FILE - In this Feb. 22, 2012 file photo, Sujitno Sajuti of Indonesia attends a rally by Connecticut immigrants and social rights advocates against the federal Secure Communities program the State Capitol in Hartford, Conn.
FILE - In this Feb. 22, 2012 file photo, Sujitno Sajuti of Indonesia attends a rally by Connecticut immigrants and social rights advocates against the federal Secure Communities program the State Capitol in Hartford, Conn.

HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT - Supporters of a former Fulbright scholar who took sanctuary at a Connecticut church to avoid deportation have rallied to call on federal immigration officials to allow him to stay in the U.S.

About 50 people gathered in a light rain for a peaceful demonstration Friday outside the federal courthouse in Hartford, where Immigration and Customs Enforcement has an office.

Illegal immigrants from Mexico wait in a holding area in El Paso, Texas, May 1, 2008.
US Officials Force-feed Immigration Detainees on Hunger Strike
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency has confirmed it has resorted to force-feeding some detainees in custody for illegal immigration, after those detainees staged hunger strikes to demand their release.ICE authorities confirmed on Thursday that at least six immigrant detainees have been force-fed through nasal tubes and nine others have been refusing food.

Sujitno Sajuti was ordered by ICE to return to his native Indonesia in October 2017, but instead entered the Unitarian Universalist Church in Meriden.

The 70-year-old West Hartford resident came to the U.S. in 1981 on a Fulbright Scholarship and earned advanced degrees. He overstayed his student visa and remained in the United States.

ICE officials say Sajuti is evading immigration law and his deportation order remains in effect.