‘You Cannot Go Out’

Since October, Sujitno and Dahlia Sajuti have lived in a Unitarian Universalist church, pleading to stay in the country they’ve called home for thirty years.


Sujitno Sajuti cannot answer the door at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Meriden, Connecticut. If he does and a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) official awaits, the official will immediately detain and deport him.

In August 2017, Sujitno’s request for stay was denied and he was told to leave the country by October 10. The night before his deportation, he and his wife, Dahlia, moved into the church, where the congregation has converted a small upstairs office into a bedroom.

Since then, Sujitno and Dahlia have lived in this suburban church atop a small hill overlooking a valley to the east. One month after he took sanctuary, I spent a November afternoon with Sujitno. At 68 years old, Sujitno, who has lived in the United States since 1989, shuffles in his slippers from the kitchen to the reading room. There are posters of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks on the walls. He sits in a rocking chair and looks up. His light brown eyes are professorial, piercing but inviting. Wispy gray hair drifts out from under his songkok. READ MORE HERE.

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