HIGHLAND PARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Federal lawmakers are planning to introduce legislation aimed at helping a group of Indonesian immigrants facing deportation, despite what they say is a special agreement with federal authorities that allows them to live and work in the U.S.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS Steve Sandberg reports

More than 70 Indonesian immigrants from New Jersey have been sent deportation warnings.

The majority of the affected immigrants are Christians who fled persecution in Indonesia, were denied asylum in the U.S., but were allowed to remain under special circumstances.

The Rev. Seth Kaper-Dale of Highland Park says the agreement protected groups of Indonesians in New Jersey, New York and New Hampshire.

“They have come and have lived the American dream with everything except for that fear of deportation,” he said.

Democrat Reps. Carolyn Maloney of New York and Frank Pallone Jr. of New Jersey are co-sponsoring a bill to try and help them.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Watch & Listen LIVE