A Black American woman is being deported after boasting of living in a resort in Indonesia during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Twitter, Kristen Gray wrote that she and her girlfriend booked one-way flights to Bali in the winter of 2019 with a goal to stay in the country for six months to “stack some bread and elevate our lifestyle,” according to The Jakarta Globe.
“I was broke, struggling to find work the entire year of 2019 and I wanted to take a stab at entrepreneurship,” she wrote.
When the outbreak of COVID-19 hit, she said that they threw out the six-month plan and buckled down in the Indonesian province.
NewsOne reported that the Los Angeles, California, resident drew attention from many and skepticism from local authorities with her Twitter thread that detailed how she was able to move from her studio apartment to a Bali treehouse for a low cost.
“I was paying $1,300 for my LA studio. Now I have a treehouse for $400. Dec. 2019 on the left… Jan 2021 on the right,” she wrote in a photo post.
According to Nuice Media, which covers Indonesian news, a press release from the Bali Ministry of Justice and Human Rights said that it was moving forward with the deportation of Gray, who was in violation of the 2011 Immigration Laws Article 75 for endangering public safety by inviting people to Bali during a pandemic, and Article 122 for abusing the purpose of her visa.
The press release from the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights stated that Ms Gray violated the 2011 Immigration Laws article 75 for endangering public safety by inviting people to Bali during a pandemic, and article 122 for violating the purpose of her visa.
— Nuice Media (@nuicemedia) January 19, 2021
Leading up to the decision, digital sleuths brought into question the length and expiration date of Gray’s visa, as well as her having authored an e-book detailing how one could make the move from the states to Indonesia during the outbreak.
At an immigration proceeding, Gray suggested that she was being targeted by deportation officials because of her relationship with her girlfriend and the government’s homophobic views.
“First off, I am not guilty,” Gray said. “I have not overstayed my visa, I have not made money in Indonesia.”
She added, “I put out a statement about LGBT and I’m being deported because of LGBT.”
the girl that made the bali thread is getting deported wow pic.twitter.com/3KBPtVNO2Z
— leo sun | leo moon ???????? (@moisturizednerd) January 19, 2021
Deleted tweets from Gray were discovered where she allegedly admits to deciding to stay in the province after the pandemic, according to The Globe. She also allegedly tweeted about the success of her graphic design company, which had its “best year” since she made her international move.
Typically, visa violations carry sanctions as serious as criminal charges, fines and deportation. Authorities have not yet announced any additional sanctions outside of deporting Gray.
“That remains to be seen, but [visa] offenses by a foreign national could risk deportation or criminal charges,” Arvin Gumilang, an immigration office spokesman, said, adding that the ban on international travelers is still in effect until Jan. 25.
Gray’s partner, being identified by authorities as “Saundra,” was not mentioned in any violations. But, she is expected to join Gray, who is facing a six-month ban from Indonesia, in her return flight to America, The Globe reported.