MERIDEN, Conn. (AP) A 68-year-old former Fulbright scholar has taken sanctuary inside a Connecticut church rather than be deported to his native Indonesia.

Sujitno Sajuti, of West Hartford, had been ordered by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement to board a plane to on Tuesday. He instead entered sanctuary inside Meriden's Unitarian Universalist church.

Sajuti came to the United States in 1981 on a Fulbright Scholarship, earning advanced degrees from Columbia University and the University of Connecticut. He overstayed his student visa and chose to remain in the United States.

Sajuti says he considers the U.S. his home and would be a stranger in Indonesia. He says he has registered with immigration officials since 2001.

Sajuti is the third person to seek sanctuary this year inside a Connecticut church to avoid deportation.

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