Hermitage Residents Rally Around Neighbor Targeted By Immigration Officials | Nashville Public Radio

Hermitage Residents Rally Around Neighbor Targeted By Immigration Officials

Jul 22, 2019

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Immigration officials faced an hours-long standoff Monday when they attempted to detain a Hermitage man. No one was arrested, but the incident comes amid fears of immigration raids nationwide.

Hermitage resident Angela Glass had no idea her neighbor of five years wasn’t a citizen. When Glass saw Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials try to take him into custody, she was shocked.

"We was like, 'Oh my god. Are you serious?' And that's when everybody got mad and was like, 'They don't do nothing, they don't bother nobody, you haven't got no complaints from them,'" Glass says. "Police have never been called over there. All they do is work and take care of their family and take care of the community."

Agents in an unmarked ICE vehicle blocked the man and his 12-year-old son in their driveway when they got into their car around 6 a.m. Monday morning. Several neighbors rushed over and started livestreaming the encounter. They also told the man to stay in his car.

Attorney Daniel Ayoade Yoon, who came to provide legal advice during the standoff, says the man and his son were able to remain in their vehicle because ICE agents did not have a judicial warrant, which would have authorized them to conduct a search.

After about three and a half hours, ICE abandoned the mission. Then the family packed up their belongings in a heaping black trash bag, piled into a few cars and sped off. 

Officials declined to comment on the specifics of the case and did not release the man’s name. Local immigration advocates don’t have information that this was part of a larger ICE operation in the area.

But Glass says the incident was a wakeup call for her tight-knit community, where she says many of her neighbors are immigrants.

"We're gonna be watching out now from this point on," she says, "because we won't let this happen again."

Samantha Max is a Report for America corps member.