All posts tagged: cambodia

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 …

Inspiration, Roots and Memory: An interview with Sayon Syprasoeuth

Little Laos on the Prairie has enjoyed the work of Lao American artist Sayon Syprasoeuth for quite some time now. His journey to the US reminds us of the enormous complexity of the Lao diaspora, with many of his early years spent in Cambodia prior to coming to the US. A graduate from California State University Long Beach, he received his Master in Fine Arts from Claremont Graduate University in 2007. Sayon Syprasoeuth was born in Cambodia and raised in Thai refugee camps. His family came to the US in 1979. His art incorporates memories, spirituality, nature and culture. He’s very interested in social hybrids and cross-cultural references, often combining Eastern sources with Western sensibilities. He has shown in Phnom Penh, Berlin, China, Los Angeles and throughout the United States. He was recently appointed to the Board of Directors of the Long Beach Arts Council, and many of our readers had a chance to meet him during the National Lao American Symposium and Writers Summit in Minneapolis this year. He currently resides in Southern California, and you …