As a general rule, Immigration and Customs Enforcement will not take enforcement action in schools, churches or similar locations in Florida or elsewhere. That’s why one man lived in CityWell Methodist Church in Durham, N.C., for roughly a year in an effort to evade deportation. However, he was taken into custody on Nov. 23 while attending an immigration appointment at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USICS) office in Morrisville, N.C. After being taken into custody, he was sent to Wake County Detention Center before being moved to Georgia.
Prior to his being taken to the detention center, protesters surrounded a van that was transporting him to the facility. They were there for about two hours before Morrisville police showed up and took 27 people into custody on various charges. According to a statement from ICE, the man who they originally sought to take into custody had no basis for remaining in the country.
The man had been in the country since 2014 in an effort to be closer to his wife, but he was detained for using false documents. The government had allowed him to stay in the United States after being released from custody in June of that year at its discretion. When the government informed him in 2017 that this would no longer be the case, the migrant moved into the North Carolina church.
A migrant’s life could be significantly altered after being taken into custody. In some cases, they may even be separated from their children or others who depend on them. Legal counsel may help an individual avoid deportation or other significant penalties.