All posts filed under: Immigration Reform

Deportations of Southeast Asian Americans: A Glaring Human Rights Issue in an Unjust Immigration System

This piece was also published on Reappropriate and Angry Asian Man.  Last week, war veterans, mothers, fathers, family, friends, and children held signs of pleas to stop deportations of their loved ones. Organized by family members of those detained, and supported by a coalition of API advocacy organizations, people lined the streets of Minneapolis outside Senator Amy Klobuchar’s office to demand justice after almost a dozen Cambodian Minnesotans were detained for deportation. This isn’t solely in the Cambodian community. Just last year, the story of Lao American DJ Teace aka Thisaphone Sothiphakhak was in the Minneapolis City Pages. “That’s the most frustrating feeling. I went through the court system, and literally something 18 years ago came back and made me feel like I was less than human.” History of deportations: SEARAC reported in 2015 that since 1998, about 16,000 Southeast Asian Americans from Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos have been given deportation orders, the majority on the basis of past criminal convictions where time has already been served. These numbers lead us to systemic double punishment …

Refugee Nation Arriving in April

Just in time for the Lao New Year! Intermedia Arts hosted the amazing Refugee Nation play four years ago with Pangea World Theater and Lao Assistance Center and couldn’t wait to bring it back to the Twin Cities. It’s important to note that it will only be presented 8 times, from April 10-13  and April 17-20. The Sunday shows are at 2:30 in the afternoon. The Thursday, Friday and Saturday shows start at 8pm promptly. Tickets are $15 at the door, although $12 advance, student and senior discounts are available. As executive director Theresa Sweetland put it, “It is moving, powerful, hopeful and even funny at times and opens up a necessary and meaningful conversation about the legacies of war on individuals, generations, families and communities.” Refugee Nation is about a young generation seeking to understand their history and a community healing from the traumas of war. Many aspects were inspired in part by conversations with Laotian Minnesotans and others across the country. Award-winning writer Bryan Thao Worra has described it as “one of the most …