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June 1, 2006

Deportation of 9-year-old deaf boy is put on hold

From: Philadelphia Inquirer, PA - Jun 1, 2006

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit yesterday temporarily halted the deportation of Joshua Tantoro, a severely deaf 9-year old from Indonesia, and his family. The family will get to stay in the United States for as long as it takes to make a case that the boy, a student at Archbishop Ryan School for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children, would be mistreated in his native country because of his disability.

In his order granting the stay of deportation, Circuit Judge Julio M. Fuentes said that "they have shown some likelihood of success on the merits."

Joshua's father, Beni Tan, is being held in immigration custody at the York County Correctional Facility. The family came to the United States on visitors visas and made a failed bid for political asylum, saying they had faced persecution as ethnic Chinese Christians in a majority Muslim nation. Now, they will get a chance to make an unusual claim: that an entire family be granted asylum on the basis of a child's persecution.

"We wanted to at least get a chance to present this type of case," said Joseph Hohenstein, the family's lawyer.

Gaiutra Bahadur

© 2006 Philadelphia Inquirer and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.