Shaheen Presses Religious Freedom Ambassador Nominee on Trump Administration’s Efforts to Deport Indonesians Who Fled Religious Persecution
**Senator Shaheen has called top Trump administration officials to find a solution that allows our Indonesian community to stay in New Hampshire**
**SHAHEEN: “What kind of a message does that send to the rest of the world… when we are not willing to accept people fleeing religious persecution in the United States?”**
(Washington DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, pressed Governor Sam Brownback on the Trump administration’s deportation of individuals who came to the United States fleeing religious persecution during his confirmation hearing to serve as Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom. During her questioning, Shaheen addressed the Trump administration’s planned deportation of members of New Hampshire’s Indonesian community, asking Brownback how the United States could be a model for treating people of all faiths fairly, yet send members of the New Hampshire Indonesian community back to the country they fled to face certain persecution. Brownback responded by saying that he believes that “we should accept people fleeing religious persecution.”
In 2012, Senator Shaheen’s office helped negotiate an agreement with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to allow Indonesian immigrants to remain in New Hampshire and obtain work permits in exchange for a commitment to regularly check-in with ICE. This agreement was recently reversed by ICE under the Trump administration, and these individuals were ordered to begin making preparations for deportation. Senator Shaheen has called senior officials in the Trump administration on behalf of the Indonesian community, including the Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke, Acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Tom Homan and Deputy National Security Advisor Dina Powell.