Originally published by The Huffington Post
A group of about 30 refugees is currently being deported to Cambodia ― the second group U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has sent back to the country this year. They are expected to arrive in Cambodia tomorrow.
Chhoy Nuon, of Savage, Minnesota, is among those being deported, after living in detention for the past four months. His attorney had filed an emergency stay, but Nuon’s family learned on Tuesday that the request was denied without explanation. Nuon’s wife, Betty Khakham, told HuffPost that the situation has been taxing on the couple and their two kids.
“We’re pretty devastated. When I found out [Nuon had boarded the plane], I was just bawling and just in shock,” she told HuffPost. “We’re just traumatized.”
This round of so-called repatriations follows the deportation in April of the largest group of Cambodians in U.S. history.
ICE typically allows families to drop off 40 pounds of luggage for loved ones who are set to be deported, but this time, several families have reported being barred from doing so, Anoop Prasad, staff attorney at civil rights nonprofit Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus, told HuffPost.
“Many families are reporting that they were not allowed to drop off a bag, meaning people will be deported with just whatever they were wearing and had in their pockets when they were arrested,” Prasad told HuffPost. “ICE confiscates social security cards, drivers licenses, and photo ID from wallets prior to deportation. Meeting basic needs including shelter and clothing will be a challenge.”
ICE declined to comment on the deportations.
ICE confiscates social security cards, drivers licenses, and photo ID from wallets prior to deportation. Meeting basic needs including shelter and clothing will be a challenge.Anoop Prasad, Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus
These increased raids on the Southeast Asian community and subsequent deportations are likely a result of tension between the U.S. and Cambodia over repatriations, Katrina Dizon Mariategue, director of national policy at Southeast Asia Resource Action Center, or SEARAC, told HuffPost.