Things That Matter

A Church Community In North Carolina Blocked ICE From Taking An Undocumented Father, 27 Of Them Were Arrested

For 11 months Samuel Oliver-Bruno remained in seclusion at the CityWell United Methodist Church in Durham, North Carolina. The basement inside the church was his sanctuary home for almost a year, and the congregation became his family. They all rallied to help the 47-year-old undocumented husband and father remain in the country despite the fact that immigration officials wanted him. This week, things took a dark turn in Oliver-Bruno’s story when reporting for a scheduled meeting with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

On Nov. 23, Samuel Oliver-Bruno was told to meet with immigration officials for a routine appointment in order for them to get his finger prints and to discuss a petition for a delay in his deportation.

Today Samuel Oliver Bruno, acting in full compliance with our immigration laws, went to the USCIS office for a biometrics appointment, which is a required component of the process in which he is requesting a deferred action status on his order for deportation. Lots of us or standing with Samuel as a sign of solidarity, and as witnesses if ICE were to abuse its power an exploit this situation of due process in order to detain Samuel.

Posted by Cleve May on Friday, November 23, 2018

The undocumented father in North Carolina was the victim of a coordinated effort by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that we have seen before. There has been an increase of undocumented people arriving to scheduled appointments on their immigration cases and being apprehended by ICE agents waiting for them.

Supporters of Oliver-Bruno knew the risk, which is why members of the congregation went with him to his meeting to protect him from being detained. In the video above, Oliver-Bruno tells his supporters and family that all they can do is pray and leave it up to God.

When Oliver-Bruno went inside the building, just minutes later, agents dressed in plainclothes arrested him, according to CNN.

CREDIT: Facebook.com/cleve.may

In a joint statement Congressman David Price (D-N.C.) and Congressman G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) called Oliver-Bruno’s arrest entrapment.

“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,” they said in a press release. “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 CityWell United Methodist Church.

Members of the congregation were prepared to get arrested in their support of Oliver-Bruno and blocked the van from leaving the premises.

CREDIT: Facebook.com/AlertaMigratoria

“Who’s willing to get arrested if it comes down to that?” Pastor Cleve May asked two dozen members on Friday morning, according to the Washington Post. Without hesitation they motioned they would. “We told the police chief, ‘We understand this is your job, but we need you to understand that as a matter of conviction we cannot move, and you will have to arrest us,'” May recounted to the Post.

Police ended up arresting 27 people.

CREDIT: Twitter/@Damon_Elliot

In regards to the arrests, the Morrisville Police Department released the following statement: “At approximately 9:15 this morning, Morrisville Police Officers responded to the report of a large crowd that had formed to keep Agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from leaving with an arrestee. Officers arrived on scene and were able to confirm that ICE agents had made an arrest per a Federal arrest warrant but were not being allowed to leave. Morrisville Police Officers, in effort to de-escalate the situation and negotiate a peaceful resolution, began the process of communicating with identified leaders within the crowd of people.

The crowd, although peaceful, refused to allow the passage of the ICE vehicle. Over the period of 30 minutes, Morrisville officers issued two orders to disperse, or the crowd would be arrested for obstruction. Officers arrested 27 people without incident or injury.

The Morrisville Police Department did not participate in the active arrest of Mr. Samuel Oliver-Bruno. Officers were called to the scene after the initial arrest had been made. The Morrisville Police Department did not have prior knowledge of plans to arrest Mr. Oliver-Bruno.”

Since Oliver-Bruno’s detainment, members of the church and his supporters continue to seek his release.

CREDIT: Facebook/WRAL Sarah Krueger

The picture above shows members of the church praying over Oliver-Bruno’s son, 19-year-old Daniel Oliver-Perez. Daniel is also one of those that was arrested and is now facing “charges of assaulting a government official” as he attempted to hold his dad as they were taking him away, the Post reports.

Over the past few months Oliver-Bruno has become a integral member of the church and its community.

CREDIT: Twitter/@chriskarnadi

Before he was detained Oliver-Bruno, who’s been living in the U.S. for more than 20 years, said in a video posted on Facebook: “As I continue cooped up, sometimes I feel the need to be free. I need to work, do the activities I used to do, to afford medicines for my wife and doctor’s appointments. I need to work to support her and my son.”

The News & Observer reports that federal agents have agreed to hear his case, though he faces deportation at any moment.

If you would like to support the release of Oliver-Bruno. Here’s how you can help:

CREDIT: Facebook/From Wherever You Are #FreeSamuel

READ: Immigration Agents Launch Tear Gas Canisters At Asylum Seekers At US-Mexico Border

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Pretty Damning: Trump Paid $750 in Federal Income Tax — He Even Wrote-Off That Sad Comb Over

Things That Matter

Pretty Damning: Trump Paid $750 in Federal Income Tax — He Even Wrote-Off That Sad Comb Over

BILL PUGLIANO / GETTY

After four long years, we finally know why Trump didn’t want to release his tax returns: abominably, he thought his terrible haircuts and adult age children were worthy of write-offs. Oh yeah… and the year he was elected he only paid $750.00.

Long before his 2016 presidential election bid, Trump dodged calls to reveal his tax returns. At the time of his bid, however, he refused to take part in a 40-year tradition carried out by presidential nominees to release tax returns to the public. During his initial run, Trump falsely claimed that he was unable to release his returns publicly while they were under audit, and throughout his presidency, he has avoided sharing them despite grand jury subpoenas. Fortunately, thanks to a piece published by The New York Times, they’re finally getting a chance to see the light of day.

On Sunday, The New York Times published the first of several reports examining Trump’s tax information.

In 2016, Trump became the first president since 1976 to not release his tax records. The decision promptly roused dismay and questions about whether the records carried “undisclosed conflicts of interest that may impair his ability to make impartial policy decisions.”

According to NYT’s latest exposé, Trump (a man who has long boasted about his wealth and has also claimed a net worth of billions of which he has also declared to be self-acquired) paid a mere total of $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017.

While the Times report did not cover 2018 and 2019 tax filings, the newspaper looked into 18 years of Trump’s tax returns. They also looked into his business dealings as far back as 2000 and found that in 10 of those years, the president of the United States failed to pay any income taxes “largely because he reported losing much more money than he made.”

The Times also revealed that Trump “racks up chronic losses that he aggressively employs to avoid paying taxes” despite millions in income and property. In a statement for the piece, Alan Garten an attorney for the Trump Organization claimed to the Times that “most, if not all, of the facts, appear to be inaccurate.” NoteL the Times underlined that Garten appeared to be “conflating income taxes with other federal taxes.”

According to the article, beginning in 2010, Trump had been given a $72.9 million tax refund from the IRS.

The Times article explains in detail how Trump has managed to handle his business and categorize his wealth. The paper found that most often, Trump claimed his expenses as deductions from his tax bill chalking them up to business expenses. These include nearly $70,000 in hairstyling costs for his time on NBC’s “The Apprentice” over $300,000 for landscaping of the Mar-a-Lago Club and $95,000 written off for hair and makeup done for his daughter Ivanka. That’s right, the president wrote off his own adult children.

Addressing the report, the Times noted that they would not include the actual tax documents in its coverage to avoid outing its sources.

“We are publishing this report because we believe citizens should understand as much as possible about their leaders and representatives — their priorities, their experiences and also their finances,” Times editor Dean Baquet wrote in an editor’s note. “Every president since the mid-1970s has made his tax information public. The tradition ensures that an official with the power to shake markets and change policy does not seek to benefit financially from his actions.”

In response to the reports, Trump called the story “fake news” during a White House press conference on Sunday.

Speaking about the piece, Trump bemoaned that the IRS “does not treat me well.” “It’s totally fake news. Made-up, fake,” he continued. “We went through the same stories, people you could’ve asked me the same questions four years ago. I had to litigate this and talk about it. Totally fake news… Actually, I paid tax, and you’ll see that as soon as my tax returns — it’s under audit,” Trump went onto explain. “They’ve been under audit for a long time. The IRS does not treat me well. … They don’t treat me well; they treat me very badly. You have people in the IRS, they treat me very, very badly…But they’re under audit. And when they’re not, I would be proud to show you, but that’s just fake news.”

It’s important to note that even an audit could not prevent Trump from releasing his tax records to the public.

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Joe Biden And President Donald Trump Are Battling It Out For Florida’s Crucial Latino Vote

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Joe Biden And President Donald Trump Are Battling It Out For Florida’s Crucial Latino Vote

joebiden / Instagram

Florida’s Latino vote is a crucial part of a winning strategy in the Sunshine State. The demographic shifts in recent years because of natural, financial, and governmental disasters has led to a big Puerto Rican diaspora in Florida. President Trump’s handling of the Hurricane Maria recovery has left Puerto Ricans upset with the administration.

Joe Biden and President Donald Trump are battling for Florida’s Latino voters.

Both the Democratic and Republican nominees are making concerted efforts to shore up Latino support in Florida. There are 3.1 million eligible Latino voters in the swing state and make up a crucial voting bloc. While a large number are conservative Cubans and Cuban-Americans, there are also other Latino communities representing different parts of Latin America.

The polling tells a story of two candidates locked in a heated race for the Latino vote in Florida.

Polls, like The Washington Post-ABC News poll, show Biden taking the lead with Latino voters in Florida. According to that poll, Biden is leading Trump 52 percent to 39 percent. However, Hillary Clinton won the Latino vote in Florida 62 percent to 35 percent in 2016. Clinton’s success with the Latino community of Florida shows that the Latino vote is not the only way to clinch the electoral college votes.

On the other hand, President Trump wants everyone to pay attention to one poll. President Trump is sharing a poll by The Washington Post and ABC News that shows him leading in Florida. According to the poll, Trump leads in Florida by 4 points.

The Latino community in southern Florida is being bombarded by a disinformation campaign.

The disinformation is aimed at Florida’s Latino voters and is peddling conspiracy theories against Biden. One of the most prominent examples of this disinformation was the racist and anti-Semitic insert published in a recent edition of the Miami Herald. The insert compared BLM protesters to Nazis but argued that Nazis were nicer since they didn’t steal anything.

Both candidates are pouring money into their campaign efforts in Florida. Both are spending time and money trying to court the Latino vote in an effort to win the key state.

Critics of the president are pointing to the sudden relief package to Puerto Rico is a grab for votes.

President Trump was harshly and fairly criticized after he didn’t respond to the natural disaster in Puerto Rico. The 2017 hurricane devastated the island and left millions without power for weeks. One of the most memorable moments of that time was President Trump throwing paper towels to Puerto Ricans recovering from the disaster.

President Trump, during an election, approved $13 billion in relief funds for Puerto Rico. Puerto Rican voters have not forgotten the three years it took for the president to approve relief funds to help rebuild the island after a devastating storm.

READ: The Miami Herald Apologizes For Including Racist, Anti-Semitic Insert In Newspaper

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