20 years ago Deetje Patty with some other Indonesian Christians fled from persecution and torture, to New Hampshire where they began a new life.
On February 1, a Federal judge announced that 50 Indonesian Christians will be deported from New Hampshire. On February 2 another judge announced the deportation of more 50 Indonesian Christians from New Jersey.
In Unites States refugees are facing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) severe suppression but still living there illegally. Therefore these 100 Indonesian Christian immigrants are living at ease for some time.
The New Hampshire judge Patti Saris allowed these immigrants to stay for 3 months only then their case will be reopened.
Two decades ago around 2,000 Chinese Indonesian Christian refugees fled to United States from persecution. They came to United States legally but later over stayed there. Some of them were given legal status while many of them scourge with the deport news with rejection of their applications.
Within last 20 years people got settled with their jobs and increased family size. The president Trump’s order for deporting illegal residents, cancelled the previous admin permission for these refugees stay.
According to the judge Saris the immigrants living in US are good people who never violated the country rules. She wrote, “A brief delay in unlawful deportation of residents who have lived here with government permission for over a decade outweighs the public interest in prompt execution of removal orders, where petitioners have been law-abiding and pose no threat to public safety”.
She added that the humanitarian program which is called Operation Indonesian Surrender saved these people from deportation. But last year in August ICE inspection in New Hampshire informed the refugees about their deportation to Indonesia.
In New Jersey the US District Judge Esther Salas gave permission for temporary stay of immigrants in response to a case which is filed by American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
New Hampshire governor, Chris Sununu stated that he will made effort to protect these immigrants from religious persecution and grant permission to stay in US.
An attorney with the ACLU, Lee Gerlernt, criticized ICE and told that the immigrants living here for a long time will not be deported.
Sandra Pontoh, pastor of the Madbury Maranatha Indonesian Fellowship in Madbury, New Hampshire said excitedly that the judge gave other Indonesians to work on their case for 3 months it will be their last flight.
Indonesia ranks the position 38 on Open Doors watch list of most dangerous countries for Christians. Last year a Christian governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama of the capital city of Indonesia Jakarta was accused of blasphemy and sentenced 2 years imprisonment.
Indonesia which is the world’s largest Muslim majority country has Social, political, and religious forces against Christians. In 2006 more than 1000 churches were either closed or demolished for promoting ‘religious harmony’ in the country. In 2015 menace against chapels scared the Christians which made them to leave their homeland.
Last year Anies Baswedan replaced Basuki Tjahaja Purnama in Jakarta who tried to reach to the troubled Christian and invited them to celebrate Christmas event with them at National Monument which offer they rejected later. Last year in November, the law court passed a law that each person will add the column of religion on their identity cards.
The Christian persecution and torture made the US judges to halt the immigrants from deportation.
Last month two men took refuge at the Reformed Church of Highland Park. Harry Pangemanan saw his two friends arrested. Therefore he went to the church for sanctuary with his wife and two children. After the court order of 90 days stay in US they could leave the church now.
The 100 Indonesian refugees preparing their legal documents for their legal fight in US courts and if failed they will have to meet the same fortune of deportation to Indonesia.