Neighbors Protect a Man and His Son From ICE

"In the moment — it felt very scary." Nashville residents described how they formed a human chain around their neighbors when they were subjected to an ICE raid.

During the ordeal, a local lawyer was contacted and came to the scene

Nashville neighbors formed a human chain, to stop ICE from taking a dad and his son into custody. ICE agents followed a man's van and tried to pull it over. The ICE agents said they had a warrant - but not one signed by a judge. The standoff lasted for about four hours. Neighbors came out to support the family and bring supplies. After the ICE agents left, neighbors and advocates formed a human chain to shuttle the two safely back inside their home. Metro Nashville police officers were also present at the scene, but the department said they were there as "peacekeepers" and were not assisting in the ICE operation.

ICE agents with administrative warrants can detain someone, but they cannot forcibly remove someone from their home or vehicle, CBS reports. Because of this, the neighbors' human chain would not be considered an obstruction of justice. Video of the neighbors' coup was shared by Nashville Noticias, an organization that provides news and information to the Latin community in the Nashville area. Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition statement said the ICE agents had "no judicial or criminal warrant to apprehend" the man, who was within his rights to remain in the van. "ICE doesn’t have the authority to enter your home or private property without a warrant signed by a judge," the TIRRC statement said. "The majority of the time, ICE only has an administrative warrant — not a judicial one."

During the ordeal, a local lawyer was contacted and came to the scene. "There were two immigration officials sort of bullying a family inside of their own vehicle, telling them that they had an administrative warrant, which isn't the same thing as a judicial warrant, and trying to harass them and fear them into coming out," the lawyer, Daniel Ayoadeyoon, said. "They were saying, if you don't come out, we're going to arrest you, we're going to arrest your 12-year-old son, and that's just not legal, it's not the right law."