ICE Director Morton: Stop Deporting Persecuted Christian Indonesian Roby Sanger
  • Petitioned John Morton

This petition was delivered to:

Director, Dept. of Homeland Security
John Morton
President of the United States
Sen. Dianne Feinstein
Rep. Luis Gutierrez
New Jersey-04
Rep. Chris Smith
New Jersey-06
Rep. Frank Pallone
New Jersey-08
Rep. Albio Sires
New Jersey-09
Rep. Bill Pascrell
New Jersey-12
Rep. Rush Holt
New York-11
Rep. Michael Grimm
Rep. Peter Welch
Rep. Eric Swalwell
Sen. Barbara Boxer
New Jersey
Sen. Cory Booker
New Jersey
Sen. Robert Menendez
Sen. Patrick Leahy
Rep. Niki Tsongas
New York-22
Rep. Richard Hanna
Rep. Ed Pastor
Rep. Jared Polis
Rep. Juan Vargas

ICE Director Morton: Stop Deporting Persecuted Christian Indonesian Roby Sanger

    1. Liz ESTES
    2. Petition by

      Liz ESTES

      Highland Park, NJ

February 2013


From Liz Estes: After hundreds of days imprisoned in Sanctuary at the Reformed Church of Highland Park, NJ, Roby Sanger is safely at home with his wife and daughters. Thanks for your support!

Bridget (9) and Caitlyn (6) are U.S. Citizens who deserve to be raised by their parents in their  Metuchen, NJ home, supported by their church family at the First Presbyterian Church of Metuchen and a large community of friends and neighbors. 

But ICE has PRIORITIZED deporting Christian Indonesians, deporting 9 from our community since January 1, 2012.

ICE gave Roby Sanger a deport order for June 28, 2012. He now receives SANCTUARY in the Reformed Church of Highland Park, courageously giving up his job and his freedom, in order to keep his family together and continue to advocate for all Indonesian refugees. See more in this film at

Roby has petitioned the U.S. government for asylum for a decade, since Roby first complied with special registration (NSEERS), but his request was denied because he missed the one-year application deadline. Now ICE has denied his request for prosecutorial discretion, even though he meets multiple factors in John Morton's June 17, 2011 memo promising to re-focus ICE on deporting criminals.

Roby refuses to return to Indonesia where violent mobs have destroyed 1,700 churches since he left Indonesia in 1995. He especially fears for the safety of his daughters Bridget and Caitlyn, Christians and Americans, who face discrimination and persecution in Indonesia, and a life without a father in the U.S. 

SIGN THIS PETITION and help thousands of Christian Indonesians across the U.S. whose families are being torn apart. Like Roby they registered for NSEERS and applied for asylum to help the U.S. fight terrorism post-9/11. They have become entrapped in an immigration system whose quota of 400,000 deportations per year in the last three years leaves scant room for humanitarian concerns. 

Roby's faith that God will find a way where there seems to be no way has inspired our small community in Central New Jersey to advocate and work tirelessly for his family and thousands of Christian Indonesians across the country. A big job for our small group! We need your help. Learn more at

In Roby's words: "My wife and I came to America in 1995 because our lives were threatened by a Muslim man who lived with his uncle who was on duty as a policeman. The place where we lived was close to a large shopping complex and many Muslim people lived there. This man and his friends always gathered at the cross roads. Every time we came from church they were always there and trying to stop us. But we just ignored them and walked fast. Until one night when my wife and I were on the way from shopping. Suddenly this man came and attacked us with a knife in his hand and we ran fast to a neighbor's house. And thank God my neighbor opened the door and let us in until that man went away. Since then we became afraid and couldn't go out anymore. And we decided to come to America.

In New Jersey, we became members of the First Presbyterian Church of Metuchen, where we worshipped for 16 years. We are active members, my wife as a Deaconess and she is also a senior choir member. My girls are also active members in Sunday School and they joined the choir. My kids go to Campbell School Metuchen, Bridget in 4th grade and Caitlyn in 1st grade. Caitlyn is very involved in school activities, she joined the choir and plays violin in school.

I worked as a forklift driver and before that I worked at a warehouse for 7 years. My wife worked at a beauty product packaging company for 16 years. We always pay taxes during the years we have lived in America. 

The place where we lived in Indonesia remains unsafe for us. A couple months ago, they found a bomb near our church. At this time we would like to ask President Obama to help me so that I can stay in this country along with my wife and my children, please don't separate us. They need me here, I have to bring them and pick them up from school everyday. I would like to stay live here and I want to raise my kids who are U.S. Citizens in this country."

Along with 11 members of the U.S. Congress, including Carolyn Maloney and Yvette Clarke from NY and Frank Pallone and Rush Holt from NJ, we urge ICE to stay deportations for Roby and Indonesian families while a bill our Pastor Seth Kaper-Dale helped write, the Indonesian Refugee Family Protection Act is being considered in both Houses. Senator Frank Lautenberg introduced S-3339, while Ms. Maloney and Mr. Pallone introduced HR-3590, now supported by 18 Representatives. It allows Indonesians who fled from 1997-2003 a chance to file for asylum without the 1-year deadline that has kept their cases from being heard.

US HOUSE OF REPS. Colleagues urge ICE to prevent Indonesian Christian Refugees from being deported back to a life of persecution in their homeland.

THE NEW YORK TIMES   A Sanctuary Amid Fears of Persecution at Home.                                          

THE STAR LEDGER    NJ Assemblyman Peter J. Barnes introduced a state resolution to enact HR-3590 POST    NY Rep. Carolyn Maloney, visited the immigrants and said, "They fled violence, they fled the burning and the raids of their religious sanctuaries. I think it's just the fair and just thing to allow them their day in court."

WASHINGTON POST   Minister sees no choice but to fight for refugees.

THE NEW REPUBLIC   Broken Promises: How Obama's Immigration Failures Have Put A New Jersey Community On Edge

CHRISTIAN POST    Indonesian Christians Facing Deportation in US Appeal to Obama


Recent signatures


    1. URGENT NEWS: Saul Timisela has been detained by ICE

      Liz ESTES
      Petition Organiser

      October 15

      URGENT - Saul has been detained by ICE

      by Liz ESTES

      Petition Organizer

      Dear Church Family,

      Saul Timisela was detained this morning and he is now in Elizabeth Detention Center.
      For 6 months Saul never left the church property-March-Sept. Since September Saul has occasionally driven off the property, to take his wife to get a ride to work with others in her company. He leaves at 5:30am and comes back immediately afterwards. Today, as he left our parking lot, ICE was waiting for him. He was followed for a mile and then pulled over.


      For those who cannot come tonight tonight but want to help: Please forward the petitions to EVERYONE you know.

      What Saul and Juliana mostly want is prayer--and tonight, that is what we will give them.

      Peace, Pastor Seth

    2. Reached 100 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Joshua Riley EDISON, NJ
      • over 1 year ago

      I have done volunteer work for Hurricane Sandy clean-up alongside the Indonesian refugees in Central New Jersey, Roby included, and have witnessed many of the good works they have done and continue to do. I have come to the conclusion that these are good people that benefit to our society; we should allow them to continue to make our communities better places and to stay here with their families.

    • Jean Thomas MILLSTONE, NJ
      • over 1 year ago

      I have met this gentleman and his family in sanctuary, he has been a model US resident

    • Virginia McCarthy MATAWAN, NJ
      • over 1 year ago

      To defend freedom of religion

    • margaret nitks RUMSON, NJ
      • over 1 year ago


    • Linda Rabben TAKOMA PARK, MD
      • almost 2 years ago

      I am a human rights activist and advocate for refugees and asylum seekers. I strongly believe that the US government has a moral and legal obligation to protect people fleeing persecution.


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