Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Will The Obama Administration's New Stance On Deportations Save This Couple?

Brian Andersen and his Indonesian husband Anton Tanumihardja may have the singular distinction of being the first couple to test the Obama administration's "kinder, gentler" stance on deporting non-criminal immigrants.

A legally married couple that now lives in Philadelphia, Anton and Brian are anxiously awaiting word from the ICE that could spell disaster or salvation for their marriage.  Anton does not have the proper documentation to stay in the United States, and under previous direction for Immigration was a candidate for deportation.  In fact, last February, he was three hours away from boarding a plane to Jakarta when an emergency appeal from politicians and advocacy groups stayed the decision to deport him.

Now the clock is ticking once more, as unless his case is dismissed, he will be due for deportation on October 7th.

From Stop the Deportations:

Unlike the two history-making cases (Henry & Josh, Doug & Alex) in which Stop The Deportations has won “administrative closure” this year, Anton’s case is significantly further along in the legal process. Anton has exhausted all his appeals and recently received a final denial of his last appeal. Because Anton has a “final order of removal” ICE has the power to put him on a plane and deport him at any time. 
Will ICE Deportations and Removals Officers apply the prosecutorial discretion guidelines to protect this married gay couple from being torn apart? As part of the Stop The Deportations campaign, Brian and Anton will use every day that remains to ensure that Anton is granted "deferred action" and to ensure that the Obama administration's commitment to same-sex binational couples facing deportation has tangible results.
Indonesia is a fairly conservative country with no protections for LGBT citizens.  It is very likely that were he to be deported, he wouldn't just face the heartbreak of separation from his husband, but also discrimination in his daily life.

Anton is not a criminal, and this makes him a prime example of the sort of individual who should be kept in his adopted country.  I pray that his family stays together.

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