Civil rights advocates file nationwide class action lawsuit on behalf of 100+ refugees detained by ICE.
?Posda Tuot, cousin of Nak Kim "Rickie" Chhoeun, who was detained by ICE on October 20, 2017.
Cambodian refugees detained in recent raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have filed a nationwide class action lawsuit challenging their unlawful arrests. Since early October, ICE has rounded up over a hundred Cambodian refugees with deportation orders, making these the largest raids ever to target the Cambodian community. Nearly 2000 Cambodian refugees are at risk of being unlawfully arrested.
The complaint, filed last Friday by civil rights organizations Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles, and Sidley Austin LLP, alleges the detentions are illegal, and argues that without that clear pathway to deportation, the detainees should be released.
The people detained in the raids arrived in the United States as refugee children fleeing the horrors of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. Many of them were born in refugee camps and have never set foot in Cambodia. They made the United States their home and became lawful permanent residents.
In the U.S., Cambodian refugee families struggled with trauma and poverty in violence-ridden neighborhoods. Some refugees made mistakes in their youth, which led to criminal convictions and ultimately deportation orders. But because Cambodia has refused to accept them for deportation, ICE had to release Cambodian detainees instead of keeping them indefinitely and unconstitutionally detained.