Saturday, July 20, 2024

Neighbors form a human barricade to protect dad from being deported

A group of sympathetic Tennessee neighbors mobilized yesterday to form a human barricade to successfully protect a father from arrest by two Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

Neighbors in Nashville first brought food, water and gas to the unidentified man and his 12-year-old son, who were holed up for about four hours in the family van after it was blocked in their driveway by the ICE agents, who witnesses said were not in uniform. “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 OK,” neighbor Felishadae Young told News Channel 5 in Nashville.

The neighbors then created a human chain blocking the agents as the father and son rushed inside their home. “I could see if these people were bad criminals, but they’re not,” said another neighbor, Stacey Farley. “They’re just trying to provide for their kids, they work every day, they come home, the kids jump on their trampoline. It’s just a community.”

The ICE agents could have used their administrative warrant to detain the father on the street, but the warrant doesn’t allow officers to forcibly remove anyone from a vehicle or home. Nashville lawyer Daniel Ayoade Yoon said that the immigration officers were “bullying” the man and his son inside their van, “trying to harass them … into coming out.”

The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department issued a statement yesterday saying ICE was trying to issue a detainer for just the father. Nashville police officers were on the scene to keep the peace but offered no assistance to the ICE agents.

The man and his son later left their home in another car, while neighbors vowed to return if the ICE agents come back. Mayor David Briley said “this type” of ICE activity “stokes fear and distrust in our most vulnerable communities, which is why we do not use our local resources to enforce ICE orders.”