BY MATT HUTCHINS
Nur Munir, a student at Harvard Divinity School who had recently been detained by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, has been released from York County Prison in Pennsylvania so that he may complete his studies at Harvard. The news of Munir’s release came on May 10th, after the Department of Homeland Security granted his application for deferred action, partly due to the tremendous support he received from students and faculty in the Harvard community. Munir had been detained for deportation after the final denial of the appeal of his asylum application, and now will be able to return to Cambridge to complete his studies.
Below is a letter written by Munir from prison on May 3rd, before his application for deferred action was granted, in which he expresses his gratitude to the Harvard community for the support he received.
To the Community of Good Heart
The Lovers of Justice and Peace
The Respected Professors and Friends
From the surrounding concrete walls of this prison, I am writing to you to deliver my sincere greeting shalom and have the honor to express my deepest appreciations for your concern and supports to the petition for deferred action which was submitted by Mr. Dennis Mulligan and Ms. Kristine Mehok on my behalf to the immigration office, district directorate USCIS Philadelphia, of the Department of Homeland Security of the United States.
A highly appreciation I also express especially to Mr. Mulligan and Ms. Mehok for their extraordinary efforts to make every endeavor, with all power of their sophisticated professionalism, to help me getting out of my current state of a very difficult time, to let me be able to accomplish the final stretch of my study at Harvard.
In the middle of this forced state of meditation in this prison with a very limited access to the outside world, I heard from Ms. Mehok during her visit in this prison that she received a lot of emails and letters in support of the petition. Mr. Mulligan also informed me about these virtuous reactions from professors and friends whom sooner or later I believe will know each of them.
The good heart you have articulated in your emails and letters demonstrated your sensitivity to care others who are in state of difficulty like I am right now. Your sincere care about me sets a miniature of example proof representing your overall noble personality that reflects your highly civilized entity.
I perceive your good heart that stands supporting me, serves a harmonious tone together with my personal commitment to stay committed to make contributions of building a better world than that we have known today as much as I can, according to my limited capacity, no matter where I will be, in Indonesia or in this country.
Ancient sagas as well as many righteous figures in different eras never cease to devote their life for preserving nobility of serving humanity, demonstrating examples for us to learn how to remain steadfast constantly in upholding noble values, care for humanity, both in the time of joy and of difficulty during our presence in any part of this earth.
Remembering this learning, I, through this open letter, avail myself of this opportunity to humbly extend a hand of invitation to you all to value this unified stance, as you have shown in your emails and letters, to be a reason to strengthen our bond relationship as a solid base to step forward of working together in the future to make a better world across countries, a world of understanding and cooperation among intercultural, interreligious, and international communities, a world of peace and justice.
The hoped deferred action of removal from this country given by the Department of Homeland Security that enable me to finish my study at Harvard, means an opening door for me to realize this proposal plan of setting up an installation network of working together to make a nobler world in today’s age, the age of the revolutionary advanced information technology which makes us possible to working together from any different corner part of this globe.
Once again, my deepest appreciations due to you for your sincere concern you have shown and for your support for the petition of the deferred action.
The color of this world is always beautified by those good hearted who care others, the civilized intellectual people like you.
I avail myself of this opportunity to maintain to the community of good heart the assurances of my highest considerations.
York Prison, May 3, 2009