Trump Administration Deports Indonesian Christian Facing Persecution at Home

The Trump administration's aggressive approach to deporting those who overstay their visas means an Indonesian Christian who has lived in New Jersey for 16 years will be sent home as soon as today.

Arino Massie is part of a group of dozens of Indonesian men who fled to New Jersey, overstayed their visas, and dodged deportation several times to avoid being sent home, where they say they face persecution. Just last week, a former governor of Jakarta — a Christian of the same ethnic Chinese minority as these men — was sent to prison for blasphemy for insulting Islam.

Several years ago, Massie and other Indonesian Christian men took refuge at the Reformed Church of Highland Park, living there for nearly a year as their pastor, Seth Kaper-Dale, worked with the Obama administration to keep them in the country. An agreement was reached: The men could stay, as long as they periodically checked in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

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