HomeCambodian/ Khmer American37 Cambodians deported from Dallas

37 Cambodians deported from Dallas

Skulls of victims of Khmer Rouge operation in Cambodia

37 Cambodian refugees from the Dallas area arrived in Cambodia this morning after being deported by their adopted homeland, reports Reuters.

They fled the Khmer Rouge in the mid 70’s to escape the horrors of the ruthless regime which killed upwards of two million people.

35 of the deported had long ago served time for criminal convictions in the United States. They are part of a crackdown by the Trump administration to curb immigration to the United States from mostly non-White nations.

“It’s very detrimental to the community. It perpetuates this cycle of displacement and this cycle of breaking up families that has been going on since the Vietnam War and the conflicts (in Southeast Asia) that had U.S. involvement throughout the 1960s and 70s,” Bunthay Cheam, a Cambodian refugee affiliated with the Khmer Anti-Deportation Advocacy Group, said to The News Tribune.

Most of those deported had been in detention since March awaiting their fate. Efforts to sidetrack their deportations fell short.

“The barriers to reopening a case after deportation are high,” Kevin Lo of the Asian Law Caucus in San Francisco told the News Tribune.

1,900 Cambodians in the United States are facing the same fate. ICE says 1,400 are convicted criminals. The number of deported Cambodian immigrants has increased 279 percent from 2017 to 2018.

According to Reuters, Trump sees his immigration crackdown as a cornerstone of his reelection bid.

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