Browsing Tag

deportation

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New bill would give relief to Southeast Asian refugees facing deportation

southeast asian deportation relief act
  • The Southeast Asian Deportation Relief Act would allow judges to grant relief to those with prior convictions who are also facing deportation.
  • About 15,000 Southeast Asians in the U.S. have final removal orders, according to the Southeast Asian Freedom Network.
  • If passed, the bill would limit the Department of Homeland Security’s control over the deportation of people from Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos who came to the U.S. before 2008.
  • It would give permanent authorization of employment for individuals who have a final order of removal.
  • The bill would also end in-person Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency check-ins.

A new bill hoping to end the deportation of noncitizens convicted of certain crimes was introduced on Tuesday.

The Southeast Asian Deportation Relief Act would allow judges to grant relief to those with prior convictions who are also facing deportation.

Deported Cambodian refugee returns home to Southern California after 11 years

Cambodian deportee
  • In 2011, ICE deported Cambodian refugee Sophea Phea to a country her family fled from in the 1970s to escape genocide.
  • While in Cambodia, Phea became a teacher and started advocating for other Southeast Asian deportees in a bid to help them return home to the U.S.
  • After years of advocacy, she finally received a pardon from Calif. Governor Gavin Newsom in 2020.
  • Phea, now 40, reunited with her family and loved ones last month in Long Beach.
  • “I have a big family, so I am looking forward to participating in family functions again and reconnecting with all of them!” she said upon her return. “I also look forward to pursuing my career in the education field and going back to school to get my degree.”

After being deported to Cambodia in 2011, a former refugee was recently reunited with her family and loved ones in Long Beach, California.

Sophea Phea, 40, was able to return to the U.S. last month, two years after Governor Gavin Newsom pardoned her from her criminal record. 

California lawmakers reject bill that aims to stop prison-to-ICE transfers

  • VISION Act (AB 937) fell three votes short of the 21 it needed to pass in the California Senate on Wednesday.
  • Introduced by Assemblymember Wendy Carillo last year, the legislation aims to bar state prisons from transferring inmates to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody after they finish serving their sentences.
  • Asian immigrants Bounchan Keola and Kao Saelee, who worked as incarcerated firefighters, were among those taken by ICE custody after being released.
  • Supporters of the bill say the inmates have already served their time and deserve a chance to restart their lives.
  • Critics, on the other hand, believe they continue to be a threat to society, especially those with violent criminal history.
  • With the Senate rejection, the bill returns to the Assembly for a final vote before heading to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk.

A bill that would bar California jails from moving inmates to federal immigration custody after completing their prison sentences was rejected by the state Senate on Wednesday.

The legislation, known as the VISION Act (AB 937), received an 18-13 roll call in the Senate. Four Democrats and nine Republicans opposed the bill, which fell three votes short of the 21 needed for its passage. 

Cambodian refugee who came to US as 1-year-old is deported after no pardon from California Gov. Newsom

  • On Tuesday, Phoeun You, a former child refugee from Cambodia, was deported to a country he is barely familiar with after failing to get a pardon from California Governor Gavin Newsom.
  • You, who joined a gang in his teens, shot and killed a 17-year-old at age 20 while retaliating against a gang attack on a young member of his family.
  • The 48-year-old reformed inmate had been deemed safe for early release by the San Quentin Prison parole board after serving a 25-year prison sentence.
  • While in prison, You became a founding member of the restorative justice program Restoring Our Original True Selves, served as a counselor with Bay Area Women Against Rape, and mentored other detained refugees from Asia.
  • The Asian Prisoner Support Committee and other advocates have been urging Newsom to grant You a pardon and stop the deportation.
  • You's eldest brother, James Bunyou, lamented how Newsom “chose not to" intervene on You’s behalf.

A 48-year-old reformed inmate who served 25 years in prison was deported by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to Cambodia on Tuesday.

Phoeun You, a former child refugee from Cambodia, was sent back to a country he is barely familiar with after failing to get a pardon from California Governor Gavin Newsom.

UK government admits to forcibly deporting Chinese sailors who served the nation in WWII

  • An investigation conducted by the United Kingdom's Home Office revealed that Chinese sailors who served in the British Merchant Navy during World War II were forcibly deported.
  • Based on the findings of the 22-page report, sailors who had married and had children with women in Liverpool were deported without notice.
  • During the period, the Chinese sailors and other foreign men who married British women were not given a legal path or opportunity to live in the U.K.
  • The Home Office investigation comes over a year after a parliamentary debate on the matter was raised by opposition lawmaker Kim Johnson.
  • According to Johnson, the report “debunks the myth parroted by successive British governments that these repatriations were all voluntary. The conspiracy between the state and the shipping companies to maintain a cheap pool of labor along racial lines is in many ways the story of empire, and the story of Liverpool."

Chinese sailors who served in the United Kingdom’s Merchant Navy during World War II were forcibly deported by the government, its own Home Office has admitted in its investigation.

According to the department’s 22-page report about the deportations, some of the sailors who had built their families in Liverpool, England, were separated from their wives and children without warning. 

New photos of North Korean defectors being dragged back at border sparks condemnation from Seoul

  • On Wednesday, South Korea’s presidential office condemned the former progressive administration’s decision to repatriate two North Korean fishermen in 2019 amid newly released photographs of the men being forcibly moved across the border.
  • President Yoon Suk-yeol’s spokesperson Kang In-sun denounced the act as “a crime against humanity that violated both international law and the constitution.”
  • The fishermen, who were accused of killing 16 of their shipmates, had been described as “heinous criminals” by then President Moon Jae-in’s spokesperson Kim Eun-han.
  • In the newly released photographs, the fishermen are seen being dragged by South Korean men in military uniforms at the truce village of Panmunjom.
  • Eight lawmakers, including Moon’s former situation room chief Yoon Kun-young, accused the president of re-opening the case to deliberately undermine the opposition party.
  • While it is unconfirmed, it is suspected that the men were publicly executed in Pyongyang.

On Wednesday, South Korea’s presidential office condemned the former progressive administration’s decision to repatriate two North Korean fishermen in 2019 amid newly released photographs of the men being forcibly moved across the border.

The images were made public by Seoul’s Unification Ministry. In response, President Yoon Suk-yeol’s spokesperson Kang In-sun called the decision “a crime against humanity that violated both international law and the constitution.”

Gov. Newsom urged to pardon former Cambodian refugee at risk of being deported after prison sentence

  • Phoeun You, whose family fled the Cambodian genocide, is now at risk of being deported back to the country after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents detained him immediately after he was released from prison in January.
  • You had been deemed safe for early release by the San Quentin Prison parole board after serving a 25-year prison sentence.
  • You, who joined a gang in his teens, shot and killed a 17-year-old at age 20 while retaliating against a gang attack on a young member of his family.
  • While in prison, You earned his associate of arts degree from Patten University and went on to become a journalist for the San Quentin News as well as a counselor and mentor to other inmates.
  • He also helped found the self-help program ROOTS (Restoring Our Original True Selves) with his peers.
  • The Asian Prisoner Support Committee and other advocates have since urged California Gov. Gavin Newsom to grant him a pardon and effectively stop his impending deportation.

A former child refugee from Cambodia who served 25 years in prison is now at risk of being deported back to a country he is barely familiar with.

Despite being deemed safe for early release by the San Quentin Prison parole board, 47-year-old Phoeun You was handed over to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents in January after being pardoned. 

Queer California man faces risk of deportation to Fiji after living in the US for 44 years

  • Salesh “Sal” Prasad, 50, is facing deportation to his birth country, Fiji, where he is at risk of violence and abuse for being a queer person.
  • Prasad, who arrived in the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident in 1978, had a troubled childhood growing up in Modesto, California.
  • At age 22, he was convicted of second-degree murder after killing a person during an altercation. He was given a life sentence with the possibility of parole after 20 years.
  • After serving 27 years of his prison sentence, the state determined that he was not a public safety risk and granted him parole. However, he was handed over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on the day of his release on August 19, 2021.
  • “If I’m deported, I won’t survive. I won’t make it in Fiji. There’s no protection there for me. There’s no support,” he was quoted as saying in a call from the detention center. “I’d be forced to be somebody I’m not. I don’t want to hide again. I should be able to love who I want to love.”
  • Lawyers representing Prasad have argued that he should be set free since state authorities have considered him safe for release, but ICE has maintained that Prasad falls under President Joe Biden's Immigration Enforcement Priorities for deportation due to his past criminal conviction.

A 50-year-old Californian is facing deportation to his birth country, Fiji, where he is at risk of violence and abuse for being a queer person.

Salesh “Sal” Prasad arrived in the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident in 1978 and grew up in Modesto, California. Prasad had a troubled childhood, having suffered severe physical and sexual abuse as a young child. One beating even led to him losing his hearing.

Filipino woman allegedly abused by her employers pleads to stop her family’s deportation from Canada

Filipino mother Canadian deportation
  • Migrante Alberta and the supporters of a Filipino mother and her six-year-old daughter who require special medical attention plead with the federal government to stop their deportation from Canada.
  • Evangeline Cayanan, who entered Canada in 2010 as a temporary foreign worker, lost her work permit and became undocumented in 2015 after she reported two of her employers for harassment and discrimination and was fired from her job.
  • Her daughter, McKenna, was born in the same year, but her applications to renew her work permit were rejected.
  • McKenna was diagnosed with severe ADHD and other medical conditions. Cayanan fears her 6-year-old daughter will not have the same healthcare access in the Philippines.
  • A petition to call on Ministers Marco Mendicino and Sean Fraser to stop their deportation and grant them permanent resident status has been organized by Migrante Alberta. It has now garnered nealy 3,000 signatures as of this writing.

Supporters of a Filipino mother and her 6-year-old daughter who requires special medical attention are pleading with the federal government to stop their deportation from Canada. 

Evangeline Cayanan, who entered Canada in 2010 as a temporary foreign worker, is set to be deported to the Philippines with her Canadian citizen daughter, McKenna Rose, on July 8. 

42-year-old Vietnamese refugee ready for deportation after being behind bars since he was 15 in Hong Kong

A Vietnamese refugee who was jailed as a 15-year-old boy in Hong Kong has given up efforts to fight deportation, as the move appears to be his only shot at freedom.

A 42-year-old Vietnamese refugee who was jailed as a 15-year-old boy in Hong Kong has given up efforts to fight deportation, as the move appears to be his only shot at freedom.

Sentencing: Vo Van Hung was sentenced to life after killing another refugee in 1994. Though he finished serving his reduced sentencing in 2016 under a legislative amendment, he remains in detention due to his status as an illegal immigrant, according to the Hong Kong Free Press.

Bipartisan bill to give ‘Documented Dreamers’ path to citizenship blocked by Senate parliamentarian

documented dreamers bill citizenship blocked

A proposed bipartisan bill aimed at giving so-called “Documented Dreamers” a path to permanent residency hit a roadblock on Sunday after Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough ruled against including immigration reforms in Democrats’ $3.5 trillion, 10-year spending plan

Rare bipartisan support: Last week, Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Calif., and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., unveiled the “America’s Children Act” legislation that aims to grant children of long-term visa holders a means to apply for their own green card, the New York Times reported.