Supporters of immigrant rally outside Hartford ICE office

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Supporters of a former Fulbright scholar who took sanctuary at a Connecticut church to avoid deportation have rallied to call on federal immigration officials to allow him to stay in the U.S.

About 50 people gathered in a light rain for a peaceful demonstration Friday outside the federal courthouse in Hartford, where Immigration and Customs Enforcement has an office.

Sujitno Sajuti (suh-JEET’-no saw-JEHW’-tee) was ordered by ICE to return to his native Indonesia in October 2017, but instead entered the Unitarian Universalist Church in Meriden.

The 70-year-old West Hartford resident came to the U.S. in 1981 on a Fulbright Scholarship and earned advanced degrees. He overstayed his student visa and remained in the United States.

ICE officials say Sajuti is evading immigration law and his deportation order remains in effect.

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