Deportation could be next after California court blocks pardon for crimes committed at 14
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
US deportees arrive in capital
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
opinion: Seas Change
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