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Published On: Sun, Feb 4th, 2018

Judge blocks Trump’s deportation of Indonesian Christians fearful of persecution

A federal judge on Thursday blocked the deportation of fifty Indonesian Christians who have been living illegally in New Hampshire while they seek to reopen their immigration cases to argue they would likely face religious persecution in their home country.

map of Indonesia

Photo/CIA

The group includes people who fled violence in that country two decades ago and had been living openly for years in New England under an informal deal with Immigration and Customs Enforcement until President Trump’s administration last year ordered an end to the arrangement.

U.S. District Judge Patti Saris in Boston ruled that ICE cannot move forward with deportation until the Indonesians have a chance to make their cases for legal residence by arguing they would face persecution or violence if sent back.

She ruled that processes used by the U.S. Board of Immigration Appeals were not adequate to protect their rights as they could be deported while their cases were still pending to the world’s largest majority-Muslim nation.

“Thus, under this Kafkaesque procedure, they will be removed back to the very country where they fear persecution and torture while awaiting a decision on whether they should be subject to removal because of their fears of persecution and torture,” Saris wrote.

Sandra Pontoh, pastor of the Madbury Maranatha Indonesian Fellowship in Madbury, New Hampshire, who has been working on the immigrants’ behalf welcomed the news.

“That’s what we were hoping she would say,” Pontoh said in a phone interview. “My friends will have enough time and their lawyers will have enough time to work on their cases.”

About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professional in 2008 on sites like Examiner and blogs: Desk of Brian, Crazed Fanboy. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) will be a licensed Assembly of God Pastor by the Spring of 2017. "Why do we do this?" I was asked and the answer is simple. "I just want the truth. I want a source of information that tells me what's going and clearly attempts to separate opinion from fact. Set aside left and right, old and young, just point to the world and say, 'Look!'" To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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