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Shaheen pleased by Sununu’s letter on Indonesians

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH, welcomed a letter sent by New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, R-NH, to President Trump urging him to intercede on behalf of members of New Hampshire’s Indonesian community who have been slated for deportation.

According to a statement, Shaheen has spoken with senior officials in the Trump administration on behalf of these individuals, including the Acting Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Thomas Homan, Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke and Deputy National Security Advisor Dina Powell. Today, Shaheen forwarded Governor Sununu’s letter to those officials.

“I welcome Governor Sununu’s letter to President Trump on behalf of New Hampshire’s Indonesian community and I hope it receives immediate attention from the President and his administration,” said Shaheen. “It’s important that the President and his administration understand that there’s bipartisan support for keeping these families intact and in New Hampshire, and that we cannot put these families in danger by sending them to a country where religious persecution is a very real threat.”

Shaheen’s office previously helped negotiate an agreement with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to allow Indonesians to remain in New Hampshire and obtain work permits in exchange for a commitment to regularly check-in with ICE. That agreement was recently reversed by ICE and those individuals have been ordered to leave the country.

The law firm of Nixon and Peabody, with offices in Manchester and Boston, went before a federal judge Friday to continue efforts on behalf of the local Indonesians facing deportation.

In September, Chief Judge Patti Saris at the U.S. District Court in Boston stopped the deportations just one day before a Somersworth couple was expected to leave the country.

In his letter to the president, Sununu said while their deportations are temporarily on hold, the outcome of their case remains uncertain.

“I am respectfully requesting that your administration reconsider its decision to deport these individuals, and I urge a resolution that will allow them to remain in the United States,” Sununu said.

Sununu said their cases deserve close examination, and the protection from persecution that all people of faith deserve regardless of what faith they choose to practice.