Judge puts deportations of Indonesians on hold

Source: Associated Press

By MICHAEL CASEY

A federal judge on Tuesday put on hold the deportation of several dozen Indonesians in New England who had lost their bid to remain in the U.S. and feared persecution if returned home.

The nearly 60 Indonesians in New Hampshire and Massachusetts are mostly Christians and fled religious persecution before and after the fall of the country’s former dictator, Suharto, in 1998. In the chaos that followed, riots broke out and mobs targeted ethnic Chinese and other minorities in the mostly Muslim country.

A lawsuit on their behalf was filed Monday. A judge in Boston ruled Tuesday that U.S. immigration officials could not remove the Indonesians until a determination was made about whether the court has jurisdiction.

“I’m tremendously relieved that the court has issued this injunction that delays deportation for members of New Hampshire’s Indonesian community,” Democratic U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire said in a statement. “The court’s action today provides valuable time to continue making the case for why the Indonesian community should remain in New Hampshire.”

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