Here’s a little bit of good news on the immigration reform front. Rep. Chris Smith, a Congressman representing the Fourth Congressional District (Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth, and Ocean County) has agreed to be the first Republican sponsor of HR-3590, a bill that would waive the one-year deadline for Indonesians who have experienced violent persecution. With a Republican sponsor, HR-3590 can now be introduced in committee. If this special legislation is passed quickly it could prevent the imminent deportation of hundreds of Indonesian Christians who were invited by Immigration and Customs Enforcement to identify themselves–and soon began receiving orders of deportation. If deported, these Christians would be returned to face almost certain persecution and possibly death.
This cause has been led by congregants and the pastor of the The Reformed Church of HIghland Park, and has been supported by the UULMNJ Immigration Task Force, under the leadership of members of the East Brunswick Unitarian Society. Many UU congregations around the state joined with other religious organizations to write letters, make phone calls, visit Rep. Smith’s office, and leave voice messages, for more than a year. We are encouraged to send a note of thanks to: Representative Chris Smith, Hamilton District Office, 1540 Kuser Rd. Suite A-9, Hamilton, NJ 08619.”