The following is an excerpt from WNYC originally published March 15, 2017.
Harry Pangemanan was never all that handy. But after Sandy hit, he started cleaning up along the Jersey Shore. He learned from volunteers who came from across the country how to hang drywall and install a bathroom. The 46-year-old father of two would go on to lead the rebuilding of about 200 homes in neighborhoods affected by the storm.
"If community comes together, community helps together, then everything we think is impossible is possible," Pangeman said as he revealed his latest rebuild in Keyport last month.
Pangemanan, who lives in Highland Park, N.J., runs a church nonprofit that does this kind of work. His staff is made up of refugees from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Kenya and Burkina Faso, volunteering their time. Some in the group worry they won't be able to continue their work given President Trump's tough immigration policy. But it's Pangemanan himself who is in the crosshairs of the federal government.
Pangemanan, an immigrant from Indonesia who is in the country illegally, is one of thousands who are required to periodically check in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers. It's a strategy that allows ICE to track those with deportation orders who are not deemed security threats.