An apprehension by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents was derailed by residents of a Nashville, Tennessee, neighborhood who formed a human chain around a suspected illegal alien and his son in their driveway after a lengthy standoff.
Metro Police say they were contacted after ICE agents attempted to arrest a man who refused to exit his vehicle, eventually locking himself in a van with his 12-year-old son.
“ICE agents did not have a criminal warrant, instead they came with a civil warrant (or detainer) signed by an administrator, not a judge,” Fox17 News reports. “Because this was a civil matter, ICE agents are not able to enter someone’s home or vehicle and citizens are not committing a crime by interfering.”
When neighbors caught wind of the unfolding situation, they reportedly surrounded the vehicle and began providing supplies to its occupants.
“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,” Felishadae Young told News Channel 5.
After a standoff lasting approximately four hours, ICE agents left the scene and residents formed a human chain in order to shield the man and his son so they could enter the house (24:30 mark of video below.)
ICE released a statement following the incident –
“No at-large ICE arrests happened today in Nashville. 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 percent of persons arrested for violation of federal immigration law during the past year also had either a prior criminal conviction or a pending criminal charge. ICE does not conduct any type of random or indiscriminate enforcement that would encounter persons indiscriminately.”
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