Source: Associated Press
By DAVID PORTER
HIGHLAND PARK, N.J. (AP) — A federal judge has temporarily halted deportation proceedings against Indonesian Christians who are in the U.S. illegally but are seeking to gain legal status, including a man honored for his work helping to rebuild more than 200 homes after Superstorm Sandy.
The order Friday was issued by U.S. District Judge Esther Salas in Newark in response to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and applies to Indonesians who have orders of removal dating to before 2009.
The order affects roughly 50 people in New Jersey who had identified themselves to Immigration and Customs Enforcement in 2009 as part of a program to obtain work authorization and stays of deportation, according to the ACLU and Seth Kaper-Dale, co-pastor of a church where some of the immigrants sought sanctuary.
The lawsuit came after several enforcement actions by immigration authorities in New Jersey that targeted Indonesian Christians and rekindled fears in a community that includes people who left Indonesia years ago to escape religious persecution.