Four Christians who fled persecution in Indonesia and were seeking asylum in New Jersey have been arrested by immigration officers and are now facing deportation, according to a minister.
On May 9, Rev. Seth Kaper-Dale of the Reformed Church of Highland Park said the four individuals who were arrested had fled from Indonesia in the 1990s. Eight asylum seekers, including the four Christians, were granted a temporary stay of deportation orders in 2013, giving them a year to stay in the U.S. legally, The Associated Press details.
The asylum seekers were reportedly allowed to remain in New Jersey under the condition that they report to immigration authorities.
In what Rev. Kaper-Dale described as a disturbing turn of events that separates family members, they were detained when they met with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers on May 8.
ICE, on the other hand, explained that the four men did not file for official asylum on time. It also emphasized that overstaying in the U.S. is a violation of the law.
"Aliens who illegally enter the United States and those who overstay or otherwise violate the terms of their visas have violated our nation's laws and can pose a threat to national security and public safety," said ICE in a statement.
Meanwhile, an undocumented Rutgers University student was allowed to stay in the U.S. after her professors and classmates showed support for her during a meeting with immigration officers. More than 100 supporters rallied outside the Peter W. Rodino Federal Building when 21-year-old Carimer Andujar went inside with her mother and attorney, NorthJersey.com reports.
After more than an hour, Andujar emerged bringing the good news that she will not be detained and that she can continue her studies at Rutgers. She also expressed joy over the opportunity to continue advocating for undocumented people's rights.
Andujar was not detained because of the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Under this program, children and other people who meet certain qualifications upon entry will be given a two-year stay on their deportation and a work permit.