Rss@dailykos.com (gabe Ortiz) · Wednesday, May 24, 2017, 2:06 pm
Despite vocal support from faith leaders and members of the Metuchen, New Jersey, community, Arino Massie was deported by ICE last week after living in the U.S. for 16 years. Massie, a Chinese Christian, fled Indonesia nearly two decades ago to escape religious persecution. Arino had been undocumented since overstaying his tourist visa (despite Trump’s claims, “research shows that the majority of people in the country without permission are those who overstayed their visas rather than walking across a border”), and missed the deadline to apply for asylum.
In the time since then Arino married, had a son, and as part of an agreement his church was able to strike with ICE, had instructions to check in annually with the agency. But despite the fact that Arino followed ICE’s instructions by checking in, he was taken into custody earlier this year. By last week, he was gone. A group of other Indonesian men fighting deportation orders could also face similar fates:
The Rev. Seth Kaper-Dale, who has fought for the men to be allowed to stay in the U.S., was headed to a rally outside Elizabeth Detention Center, where they were being held, when he learned that a request for a “stay or removal” for Massie had been denied. Then, at 11:45 a.m., he heard from Massie.
“An hour later from the airport, Arino called to say, ‘Pastor, I’m already on the plane. I’m headed for Japan. Thanks for all the efforts of the community. Tell the community I love them. Tell my son I love him,’” Kaper-Dale recounted to the crowd of about three dozen people at the rally Thursday.
Arino’s son Joel didn’t attend the rally because he was at school. Arino’s wife told the boy later that night that his dad had been deported. “Arino has a child who needs him to bring home food every night and pay for his health care,” one church elder commented. “What’s going to happen to the children when we take the breadwinners away?”