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Shaheen Statement on Federal Judge’s Decision to Halt Deportations for NH Indonesian Community Members

(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 granted a preliminary injunction for members of New Hampshire’s Indonesian Community, who face certain persecution as Christians in Indonesia, allowing them 90 days to submit motions to reopen their asylum cases. 

“This is very encouraging news for the Indonesian community, and I appreciate that time has been provided to reopen these cases,” said Shaheen. “These are men and women who fled persecution and came to the United States to find a safe haven, where they learned our language, found employment and became contributing members of our community. I’m relieved there's now a path forward and I’ll continue to urge the Trump administration to do the right thing and let these families remain 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 called senior officials in the Trump administration on behalf of the Indonesian community, including then-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.