Shaheen Responds to US District Court Order to Delay Deportations of Seacoast Indonesian Community Members

November 27, 2017

(Washington, DC) — U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) issued the following statement after Chief Judge Patti Saris of the U.S. District Court for Massachusetts ruled that the court has jurisdiction to delay deportations for members of the Indonesian community residing in the Seacoast area of New Hampshire, who face certain persecution as Christians in Indonesia, so that individuals can refile their cases:

“I am very encouraged by this ruling,” said Senator Shaheen. “The court made the right call--those who are threatened by deportation should have every opportunity to make their case to remain in their communities. New Hampshire should continue to be a sanctuary to the Indonesian community that fled religious persecution. Deporting these individuals will needlessly split families and communities, and put lives in danger. I’ll continue to make every effort to prevent these deportations so that the Indonesian community can continue to live peacefully in New Hampshire.”  

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. In October, Senator Shaheen welcomed New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu’s (R-NH) letter on behalf of the Indonesian community to the President and forwarded it to senior officials in the Trump administration.