Earlier this month, Bryan MacCormack, the 30-year-old executive director of the Columbia County Sanctuary Movement, refused to open his car door after an Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer told him the paper he held was a “warrant of arrest of alien.” He and two undocumented immigrants dealing with minor traffic citations had just left a courthouse when they were pulled over by ICE agents. Thanks to his training, MacCormack was able to keep ICE from arresting them. The video has gone viral and shown people how necessary “know your rights” trainings are.
Before the agent walked to the driver’s side, MacCormack had one of the passengers record the interaction. It starts with MacCormack telling the ICE agent that his document isn’t a warrant from a judge. “Yes, they are sir, warrant of arrest of alien,” the agent said.
“Yeah, warrant of arrest of … alien, not signed by a judge,” MacCormack replied. “It’s not a judicial warrant. I have no obligation to oblige by that warrant.”
The video, which garnered national attention after NowThis posted an edited version of it on its social media platforms, also showed MacCormack on the phone with a lawyer, who said he was on his way. The ICE agent once again reiterated that the paper he held was official, but MacCormack refused to back down, stating once again that since it wasn’t signed by a judge it wasn’t an official warrant as delineated in the US constitution.
“I was nervous and felt fear for the safety of myself and the community members inside of my vehicle,” he told NBC News. “But I was also inherently indignant at ICE’s tactics and their relentless pursuit and practice of detention, deportation, and family separation… I want people to feel like anyone, anywhere can do this. All you have to do is know your rights and you can prevent this from happening to your community members.”
“I want people to feel like anyone, anywhere can do this,” he said. “All you have to do is know your rights and you can prevent this from happening to your community members.”
Check out the video below.