A group of Indonesians in New Hampshire who are facing deportation went before federal immigration officials Friday in Manchester. Many have lived illegally in the US for years under the supervision of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), but are now encountering tightened immigration policies under President Trump.
An interfaith group held a vigil outside the federal office building where immigrants were checking in with officials. The gathering of friends and supporters from religious groups across the state sang songs and marched around the building.
More than twenty Indonesian Christians were told earlier this month to report to ICE with plane tickets back to their home country, where they fear religious persecution. On Friday, three of those families complied, unsure whether they would be detained or permitted to stay.
One family was told they could stay until at least March. The other two families were told to check in again in a matter of weeks.
Pastor Jon Hopkins of Concordia Lutheran Church led the vigil, and said, "we still have to be vigilant, because I don’t think it’s over. They have to come back in March, we have to come back in March.”
In coming weeks, more members of the Christian Indonesian community in New Hampshire will undergo similar visits, plane tickets in hand, and others will report for regular check-ins with ICE.