Saul Timisela escaped religious persecution at home in Indonesia 14 years ago. His brother-in-law, who was a pastor at an Indonesian church, was found in 2000 murdered, beheaded, and with his arms cut-off, in his church, which was burnt to the ground. Mr. Timisela has been living in NJ with several of his Christian countrymen, while the Reformed Church of Highland Park's pastor, the Rev. Seth Kaper-Dale, has been fighting for the US government to give the Indonesians a chance to re-apply for their asylum applications on the grounds that they are refugees.
Saul Timisela moved to the US in 1998, fleeing from persecution at the hands of Muslim extremists in Indonesia. In 2003 he reported for the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS) initiative, which called for illegal immigrants from specific countries to register, following the 9/11 terrorst attacks. He has been living an immigration nightmare ever since.
Mr. Timisela applied for a Stay of Deportation or Removal (or I-246) on January, 15 to save himself from deportation. An officer encouraged him to strengthen the I-246 application with more medical evidence about his health problems. Mr. Timisela met with his doctor on February 14 and submitted further medical reports to ICE on February 15. At that time, he was told to return on February 29 to learn if his I-246 was accepted. When Mr. Timisela returned to ICE on the 29th he was told he would be deported the following day. ICE lead him to believe his petition for I-246 was being considered seriously, but then implied that his petition was not being considered at all.
Instead of showing up at the airport for deportation, Mr. Timisela went to the Reformed Church of Highland Park, where he is currently staying under the care of the church community and its leader, Rev. Seth Kaper-Dale, who has been fighting tirelessly since 2009 to save the Indonesians from deportation.
This country was founded by people fleeing religious persecution. Freedom of religion is written into our constitution. If Mr. Timisela and the other Christian Indonesian immigrants are deported back to Indonesia, they will likely face persecution, torture, and possibly death. They came to the US to escape this persecution. While partisan gridlock in our capitol prevents the Indonesian Family Refugee Protection Act (HR3590), proposed by Representatives Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) and Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ) from moving forward, it is currently at the Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement. Please add your name to this petition to make a difference for Mr. Timisela and the other Indonesian refugees.