HARTFORD — Days following a rally for a Connecticut man that is set to be deported back to Indonesia, he is making one final plea.
Sajitno Sajuti has been ordered by ICE to leave the country on Tuesday.
The 68-year-old West Hartford resident came to the United States in the early 1980s as a Fulbright scholar, but after his student visa expired and without options to gain status in the United States, he continued to live here in Connecticut.
“A humble, peaceful gentleman who's been here for over 30 years, an active community member, is being told to leave the country for no reason,” Alok Bhatt with the Connecticut Immigrant Rights Alliance said. “He just wants to be here, live peacefully, continue his education, continue to teach his students, he means so much to them.”
Sajuti holds degrees from the University of Connecticut and Columbia University and continues to teach language and culture classes in the Hartford-area, as well as tutor young students.
“This is where he’s made his life, this is his community, this is his home,” Bhatt said.
Following the September 11 attacks, Sajuti complied with an immigrant registration and tracking program which targeted males from Muslim-majority nations.
A few months later, he was ordered to voluntarily leave the country. Sajuti tells FOX61 the process to get a visa is, “a very confusing process.”
Years later, ICE targeted him for removal and then arrested him at his home in 2011. Sajuti spent over two months detained before the community rallied for his freedom.
He has since been allowed to live with his wife Dahlia and work in the United States, but in August of this year, ICE denied his stay of removal and has been ordered to leave the country.
“For all that the government says about we only want people who are assets to our community, that contribute to our society, well, that’s exactly what he does and it hasn’t made any difference to them,” Bhatt said. “We really need to understand that this is part of a much broader systematic attack on all of our communities and we’re all ultimately going to be impacted in some form in some degree.”
Sajuti is choosing to remain hopeful, saying he’s looking for the good and puts his trust in God.
“As much strength as he shows and at peace as he is with this I can’t imagine what other conflicting thoughts and emotions are going through his head or his wife,” Bhatt said.
Sajuti is scheduled to board a plane at JFK Tuesday morning.
FOX61 reached out to ICE for more information but has not heard back.