NEW YORK, N.Y. – Members of the Reformed Church of Highland Park and the New York and New Jersey Indonesian community plan to stage a rally outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral to celebrate Epiphany and push for the passage of H.R. 3590 this Thursday at 11 a.m.
“Epiphany is when Christians remember the arrival of the wise men who caught a vision of God’s future and set off on a journey. Our Indonesian brothers and sisters caught a vision of God and traveled to our country for a safer life free of religious persecution. Our government has told these families that they will be deported back to this violence but this bill will provide them relief” said Pastor Seth Kaper-Dale of the Reformed Church of Highland Park.
Kaper-Dale refers to H.R. 3590, a bill co-sponsored by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY-14) and Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ-6) that would allow those fleeing religious persecution in Indonesia to re-submit their asylum cases here in the U.S. for review. He says members of his congregation face jail time, violence and retaliation if they are returned to Indonesia and that ICE should use “prosecutorial discretion” as directed in a memo from President Obama and focus their priorities on cases of habitual offenders and those with criminal records.
“Everything has been happening so fast this past month” said Harry Pangemanan, a father who stands to be deported. “With the New York Times article, CNN in my house and the bill in Congress it seems like ICE should focus their priorities elsewhere. I hope members of Congress and the President hear our cries. We just want to raise our families in peace.”
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