BOSTON — Yesterday, a federal court blocked the deportation of a group of Indonesian nationals, most of whom have lived in the U.S. for more than a decade and faced imminent removal to Indonesia where they were at risk of persecution, torture, or death due to their faith.
The American Civil Liberties Union and Nixon Peabody LLP, along with the ACLU of New Hampshire and Massachusetts, are representing the Indonesian nationals in this case, Devitri v. Cronen.
The Boston field office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement had worked with a coalition of Indonesian churches in New Hampshire to encourage longstanding members of the local Indonesian community to voluntarily report to ICE.
In exchange for identifying themselves and regularly touching base with ICE, they were allowed to put down roots in the community. Recently, ICE began instructing Indonesian nationals to purchase plane tickets back to Indonesia on just weeks’ notice. The ACLU and Nixon Peabody went to federal court in October to block the deportations.
Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, says, “In its rush to deport as many immigrants as possible, ICE is putting families who have lived in the United States peaceably for decades in grave danger of being persecuted or killed. The court was correct to stop this from happening.”
The case was filed in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts.