Indonesian Christians Deported While Illegal Alien Criminals Welcomed in Sanctuary Cities
by Temerity Forthright
Four Indonesian Christian men who sought sanctuary in the U.S. to avoid religious persecution have been deported back to Indonesia. In May 2017, the men went for a routine check-in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in New Jersey, but were arrested instead. None of the men had criminal records.
Meanwhile, illegal aliens are routinely arrested for committing crimes, then released back into sanctuary cities, sometimes without even being prosecuted. City and county authorities boldly refuse to hold these illegal alien criminals until ICE can arrive to investigate their immigration status.
The ethnic Chinese Christians came to America to seek asylum because they were persecuted for their faith in Muslim-majority Indonesia. One of the men, Oldy Manopo, has three grandchildren who are U.S. citizens. To make matters worse, U.S. law prohibits him from returning to America for 10 years. Manopo, who is in his 70s, has no family or home in Indonesia, but ICE deported him anyway.
Yet, illegal alien criminals, when they are deported, often return to the U.S. before anyone even knows they are gone.
The Indonesian Christians sought sanctuary inside The Reformed Church of Highland Park in New Jersey for 11 months until Rev. Seth Kaper-Dale struck a deal with immigration officials to let the men, who had no criminal records, remain in the U.S. so long as they periodically checked in. They were granted a “stay of removal” in 2013.
It was during a May 2017 voluntary check-in that ICE arrested the Christians and placed them in a detention center. Over the following weeks, even though they all held jobs in New Jersey, the men were deported.
The men sought asylum in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Manopo had been living in the U.S. for 17 years. Another Christian man, Rovani Wangko, had lived in the U.S. for 22 years. Wangko’s wife visited him every night while he was being held in the detention center. She didn’t even know he had been deported until he called her from Japan saying he had been put on a flight back to Indonesia.
These Chinese Christians have been caught up in deportations ordered by President Trump that were meant to target illegal alien criminals and students who overstayed their visas, not people seeking asylum from religious persecution.
A similar fate may await scores of Iraqi Catholics in Detroit. Chaldeans, an ethnoreligious group from Iraq, have also sought religious sanctuary in America. Again, ICE officials rounded up and detained large numbers of these Chaldeans.
If ICE can arrest people seeking asylum from religious persecution, why can’t they arrest illegal aliens who commit heinous crimes against American citizens?
Portland, Oregon, is one of about 300 sanctuary cities in the United States. Sergio Jose Martinez has become the poster child for illegal alien criminals who return to sanctuary cities after deportation.
The 31-year-old man has been in and out of jail and drug treatment centers since he was 15. He has a long arrest record in California, Texas, and Oregon that goes back to 2003. His most recent arrest in Oregon was for sexual assaults against women.
Martinez has a long history of being deported and then returning to the U.S. illegally.
Others with histories of committing crimes, being deported, and then returning illegally to commit more crimes include a Mexican man who has been deported seven times. In July 2017, Nemias Garcia-Velasco, age 32, was charged with vehicular homicide and drunk driving after he crashed his van on a Nebraska interstate, killing a 58-year-old father of three.
Many other illegal aliens are known MS-13 gang members who terrorize communities around the country and thrive in sanctuary cities. These gang members and other illegal aliens commit murder, rape, and armed robbery, but are welcomed with open arms by local police and officials who blatantly defy our federal immigration laws and refuse to protect their local citizens.
Why are ethnic Christians who seek sanctuary in the U.S. being deported while illegal aliens who commit crimes against Americans are being provided with a safe haven?
How can elected officials claim sanctuary city status for illegal alien criminals while denying religious freedom and a safe haven to people being persecuted for their faith?
It’s time to stop protecting illegal alien criminals and start protecting people who are persecuted for their faith and seek true sanctuary in the United States!