HERMITAGE, Tenn. — An Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent tried to bring a man in Tennessee into custody, but neighbors formed a human chain to allow the man and his son to get home.
It happened Monday morning in Hermitage, WTVF reported. The man had entered into his van with his son when an ICE vehicle blocked him in.
Over the next few hours, neighbors came out to support their neighbor, bringing water, gas and wet rags so they could stay in their van.
“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 said.
Eventually, after about four hours, the neighbors created a chain to allow the father and son to run into their home. They were able to do so and ICE left.
The ICE agent had an administrative warrant. While that allows ICE to detain someone, it doesn’t allow it to forcibly remove someone from their home or vehicle.
“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,” said Daniel Ayoadeyoon, a local lawyer who came to the scene to help.
“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.”
There were Metro Nashville police officers at the scene, but they were not trying to assist in the arrest, but there to have a presence after being called by ICE.
Several people near the vehicle broadcasted on Facebook Live during the event.
Neighbors said while ICE had left, they believe they will be back, and if they do return, the neighbors said they plan to again do everything in their power to support their neighbors.
“I know they’re gonna come back, and when they come back, we’re coming back,” Young said.
After the event, the neighbors again formed a chain to help the family into a car so they could leave their home.
“I could see if these people were bad criminals, but they’re not, they’re just trying to provide for their kids” neighbor Stacey Farley said.
“The family don’t bother nobody, they work every day, they come home, the kids jump on their trampoline, it’s just a community.”
“No at-large ICE arrests happened today in Nashville,” ICE said in a statement. “That said, in general, ICE conducts targeted enforcement of federal immigration law on a daily basis in accordance with our routine, ongoing operations.
ICE continues to focus its enforcement efforts on criminal offenders as nearly 90% of persons arrested for violation of federal immigration law during the past year also had either a previous criminal conviction or a pending criminal charge.
ICE does not conduct any type of random or indiscriminate enforcement that would encounter persons indiscriminately.”
“An ICE representative telephoned the Emergency Communications Center at 7:19 a.m.,” Metro Nashville police said in a statement. “He relayed that ICE attempted to stop a white Ford van, the driver would not stop, but did proceed to a driveway on Forest Ridge Drive.
“The caller said the driver was sitting in the van and was not getting out. He requested the police department’s assistance, but did not specify what he wanted the police department to do. When
“the police arrived, they learned that ICE was attempting to serve a detainer only on the individual. The man was sitting in the van with a 12-year-old boy.
“The officers were instructed not to be involved in the service of the detainer, but to stand by from a distance to keep the peace if necessary.
“ICE ultimately left while the man was still in the van. The police left accordingly.”