Two men from Middlesex County, New Jersey were detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents on Thursday morning on their way to drop their kids off to school, PIX11 reports. Gunawan Liem was arrested after he dropped his daughter off at a bus stop and Roby Sanger was detained after bringing his daughters to their school. Harry Pangemanan, of Indonesia, fled to a church, to avoid the same fate, where he is currently being sheltered by the government. He even has the support of the state’s governor.
“We are just here trying to achieve our dreams, working hard, provide for our family,” Pangemana (pictured) told PIX11. He’s now staying at the Reformed Church of Highland Park along with his family, hoping ICE will not remove him from a place of worship.
Just last week, Pangemanan was honored for leading a team of volunteers to rebuild hundreds of homes that were destroyed by Superstorm Sandy in 2012, according to 9News.
Pangemanan’s pastor, Rev. Seth Kaper-Dale, came to his aid and even videotaped the agents trying to detain him. Kaper-Dale is very upset over what has been happening with ICE.
“We had one night when 35 dads were taken in one night from Avenel, New Jersey, from the same apartment complex. I had 60 kids become orphans that night or become fatherless,” he said.
Over the last week, ICE sweeps have resulted in the detainment of over 100 of people, according to New Jersey.com. Most are from Mexico and Central America. The sweep is supposed to target “criminal aliens.”
"As part of this operation, we continue focus on the arrest of individuals who are criminal and are a threat to public safety and national security," said John Tsoukaris, who runs ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations in Newark, New Jersey.
ICE put out a statement about recent arrests stating, in part, “ICE does not target individuals based on religion, ethnicity, gender or race. Any suggestion to the contrary is patently false. During a targeted enforcement operation today, ICE arrested two foreign nationals in Franklin Park, NJ and Metuchen, NJ. These individuals have an order of removal from the United States issued by an immigration judge and upheld by the Board of Immigration Appeals. [...]Targeted enforcement operations have been a regular part of ICE’s duties for many years and are necessary to identify, arrest, detain, and remove those who present a danger to our national security or public safety, or whose continued presence in the United States otherwise undermines the integrity of our immigration system.”
Yohames Tasik has also been taking shelter in that church after ICE came after him. Arthur Jemmy said he has been living out of the church for nearly half a year.
“Hopefully Trump will change his heart because he also has a family,” Jemmy told PIX11.
The men say they don’t have criminal records.