Cambodians given month-long reprieve from deportation

It may seem that in our government’s current state, we only hear bad news about deportation in the United States. However, it is good to know that there are still people in our nation who fight on behalf of immigrants who are facing deportation and removal.

Kentucky residents may be encouraged to hear that a group of lawyers worked together to stop about 50 Cambodian Americans from being deported. A federal district judge has issued a temporary restraining order after the lawyers successfully argued that Immigration and Customs Enforcement violated the immigrants’ due process rights, and its own procedures regarding the raiding of places in search of Cambodian immigrants, the apprehension of Cambodian immigrants and the deportation of Cambodian immigrants. The restraining order will last one month, and was issued just before the immigrants were to fly back to Cambodia.

While this order doesn’t overrule the orders for deportation, it gives the Cambodian refugees who have resided in the U.S. for many years the time they need to develop their cases. This type of order is rare in the world of deportation. Usually judges will not halt a deportation flight mere days before it is set to take off. With regards to the Cambodians in this case, ICE started placing them under arrest back in October after the immigrants voluntarily went to their area ICE office for their standard check-ins. So many Cambodians were arrested that their attorneys were unable to provide them all with information about the reasons they were arrested. This meant that ICE was not following its own regulations with regards to detainments.

While this is encouraging for these Cambodians, there are many other immigrants from other countries that are getting arrested, detained and deported, sometimes unlawfully. In these situations, having the assistance of an immigration attorney is imperative.

Source: The Nation, “How a Group of Immigration Attorneys Stopped a Deportation Flight to Cambodia,” Julianne Hing, Dec. 19, 2017



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