Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-6th) and Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.) introduced legislation Wednesday that would give Indonesian citizens fleeing religious persecution an opportunity to reopen asylum claims that were denied solely for missing the one-year filing deadline for asylum in the United States.
The legislation, tagged the "Indonesian Family Refugee Protection Act," would allow the Indonesian citizens, many of whom arrived during a five-year timeframe — Jan. 1, 1997 to Nov. 30, 2002 — the opportunity to reopen their claims during the two-year period following enactment.
“The legislation we are introducing today will allow Indonesian citizens who fled religious persecution a fair opportunity at applying for asylum in the United States,” Pallone said. “Many of these individuals, who have become valuable members of their local communities, may be forced to return to perilous circumstances without action. Giving these individuals a chance at applying for asylum ensures that we uphold the most American of values of protecting those fleeing religiously motivated violence and intolerance.”
—TOM HESTER SR., NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM