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Paul, Weiss Obtains Temporary Restraining Order Preventing Deportation of Indonesian Christians in New Jersey

Paul, Weiss and co-counsel ACLU and ACLU of New Jersey filed a habeas petition and class action complaint in the District of New Jersey on behalf of a group of Indonesian Christians seeking to avoid deportation. That same evening, Judge Salas issued a temporary restraining order staying deportations pending further briefing. 

Our clients fled anti-Christian persecution in the 1990s and have been living in the U.S. subject to orders of supervision and close monitoring. Most have children who are U.S. citizens, and are active in their communities―including our lead named client, who won a humanitarian award for his work rebuilding homes, both on the New Jersey shore following Superstorm Sandy and in Texas after Hurricane Harvey.

Recently, as part of a broader shift in immigration enforcement priorities, ICE has abruptly moved to detain and deport these individuals, as well as other similarly situated groups throughout the U.S.  For our clients, this policy shift came to a head on January 25 when ICE officers arrested two class members after they dropped their kids off at school and attempted to arrest a third, who obtained sanctuary in a local church. Due to a sharp increase in anti-Christian activity in Indonesia since 2012, the clients are very likely to face persecution if forced to return to Indonesia. Our lawsuit, Pangemanan, et al. v. Tsoukaris, et al., seeks to stay deportations so that class members can reopen their underlying immigration cases and argue that they are entitled to asylum in the U.S. based on changed country conditions in Indonesia. 

The Paul, Weiss team is comprised of litigation partner Walter Ricciardi, pro bono counsel Emily Goldberg and associates Andrew Markquart, Stephen Popernik, Urooj Khan and Tamar Holoshitz.

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