Community members in Nashville, Tenn., took matters into their own hands when U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) came to take their neighbour away on Monday.
ICE officers were reportedly trying to stop the van while it was en route home, eventually blocking the vehicle in their driveway, the Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) said in a statement.
Hidden away in their family van for hours, the unidentified man and his 12-year-old son waited for the coast to clear.
The group of neighbours formed a human chain, creating a barrier between the officers and the man and his son as they rushed into their home.
But that wasn’t where the good deeds ended. The locals stuck around to help feed and hydrate the father-son duo after the ordeal was over.
“It was striking to watch neighbours deliver food, water, and gasoline to help their neighbour stay in his car,” Bob Mendes, a Nashville councilman, said in a statement.
He continued: “Having watched this play out, I have a new appreciation for the practical difficulty cities face in dealing with ICE civil immigration enforcement.”
ICE officers aren’t allowed to enter a home or private property without a written warrant from a judge, an infographic shared to the TIRRC’s Twitter account reads.
The incident was broadcast on social media by a few community members, some of whom livestreamed it on Facebook.
“ told local media outlets that ICE ‘picked the wrong community on the wrong day,'” TIRRC’s statement read. “What happened this morning shows how deeply rooted immigrants are in our community.”
Mendes mentioned in his statement that an officer told him the man had no criminal warrants against him, and they were simply on-hand to keep the peace if necessary.
This is just one incident among many that have occurred since the Trump administration began raids to target an estimated 2,000 immigrant families.
During a news conference on Tuesday, ICE’s acting director Matthew Albence said 35 people have been detained since the raids began last week.
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