Reps. Price and Butterfield Issue Statement on Durham ICE Arrest

November 23, 2018
Press Release
Members call on immigration officials to release Mr. Samuel Oliver-Bruno while he continues legal petition for deferred action from deportation


DURHAM, N.C. (Nov. 23, 2018) - On Friday, November 23, 2018, Congressman David Price (D-N.C.)  and Congressman G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) released the following statement regarding the sudden arrest of Samuel Oliver-Bruno by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials while he was following instructions to visit the local U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offices to take the necessary steps to further his legal petition for deferred deportation. On November 1, 2018, Reps. Price and Butterfield sent a letter to USCIS requesting deferred action from deportation for Mr. Oliver-Bruno and asked officials to use prosecutorial discretion in his case based on humanitarian conditions.

“We are extremely alarmed by Samuel Oliver-Bruno’s abrupt arrest this morning by ICE agents at the USCIS office in Morrisville, N.C.  Mr. Oliver-Bruno has lived in the United States for more than two decades and has spent the last year living in sanctuary in Durham.

It appears ICE has acted in concert with officials at USCIS, who instructed Mr. Oliver-Bruno to appear at local USCIS offices to discuss his deferred deportation. He was then apprehended by plainclothes ICE agents upon entering the building. At best, Mr. Oliver-Bruno was presented with a catch-22 dilemma; at worst, he was entrapped. It’s clear that while Mr. Oliver-Bruno was attempting to follow the law in pursuit of his legal petition, ICE coordinated with USCIS to target him upon his leaving the City Well United Methodist Church.

Samuel, his wife Julia, and his 19-year-old son Daniel have been productive and upstanding members of the community for many years, with no serious criminal records and deep ties in the faith community. Julia Perez Pacheco has been diagnosed with Lupus and depends on Samuel, the sole provider for their family, to pay for her medical treatment. Additionally, Daniel Perez depends on his father’s financial and emotional support as he pursues a college degree. As we highlighted for USCIS officials earlier this month, Mr. Oliver-Bruno’s removal from the U.S. would result in severe hardship for his family, with his wife not being able to receive the medical treatment she needs.

Samuel’s sudden and inappropriate arrest in the middle of the Thanksgiving season reflects the callous and cruel approach we’ve come to expect from the Trump administration. As Members of Congress representing the Durham community, we will continue to do everything in our power to keep the Oliver-Bruno family together. In a call with us this afternoon, ICE has committed to allow Mr. Oliver-Bruno to remain in the U.S. in detention while his case is adjudicated. While this means he will not be immediately deported, we remain committed to fighting for his release.”