Moigu Standing Bear, 62, his wife Firda Standing Bear, 32, and their daughter Sophia Iris Standing Bear, 5, have recently moved to the United States from Indonesia last year. In 2018 the family decided to visit the United States for a few days, but due to unforeseen circumstances Mr. And Mrs. Standing Bear ended up staying in the country permanently for now. Firda is in the process of getting her immigrant visa on behalf of her United States Citizen husband.

Moigu is a Mohegan Native American, born and raised in Connecticut. He was once chief of a tribe for many years. He was involved in tribal politics, teaching tribal customs and traditions as well as being president of the National American Indian Defense Association. Moigu was also a chief of a tribe for many years.  He was involved in civil rights issues for Native Americans. He was much very involved in helping the Indian tribes and helping his people. He eventually decided to move to Indonesia in 2008 to work as a teacher in education, which he did for 10 years.

Firda was born and raised in Surabaya, Indonesia.  She worked in many jobs, but before meeting her husband she worked with a musician crew. “That’s how I can connect with him through songs actually, we discuss about songs and music, he is also a singer in his tribe as well, we talk about music a lot, and that’s how we have a our click toward each other,” she said.  Moigu helped his wife get a job as a teacher, which she loved very much after teaching and working with children.  

Firda’s immigration process is a little bit more difficult than the ordinary immigrant. She is trying to get legal status within the United States, but if she were to get deported, she wouldn’t just get sent to the border, she would actually get sent back to Indonesia. Her only option now is getting her work authorization as soon as possible to avoid any apprehensions and thus any deportations from Customs Border Patrol. “I never thought immigration was going to be that difficult,” he said about our immigration system. “I think we have it all to thank, is Mr. Trump who’s made things very difficult for anybody to migrate to this country,” he said.

Moigu and Firda, along with their daughter Sophia, went thru very difficult times at their arrival in this country. Upon arrival they were staying with Moigu’s friend, but ended up at a shelter in Santa Fe, New Mexico because they were unable to return to Indonesia. Moigu is under medical treatment for heart and liver failure.  His doctor prohibited any air travel due to his heart condition, and for this reason they cannot return to Indonesia. They hope she can get her legal status soon, as they don’t plan on a separation for any reason. “The thing is I don’t know how I’m going to feel leaving my daughter here, I don’t know how he’s going to feel taking my daughter with me, so we’ve never separate in our 10-year marriage, so we like to stay as a family,” she said.


The Faces of Immigration Project is a 40 Day photo journal series used to highlight the stories of all Immigrants. The project is meant to shed light on some of the many reasons people have for immigrating to the U.S. Statements and stories have been edited for content, clarity, and brevity and may not reflect the entirety of an Immigrant’s reasons for immigrating to the United States.


By Paul Ratje


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