A 68 year old West Hartford man is facing deportation back to his native Indonesia. Federal immigration officials have denied his latest petition to remain in the U.S., where he’s lived for more than 30 years.
Sujitno Sajuti came to the US in the 1980s on a student visa. He studied at both Columbia and UConn, but then overstayed his visa. He said he’s tried multiple times in the intervening years to legalize his status, to no avail.
In 2012 he was detained and targeted for deportation, but after his case appeared in the media, he was granted a stay, and told to check in regularly with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency.
Then a few weeks ago, he received a letter saying he must report to ICE by October 5, with a ticket back to Indonesia.
“I’m not a criminal, I never do bad thing,” he told WNPR. “It’s not fair - this is punishment for what? This is trial? I don’t do nothing. Because it’s only here, my life is here.”
ICE issued a statement saying a federal immigration judge gave Sajuti a final order of removal in 2003. ICE says it has since has allowed him numerous stays of removal, to pursue legal options to resolve his case. .
“The fact that it’s a 68 year old man is facing deportation is completely absurd,” said Sajuti’s attorney, Bridgeport based immigration lawyer Alex Meyerovich. “He’s really not a priority for anyone, and it’s effectively a death sentence if he’s sent back to Indonesia.”
Meyerovich admitted that essentially Sajuti has exhausted his legal options, but he’s appealing to ICE for clemency.
“He’s old, the quality of life is not as great, and more importantly he doesn’t have any community support,” he said. “He has no-one there, he’s going back to nowhere. No place to live, no friends, no community.”
Sajuti must now wear an ankle bracelet to monitor his movements.
He’s hoping that bringing attention to his case will work once again to prompt ICE to issue a temporary stay.