Posted: Sept. 17, 2020
Update, 10-20-2020: We have some much-needed good news: ICE caved! Thanks to a great legal team, Faithful America members like you, and other faith-based activists and organizers, Binsar Siahaan has been freed from ICE detention and is home with his family.
After Binsar's shocking arrest, the faith community quickly sprang into action, delivering more than 14,000 petition signatures -- including nearly 12,000 from Faithful America members -- to ICE HQ in D.C. That pressure created space for Binsar's legal team to do fantastic work, and now a family is reunited.
We printed two physical copies of your signatures. After delivering the first one to ICE, Binsar's pastor, the Rev. Kara Scroggins, tells us she's giving the second copy to his family "as a tangible, powerful reminder of their Christian siblings who stand with them. What a gift it is to know we're not alone." Our deep thanks to Pastor Kara, to Binsar's hard-working attorney, and to all the groups and churches that organized to make a difference, especially the Congregation Action Network.
Binsar's religious asylum claim is now before the Board of Immigration Appeals and will continue to work its way through the courts. His family's church, Glenmont United Methodist Church, has set up a fund to help with the substantial legal fees. Can you donate to Binsar's legal costs today?
[Original petition text below]
On September 10, six ICE agents knocked on Binsar Siahaan's door, tricked him outside, and arrested him on church grounds. He's now sitting in a Georgia detention center known for its high rate of COVID-19, facing deportation as soon as early October.
Binsar and his wife Eko came to America as asylum seekers from Indonesia in 1989, and now live on the property of Glenmont United Methodist Church, Silver Spring, MD. Their asylum case was only denied because an incompetent lawyer -- later disbarred -- failed to inform them of key deadlines.
Binsar's pastor, Kara Scroggins, tells Faithful America, "Binsar is gentle, gracious, and entirely devoted to God, his family, and his church. But we are not protesting the ungodly practices of our government simply because Binsar is deserving! We are doing it because we are called to name injustice as offensive to the Gospel of Jesus Christ."
While Binsar's new lawyer, hired by the church, pursues multiple legal options, Pastor Kara says a flood of grassroots Christian pressure will be helpful. Now it's up to us to answer that call.
Sign the petition: