Shea-Porter calls for release of detained Indonesian

September 18, 2018 GMT

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A Democratic congresswoman from New Hampshire is calling for the release of an Indonesian woman detained since May after she was picked up at an immigration checkpoint.

Rep. Carol Shea-Porter on Tuesday called the continued detention of Etty Tham “unconscionable.” She also said the detention ignores a federal judge’s request to have her released from a county jail and differs from the way that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement handles these types of cases.

Earlier this month, a federal judge temporarily halted Tham’s deportation. Tham entered the U.S. in 2000 or 2001 and overstayed a tourist visa. A petition for asylum was denied.

She’s part of the Indonesians community in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, most of whom are Christians who fled religious persecution after the fall of former dictator Suharto in 1998.