USA – The Trump administration has reopened the asylum cases of nearly three dozen Indonesian Christian immigrants who face the possibility of deportation back to a country where they could be persecuted, the Christian Post has reported.
On Wednesday, 44 of the 51 Indonesian Christians who were named in a class action lawsuit over their deportation orders last year, received notice that their asylum requests are now being reconsidered by the U.S. government.
UG Christian News learnt that the decision comes after U.S. District Judge Patti Saris, in Boston, ruled in February this year that the government could not deport the Christians while they seek to have their cases reheard.
According to media sources, she ruled that processes used by the U.S. Board of Immigration Appeals were not adequate to protect the rights of immigrants as they could be deported while their cases were still pending to the world’s largest majority-Muslim nation.
“The kind of abrupt nature in which the government sought to deport these people really was an issue,” attorney Nathan Warecki told NHNPR, according to the Christian Post. “We’re happy that the Department of Justice agrees and is reopening their cases.”
Sandra Pontoh, pastor of the Madbury Maranatha Indonesian United Church of Christ who has been an outspoken advocate for the group, also praised the Justice Department’s decision.
“I told them, ‘this is good news, congratulations to everyone, but you know, you cannot stop working hard,'” Pontoh said, referring to the fact that the group of asylum seekers still need to do their part to ensure that their applications are accepted.