NEW JERSEY (FOX5NY.COM) - Yohanes Tasik, Harry Pangemanan, and Arthur Jemmy are breathing a little bit easier after a federal judge temporarily halted their deportation.
The three undocumented Indonesian immigrants had been seeking sanctuary in the Reformed Highland Church in Highland Park, New Jersey, to prevent ICE agents from detaining them. Last month, Gov. Phil Murphy visited the men at the church to give them his support.
Now as a result of a lawsuit filed by the ACLU of New Jersey, a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order against their deportation that allows the men to return home to their families and jobs.
Rev. Seth Kaper-Dale said that he hopes ICE won't try to detain the men despite the court order.
All three men are Christians from Indonesia, a predominantly Muslim country. They fled religious persecution and came to the United States in the 1990s on tourist visas that eventually expired. They work, pay taxes, and want to legally become U.S. citizens. Jemmy said he hopes that the U.S. government gives him a second chance to make it right.
All three men and their families consider themselves Americans. This is their home. Now they nervously wait for the judge's next decision, expected in five weeks.