Indonesian man, told to leave US, seeks sanctuary in church
MERIDEN, Conn. (AP) — A former Fulbright scholar has taken sanctuary inside a Connecticut church rather than be deported to his native Indonesia.
Sujitno Sajuti (suh-JEET’-no saw-JEHW’-tee) had been ordered by Immigration and Customs Enforcement to board a plane Tuesday. He instead entered Meriden’s Unitarian Universalist Church.
The 68-year-old West Hartford resident came to the United States in 1981 on a Fulbright Scholarship, earning advanced degrees from Columbia University and the University of Connecticut. He overstayed his student visa and remained in the United States.
He says he considers the U.S. home and would be a stranger in Indonesia. He says he’s registered with immigration officials since 2001.
He’s the third person to seek sanctuary this year inside a Connecticut church to avoid deportation.
President Donald Trump has taken a tough stance against illegal immigration, saying he needs to keep the country safe.