a human chain to protect a member of their community from ICE agents.
The man and his son were in their van Monday morning when they were blocked in by ICE agents, local news reports. Over the next few hours, community members brought the man and his son water, gasoline, food and other supplies until four hours into the siege the neighbors formed a human chain to shield him and his son as they entered their home. Deterred, ICE left.
After the event, neighbors again formed a chain to help ensure the family safely made it to their car.
“We made sure they had water, they had food, we put gas back in the vehicle when they were getting low just to make sure they were okay,” neighbor Felishadae Young said. “I know they’re gonna come back, and when they come back, we’re coming back.”
ICE had an administrative warrant which only allows them to apprehend someone out in the open. This means agents cannot use that kind of warrant to enter a person’s home or vehicle to detain them. The limited scope of administrative warrants was an essential part of the “Know Your Rights” campaign in recent weeks following the announcement of high-profile raids on ten cities. That campaign included Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) using his presidential campaign’s resources to inform potential targets of their rights dealing with ICE.
But ICE has used dubious tactics to get around this limitation.
“There were two immigration officials sort of bullying a family inside of their own vehicle, telling them that they had an administrative warrant, which isn’t the same thing as a judicial warrant, and trying to harass them and fear them into coming out,” Daniel Ayoadeyoon, a local lawyer at the scene, told reporters. “They were saying, if you don’t come out, we’re going to arrest you, we’re going to arrest your 12-year-old son, and that’s just not legal, it’s not the right law.”
ICE attempted to get local police to assist in service of their detention warrant, but local police did not engage on ICE’s behalf — they simply remained on the scene in case the situation escalated.
“I am keenly aware that this type of activity by our federal government stokes fear and distrust in our most vulnerable communities, which is why we do not use our local resources to enforce ICE orders,” Nashville mayor David Briley (Nonpartisan) said in a statement. “I will continue to work with local advocacy organizations like [the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition] to make sure residents know their rights and that support and resources are available for undocumented immigrants should the need arise.”
Videos of the event quickly made the rounds on social media Monday.
(Featured image: Nashville Noticias/Facebook)
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