Ismael Ruiz-Millan joined others at the Wake County Detention Center in Raleigh Friday to support his friend, Samuel Oliver-Bruno.
“Seeing all of these people here, it gives me hope,” Ruiz-Millan said.
Oliver-Bruno spent months in sanctuary before being taken into custody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Friday.
“I was praying for a miracle,” Ruiz-Millan said. “It was heartbreaking, especially seeing his wife and his son so heartbroken [and] so desperate. It was terrible. At that moment, I wanted to do something.”
Police made 27 arrests as several people surrounded an ICE van Friday.
Those released from the Wake County Detention Center Friday included Ernesto Barriguete.
“We did nothing else but singing and prayers, and singing and prayers, letting them know that we’re in disagreement with what’s going on,” Barriguete said.
Supporters of Oliver-Bruno said they plan to keep fighting for him and his family.
“It feels like even more of an injustice like I’ve been released, and he’s actually still in detention,” Noah Rubin-Blose said.
They hope to see change come soon.
“The laws that are being enforced, in terms of immigration, are not just,” said Oliver-Bruno’s friend, Edgar Vergara. “What happened is a living testimony of that truth.”
“I hope that we can really unite to hopefully advocate together for changes that stops the separation of families,” Ruiz-Millan added.
Vergara said people from the church where Oliver-Bruno was taking sanctuary, friends and advocates will regroup, and figure out what their next steps will be.