#Right2Reunite: Help us Bring Back Four California Deportees

District Attorneys, Immigration Courts & Governor Gavin Newsom

The #Right2Reunite campaigns aims to reunite families torn apart by deportation. This is a stance against the forced removal, the physical restriction, and family separation of people impacted by the violence of deportation.

We need your support to reunite four more Cambodian deportees with their family and community. We know that if we’re able to prevent people from getting deported, we can also bring them back home!

Veasna (China), Kay Kay, Chanthan (Tone), and Chantha were separated from their families by ICE.

These four deportees came to the United States as children fleeing from the U.S. backed genocide in Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge. Their families settled in heavily policed and under-resourced neighborhoods throughout California during the height of mass incarceration. As youths, they committed crimes during the tough on crime era of the 1990s. Because of the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, Cambodians who committed so-called "crimes of moral turpitude," aggravated felonies, controlled substances (drug) offenses, firearms offenses, and domestic violence crimes are at risk for deportation. After serving their sentence, many were released and built their lives all over again and some were directly transferred to ICE Detention. Many were deported to Cambodia.

Cambodian refugees who escaped war, resettled into the United State’s tough on crime era, endured incarceration, and were deported have yet to be afforded the right to freely be with their families uninterrupted. Cambodian refugees have only seen a continuous state of structural violence and family separation.

Help us put an abrupt end to family separation. Help us keep families together. Help us remove the barriers that physically keep families apart. Help us reunite families separated by deportation.

To: District Attorneys, Immigration Courts & Governor Gavin Newsom
From: [Your Name]

District Attorneys have the power to vacate old convictions and bring deportees back home. This is the case for Veasna, Kay Kay, and Chantha. In 1995, when she was 19, Veasna was charged with a minor drug offense and spent 3-years in state prison. When Kay Kay was 18, he was given a 2-year sentence in a state prison for snatching a purse. Both Veasna and Kay Kay were among the first wave of Khmer people to get deported to Cambodia in 2004. Chantha was sentenced to state prison for the possession of a fire-arm that was not his. After the completion of their sentences, they were all picked up by ICE agents and ordered deported. The Los Angeles District Attorney office has the power to vacate Vesna and Kay Kay’s convictions. The Fresno District Attorney’s office has the power to vacate Chantha’s conviction.

The Immigration Courts can reopen cases for reassessments. In 2015 the California Ninth Circuit Court held that his conviction was not a deportable case. Chanthan was deported in 2011. If he were to have been released from prison after 2015, he would not have been deported. The immigration courts have the power to bring Chanthan back.

Governor Gavin Newsom has the power to grant pardons to protect genocide survivors indefinitely. Governor Gavin Newsom has granted pardons to protect refugees from getting deported. He also has the power to grant pardons to deportees and reunite them with their families. Gavin Newsom has the responsibility to reunite families separated by deportation. Governor Newsom, pardon Kay Kay, Chantha, and Chanthan so they can be reunited with their families.