Former Fulbright scholar leaving sanctuary after 598 days

MERIDEN, Conn. (AP) — A former Fulbright scholar who has been fighting deportation to his native Indonesia is leaving the sanctuary of a Connecticut church after 598 days.

Sujitno Sajuti (suh-JEET’-no saw-JEHW’-tee) has been living inside Meriden’s Unitarian Universalist church since being ordered by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in 2017 to board a plane.

Rev. Jan Carlsson-Bull, the church’s minister, says ICE officials have informed the 70-year-old Sajuti that they are no longer seeking his deportation.

The West Hartford resident came to the United States in 1981 on a Fulbright Scholarship, earning advanced degrees from Columbia University and the University of Connecticut. He overstayed his student visa and remained in the United States.

Church leaders say they will accompany Sajuti to ICE offices Friday afternoon to have his ankle bracelet removed.

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