Petition Closed
Petitioning Director, Dept of Homeland Security John Morton and 21 others
This petition will be delivered to:
Director, Dept of Homeland Security
John Morton
Representative
Juan Vargas
Representative
Eric Swalwell
Representative
Luis Gutierrez
Representative
Chris Smith
Representative
Frank Pallone
Representative
Albio Sires
Representative
Bill Pascrell
Representative
Rush Holt
Representative
Michael Grimm
Representative
Lamar Smith
Representative
Peter Welch
Senator
Dianne Feinstein
Senator
Barbara Boxer
Senator
Cory Booker
Senator
Robert Menendez
Senator
Patrick Leahy
Representative
Niki Tsongas
Representative
Richard Hanna
Representative
Ed Pastor
Representative
Jared Polis
President of the United States

ICE Director Morton : Stop Deporting Persecuted Christian Indonesians Arthur Jemmy and Silfia Tobing

Arthur and Silfia have sought Sanctuary at the Reformed Church of Highland Park in NJ, giving up their jobs and personal freedom, rather than be deported to Indonesia. They are defying an ICE order for deportation and their action comes at a great sacrifice: This July, Silfia's father and brother passed away and she could not attend their funerals in Indonesia because the couple are so terrified of religious persecution in their homeland. 

Despite many struggles, Arthur Jemmy and Silfia Tobing built a good life in Edison, NJ, much of it centered around their church family at the Presbyterian Church of Metuchen.

"We love to work for the church," says Arthur. "Especially we help organize the annual rummage sale and all the events around Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year." They worked hard and paid taxes.  Arthur worked in factory warehouses, as a forklift operator and also managed the computerized shipment of goods via UPS, Fedex and USPS.

Before they entered Sanctuary, when they took a vacation, Arthur and Jemmy liked to visit Silfia's family in Pennsylvania, in York and Philadelphia. They are pictured above with Silfia's nieces Aaliyah and Nadia Tobing at Easter this year. 

But ICE has PRIORITIZED deporting Christian Indonesians, deporting 9 from our Central NJ community since January 1, 2012. Watch a film about their situation at http://brokenasylumfilm.com

Though Arthur and Silfia have petitioned the U.S. government for asylum for a decade, since Arthur first complied with special registration (NSEERS), their request was denied because they missed the 1-year deadline for applications. Now ICE has denied their request for prosecutorial discretion even though they meet multiple factors in John Morton's June 17, 2011 memo promising to re-focus ICE on deporting criminals and they refuse to return to Indonesia where violent mobs have destroyed 1,700 churches since 1995 and persecution persists to this day.

"In Indonesia I worked as a Sunday School teacher," explains Silfia. "And I led church services as a song leader." Everyone there must carry an ID card which identifies each person's religion. "When I went to look for a job and the company saw Christian religion, it became impossible to work outside the church."  Arthur and Silfia each knew family members and friends who became victims of violent persecution. 

In Arthur's words: "In my hometown of Poso there is a village not too far from where we lived where we heard from our bothers at the time that the priest who brought the word of God in the church and suddenly church doors open and they all look towards the door open to hear gunshots.  The priest fell with blood and died on the spot. And immediately the shooter left the church, so at the same time we were in our church and our pastor decided to close because the situation in the whole area that we live so very troubled by the shooting.  Everyone was in fear of the shooting.

"After this incident my parents told me to move to Jakarta but then we also heard that in Jakarta there is shooting and burning churches as well. Since it was well known that my religion is Christian, my family feared I will be killed as well, so i decided to leave Indonesia to come to America seeking a safer life and to help my parents."

SIGN THIS PETITION and help thousands of Christian Indonesians across the U.S. whose families are being torn apart. Like Arthur 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. 

Arthur and Silfia'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 them and Christian Indonesians across the country. A big job for our small group! We need your help. Learn more at http://keepfamiliestogether.com

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 this couple 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. http://maloney.house.gov/press-release/rep-maloney-joins-house-colleagues-urging-ice-prevent-indonesian-christian-regugees

THE NEW YORK TIMES   A Sanctuary Amid Fears of Persecution at Home.                                                    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/17/nyregion/reformed-church-gives-sanctuary-to-indonesians-ordered-to-be-deported.html

THE STAR LEDGER    NJ Assemblyman Peter J. Barnes introduced a state resolution to enact HR-3590 http://www.mycentraljersey.com/article/20120511/NJNEWS/305110070/Assemblyman-visits-Indonesian-immigrants-Highland-ParkHUFFINGTON 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."http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/06/indonesian-immigrants-pastor-congress-church_n_1409248.html

WASHINGTON POST   Minister sees no choice but to fight for refugees.    http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/minister-sees-no-choice-but-to-fight-for-refugees/2012/04/05/gIQAbJmrxS_story.html

THE NEW REPUBLIC   Broken Promises: How Obama's Immigration Failures Have Put A New Jersey Community On Edge http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/101307/immigration-indonesians-new-jersey

CHRISTIAN POST    Indonesian Christians Facing Deportation in US Appeal to Obama http://www.christianpost.com/news/indonesian-christians-facing-deportation-in-us-appeal-to-obama-69540/

CNN    http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2011/12/09/pkg-snow-indonesian-deportation-fight.cnn


Letter to
Director, Dept of Homeland Security John Morton
Representative Juan Vargas
Representative Eric Swalwell
and 19 others
Representative Luis Gutierrez
Representative Chris Smith
Representative Frank Pallone
Representative Albio Sires
Representative Bill Pascrell
Representative Rush Holt
Representative Michael Grimm
Representative Lamar Smith
Representative Peter Welch
Senator Dianne Feinstein
Senator Barbara Boxer
Senator Cory Booker
Senator Robert Menendez
Senator Patrick Leahy
Representative Niki Tsongas
Representative Richard Hanna
Representative Ed Pastor
Representative Jared Polis
President of the United States
----------------

Stop Deporting Persecuted Christian Indonesians Arthur and Silfia

Alien numbers:
Arthur Jemmy A097149950
Silfia Tobing A096267345

Stop Prioritizing the deportation of persecuted Indonesian refugees! Arthur and Silfia have a deport order after more than a decade petitioning the U.S. government for asylum, ever since Arthur complied with special registration in 2003 (NSEERS). ICE has denied their request for prosecutorial discretion, even though they meet multiple factors in John Morton's June 17, 2011 memo promising to re-focus ICE on deporting criminals. They fear returning to Indonesia where violent mobs have destroyed 1700 churches since the couple separately fled the country in the early 2000s.

They now receive sanctuary in The Reformed Church of Highland Park, courageously giving up their jobs and their freedom, in order to continue to advocate for all Indonesian refugees.

"In Indonesia I worked as a Sunday School teacher," explains Silfia. "And I led church services as a song leader." Everyone there must carry an ID card which identifies each person's religion. "When I went to look for a job and the company saw Christian religion, it became impossible to work outside the church." Day-to-day life became increasingly dangerous. Arthur and Silfia each knew family members and friends who became victims of violent persecution.

Rather than comply with deportation, Arthur stopped working the in NJ warehouses where he managed shipments, in order to take sanctuary with 9 Christian Indonesians in the Reformed Church of Highland Park.

Like Arthur and Silfia, there are thousands of Christian Indonesians across the U.S. whose families are being torn apart. Indonesian men registered for NSEERS and applied for asylum to help the U.S. fight terrorism post-9/11. Then they found themselves entrapped in an immigration system whose quota of 400,000 deportations per year in the last three years leaves little room for humanitarian concerns.

It is only right to keep this couple together in the U.S. when 11 members of the U.S. Congress, including Carolyn Maloney and Yvette Clarke from NY and Frank Pallone and Rush Holt from NJ, have urged ICE to stay deportations for persecuted Indonesians 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. Watch their story at http://brokenasylumfilm.com

Learn more at http://keepfamiliestogether.org and . . .

THE US HOUSE OF REPS.
Colleagues urge ICE to prevent Indonesian Christian Refugees from being deported back to a life of persecution in their homeland. http://maloney.house.gov/press-release/rep-maloney-joins-house-colleagues-urging-ice-prevent-indonesian-christian-regugees

THE NEW YORK TIMES
A Sanctuary Amid Fears of Persecution at Home. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/17/nyregion/reformed-church-gives-sanctuary-to-indonesians-ordered-to-be-deported.html

THE STAR LEDGER
NJ Assemblyman Peter J. Barnes introduced a state resolution to enact HR-3590 http://www.mycentraljersey.com/article/20120511/NJNEWS/305110070/Assemblyman-visits-Indonesian-immigrants-Highland-Park

HUFFINGTON 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."http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/06/indonesian-immigrants-pastor-congress-church_n_1409248.html. WASHINGTON POST
Minister sees no choice but to fight for refugees. http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/minister-sees-no-choice-but-to-fight-for-refugees/2012/04/05/gIQAbJmrxS_story.html

NY DAILY NEWS
http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/indonesians-jersey-church-report-deportation-article-1.1046973

THE NEW REPUBLIC
Broken Promises: How Obama's Immigration Failures Have Put A New Jersey Community On Edge http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/101307/immigration-indonesians-new-jersey

CHRISTIAN POST
Indonesian Christians Facing Deportation in US Appeal to Obama http://www.christianpost.com/news/indonesian-christians-facing-deportation-in-us-appeal-to-obama-69540/

CNN
http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2011/12/09/pkg-snow-indonesian-deportation-fight.cnn

Sincerely,