Thursday, May 9th, 2019, One of our community members from Washington walked out of Northwest Detention Center and back into the arms of her children and family in time to celebrate Mother's Day.
In March, she was detained by ICE for a decades-old deportation order, potentially robbing her children of their sole guardian.
She spent the last couple months rotating from NWDC to the Houston TX area to be interviewed by the Cambodian consulate for travel documents towards her deportation and then back.
All the while, the Khmer Anti-deportation Advocacy Group of Washington (KhAAG) along with a network of family, friends, community organizers and legal advocates, worked diligently towards her release.
KhAAG is blessed to have the help and support of the:
And so many more who remained in lockstep with us throughout this process.
Going through deportation can seem lonely and hopeless. By coming together, we show our most vulnerable that they do stand a chance. And that they do matter.
Download the press release here.
Veasna Meth (pictured here with his family) is expected to return to the U.S. Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019, from Cambodia, where he was deported to in 2014. Meth received a removal order in 2013 due to a 2008 burglary conviction. Courtesy of the Meth family
Five years after he was deported to Cambodia, Veasna Meth is expected to return home to California on Wednesday, becoming what advocates say will be the second Cambodian deportee to return to the United States.
Sothy Kum with his daughter. Courtesy of Lisa Kum
By Agnes Constante, NBC NEWS
Every day, Sothy Kum wakes up at 6:30 a.m. to talk to his wife and their 2-year-old daughter in Wisconsin, more than 8,000 miles away from his condo in Cambodia, where he's lived for the past nine months.
It's 5:30 p.m. then in the Midwest, and Kum's wife is typically just leaving work. They stay on the line for three to five hours until their daughter's bedtime.
Those conversations have become a lifeline for Kum, 44, since he was deported to Cambodia last April. Hearing the voices of his wife and daughter helps him cope with depression as he adjusts to life in a country he left when he was 2.
“I'm still not used to it,” he said. “I'm still scared of the traffic. I can't find any peace here.”
Read More: NBC NEWS Raised in the U.S. and deported to Cambodia, refugees struggle to build a new life
Over 100 people rallied at Hing Hay Park January 11 to oppose a new policy from the Trump administration that would allow thousands of Vietnamese refugees to be deported. This could include 1,000 people in the Seattle area •
Photo by Auriza Ugalino
via the International Examiner
Many Uch, a Cambodian community member at the march, has been fighting deportation for the past 22 years. “A lot of the Khmer folks that I know come from low-income neighborhoods and get caught up in the school to prison pipeline,” Uch said. “It was tough growing up – we’d get into trouble. Unfortunately, for most people when they get into trouble they don’t get deported, but for refugee communities, for immigrant communities, we get separated from our family.”
Read more: "Home is Here"
Starting 1/7/19, another round of ICE raids on Cambodians will begin. We're expecting close to 100 arrests over a two week period across the country. Here's information on how to prepare:
Link to Anoop Prasad's tweet: @Anoop_alc TWEET
1) If you have a check-in coming up in the next two weeks, call or text us at (415) 952-0413. Leave a message and let us know the date of your check-in. We'll get in touch. Request your records TODAY: http://searaids.org/request-your-file
2) If you're going to a check-in, bring someone with you. Give them your keys, wallet, and phone before you go in. Write down or memorize important phone numbers. If you don't come out, have them call us right away. (415) 952-0413
3) Make sure that everyone in your house knows to NOT open the door for ICE. More information on your rights if ICE comes to your door are available at: http://searaids.org/know-your-rights/
4) Be wary of unusual cars lurking on your block. ICE uses unmarked American cars. Sometimes instead of knocking, ICE waits for people to leave for work to arrest them.
5) Even though this is terrifying, know that the community has your back. It's possible to fight deportation. #RefugeeResilience
In this Oct. 23, 2018, file photo, Borey Ai poses for a photo at the Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus in San Francisco. Ai spent 19 years in prison before parole officials decided he'd turned his life around and he walked out of San Quentin in Nov. 2016 and into the waiting arms of federal immigration agents. Photo: Jeff Chiu, Associated Press
Unless the courts intervene, 37-year-old Borey Ai will probably be taken from his San Francisco home soon and deported to Cambodia, a country he has never seen, for a murder he committed when he was 14.
Ai is one of hundreds of Southeast Asian immigrants with criminal records who face deportation by the Trump administration, which has imposed or threatened foreign governments with financial punishment for refusing to accept them. But the immediate cause of Ai’s impending removal is an unexplained ruling by the California Supreme Court blocking outgoing Gov. Jerry Brown’s request for the man’s pardon.
A 19th century provision of the California Constitution requires the governor to gain approval from a majority of the court to grant clemency for convicts such as Ai who have at least two felony convictions. READ MORE
via Khmer Times | (above) Tan Sonec greets new arrivals from the US at a KVAO housing facility
Thirty-six of 46 Cambodians convicted of crimes and set for deportation from the United States arrived at Phnom Penh International Airport yesterday.
The 36 deportees were met by police and workers from the Khmer Vulnerability Aid Organisation before being transferred into the NGO’s care.
Last week, an attorney for the group said the US Homeland Security Department was set to deport a total of 46 Cambodian refugees convicted of crimes in the US.
However, Asia Law Caucus’ Kevin Lo yesterday said his firm and another organisation managed to save some of them from deportation.
“So five from Asia Law Caucus stay, two from Northwest Immigrant Rights Project – one was pardoned [by the governor of Washington State], and the remaining three are unknown,” Mr Lo said. READ MORE
A community-led effort to keep families together
via the International Examiner | KhAGG celebrates the release of Thuoy Phok and Roeth An. Photo by Bunthay Cheam.
As we cherish our loved ones this holiday season, 36 Khmer Americans will be oceans apart from their families in a place most have never been before.
Roughly a week before Christmas, these community members were packed on an Omni Air International flight to Cambodia. The 36 Khmer Americans were part of a late summer wave of raids by ICE into our communities, which included the seizure of seven Khmer Americans (knows as the Washington 7, or WA7) from the Seattle-Tacoma area.
Khmer Americans are one of the most vulnerable refugee communities in the U.S. and have endured a continuous cycle of displacement and re-displacement; U.S. bombings, a genocide, an ensuing refugee wave — and now deportation.
“He’s my father figure,” said Ms. Jane Chan about her uncle Mr.Thouy Phok, one of the WA7. “Since my Grandpa passed…READ MORE http://bit.ly/seaschange
via Democracy Now
Cambodians are being deported from the U.S. at record numbers, including many who have been living in the U.S. for decades after fleeing war, U.S. bombings and genocide under the Khmer Rouge. On Monday, an Omni Air flight departed from El Paso, Texas, with 36 Cambodians on board. They were deported to the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh. Attorneys believe it to be one of the largest deportation flights to Cambodia yet under the Trump administration. We speak with Kevin Lo, staff attorney in the Immigrant Rights Program at Asian Americans Advancing Justice–Asian Law Caucus. He has been working with Cambodians living in the U.S. who are facing deportation.
A flight chartered by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is said to have departed Monday from El Paso, Texas, carrying about three dozen Cambodian immigrants who came to the U.S. legally, but were ordered deported for having committed a crime.
The group, expected to land in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh on Wednesday, was to include about 46 people, according to an official who spoke with The New York Times on the condition anonymity. While ICE did not confirm the flight to NPR, an agency spokesman said in an email that it was not its policy to comment on "removal flights due to operational security." READ MORE