[Marxism] Tennessee neighbors block ICE

John Reimann 1999wildcat at gmail.com
Mon Aug 5 19:05:16 MDT 2019

NASHVILLE — Residents of a quiet working-class neighborhood in the
Hermitage section of Nashville woke up very early on July 22 to find
officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement trying to arrest one of
their own.

An unmarked pickup truck with flashing red and blue lights had pulled into
the man’s driveway, blocking his van. Two ICE agents armed with an
administrative warrant ordered the man and his 12-year-old son to step out
of their vehicle. The man, who had lived in the neighborhood for some 14
years, did exactly what the Tennessee Immigrant Refugee and Rights Coalition
<https://www.tnimmigrant.org/> urges immigrants to do in such cases: He
stayed put.

An administrative warrant gives officials permission to detain a suspect
but it does not allow them to enter his house or vehicle. The ICE officials
in that Nashville driveway were apparently counting on the man not to know
that. With an administrative warrant, “there’s no judicial review, no
magistrate review, no probable cause,” Daniel Ayoade Yoon, a lawyer later
summoned to the house by immigration activists, told The Nashville Scene
. He told WTVF
“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.’” The administrative warrant they
held did not give them the authority to do either.

Neighbors witnessing the standoff were appalled. “We was like, ‘Oh my God,
are you serious?’” Angela Glass told WPLN
“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. Police
have never been called over there. All they do is work and take care of
their family and take care of the community.’”

Another neighbor, Stacey Farley, told Newsweek
“The family don’t bother nobody, they work every day, they come home, the
kids jump on their trampoline. It’s just a community.”

More neighbors joined the scene and urged the man and his son not to listen
to the agents. As temperatures rose in the hot Tennessee sun, they brought
water and food and cool rags. They refilled the van’s gas tank so the man
could keep his air-conditioner running. “We stuck together like neighbors
are supposed to do,” Felishadae Young told WZTV

ICE officials summoned the Nashville police for backup, but the officers
who arrived stood nearby but did not intervene. State law
<https://publications.tnsosfiles.com/acts/110/pub/pc0973.pdf>prohibits any
Tennessee community from designating itself a sanctuary city, but the
police here don’t get involved in civil immigration cases. “We’re not here
to enforce any federal script,” Sgt. Noah Smith told The Tennessean
“We’re just here if anything major happens.”

More than four hours later, ICE agents finally abandoned their efforts and
drove away, though everyone on the scene expected them to return. Neighbors
and activists linked arms to form a human chain from the van to the door of
the house. The man and his son dashed inside. A woman came to the door and
in Spanish tearfully thanked bystanders for their help. Shortly thereafter,
the family fled.

This story of one undocumented family in one hardworking neighborhood of
one growing Southern city generated national attention, with articles
appearing in outlets as disparate as Essence
, The Washington Post
, The Miami Herald
, The Cut
, CBS News
 and The New York Post
There’s a reason for the widespread interest.


*“In politics, abstract terms conceal treachery.” *from "The Black
Jacobins" by C. L. R. James
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