Justice for Binsar Siahann
Act now: Read the story of Binsar Siahaan, below, and make a phone call for his immediate release (script and phone number, below).
"We oppose immigration policies [and practices] that separate family members from each other or that include detention of families with children, and we call on local churches to be in ministry with immigrant families." (Social Principals, 162.H)
"We believe the family to be the basic human community through which persons are nurtured and sustained in mutual love, responsibility, respect, and fidelity," and ¶ 162 affirms that children are "acknowledged to be full human beings in their own right, but beings to whom adults and society in general have special obligations" and that "children have the rights to food, shelter, clothing, health care, and emotional well-being as do adults, and these rights we affirm as theirs regardless of actions or inactions of their parents or guardians. In particular, children must be protected from economic, physical, emotional, and sexual exploitation and abuse."
As people of faith, we are committed to justice and human rights. This is why people from throughout the Baltimore-Washington Conference are invited to stand justly with migrant families, oppose policies and practices that separate them, and do no harm.
Binsar Siahann's story
Binsar Siahaan, a husband, father of two U.S. born children who are minors, and faithful member of Glenmont United Methodist Church, has been separated from his family. According to the Rev. Kara Scroggins, pastor at Glenmont UMC, on early Thursday morning, Sept. 10, six Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody officers showed up to the home of Binsar and Eko Siahaan- a home located on the property of Glenmont UMC - and, without warning or honest explanation, took Binsar into custody.
"They transported him to Baltimore and then to Georgia, and are seeking his immediate removal to Indonesia," Scroggins said. "The family's lawyer has left voicemails and emails for various ICE offices, and no one has returned her call to share information about why this has happened."
Binsar and Eko have a pending motion to reopen their strong case for asylum on religious grounds, the pastor said.
"They have been cooperative with all check-ins and requirements and were taken completely by surprise - and terror - when officers entered their home before 7 a.m. and began searching it," Scroggins said.
"They have been caring meticulously for the church building since the pandemic began: dusting and vacuuming the empty pews; planting gardens outside the sanctuary; and, just days before he was arrested, Binsar, noticing that the American flag outside the church was tattered, purchased a more durable one, he said, 'to fly with more pride," she said.
Now take action
Please join Bishop LaTrelle Easterling in calling ICE officials and asking for the immediate release of brother Binsar. Putting your faith in action and letting your concern be known will help Binsar and others who are personally and unjustly separated from their families.
The contact information is below, along with a script template as needed.
Georgia Field Office
Director: Thomas Giles
Atlanta ERO Field Office
"Hello, my name is ___________________ from ___(city/town)___. I am a United Methodist and I am calling regarding the immigration case of a Silver Spring, MD resident named Binsar Siahaan. Thursday morning, six ICE officers showed up to the home of Binsar and Eko Siahaan -- a home located on the property of Glenmont United Methodist Church -- and, without warning or honest explanation, took Binsar into custody and sent him to the detention center in Georgia with one of the highest covid rates in the country. Originally from Indonesia, Binsar and Eko have a pending motion to reopen their strong asylum case on religious grounds. They have two US citizen children; have been cooperative with all check-ins and requirements for more than 15 years; and have no criminal history. Binsar and Eko are devoted parents. They are active, beloved members of Glenmont United Methodist Church and their community. Their children, friends, and community need them. We ask for the immediate release of Binsar until his case is heard in court."