54 Indonesians Deported from the United States
Friday, 11 April, 2008 | 18:20 WIB
TEMPO Interactive, Tangerang: The government of the United States deported 54 Indonesians for breaking the immigration law. They arrived at the Soekarno-Hatta airport on board a special airplane after staying in the US.
Teguh Wardoyo, Director for Indonesian Protection, and Indonesian Legal Assistance for the Foreign Affairs Department, said that they were sent home for staying overtime and do not have the necessary immigration documents. “Some of them are probably coming here through human trafficking,” said Teguh at the airport yesterday.
Special treatment was given to their deportation process. They were sent home by a rental plane of Skyservice Airlines, Boeing 757-200 C-GTBB.
They have stayed in the US for 5-15 years. “They entered America both legally and illegally for working,” said Teguh. They work at factories, restaurants and health clinics in various states like California, New York, and Texas.
Sihotang, 52 years old, said that he stayed in the United States for 15 years with a 6-month tourist visa. He worked as a member of the medical staff at a clinic and is paid US$150 every two weeks. The US did this immigration operation two months ago. “We have been treated very well,” he said.
Anis Hidayah, Executive Director of Migrant Care, said this deportation should be a warning for the Indonesian government to prevent this from happening again. “Our embassy should be proactive in checking ,” said Anis on the phone.
Without a proper registration, the deportation to Indonesians will happen repeatedly. The protection will be difficult to be given when they have a problem in some one else's country.
Anis suggested that the government do more dissemination of information for Indonesians so they will not have difficulty in document processing. Some of them are afraid to be sent to prison for having incompleted documents. Anis said the government should re-organize their immigration process.