All posts tagged: immigration

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 …

Throwback Thursday: The Boat People of Laos

#ThrowbackThursday #RefugeesWelcome #BoatPeople #StraightOuttaCamp Boat people fleeing. Escaping violent wars. Struggling in poverty. Borders open and borders closed to welcoming and unwelcoming locals. To the thousands of refugees from Southeast Asia across the world, today’s images of Europe’s refugee crisis triggers those same memories. Over 30 years later, we’re still grappling with how we’re remembering, reflecting, and healing from the past in the midst of what we all feel too familiar with. Nor Sanavongsay’s newspaper clipping is an example of that. “My thoughts when looking at the newspaper clipping is, “we were so oblivious to what was happening and the significance of the history we were making.” When I think back about those times again, I wished I had been more in contact with my sponsors. They pretty much saved our lives, and gave us a better one. We owe a lot to them for taking great care of us.” -Nor Sanavongsay, Founder of Sahtu Press What do you think of the current refugee crisis? Do you have a similar memory from the past?