For the first time in nearly 20 years, Hay Hov has a green card.
Hov, a Cambodian refugee from Oakland who was detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in March, has been freed from a facility in Bakersfield and is no longer at risk of deportation, his attorney said.
The Chronicle highlighted his story days before he and dozens of others across the U.S. were detained by ICE, amid an uptick in the arrests of Cambodians who committed crimes long ago and subsequently lost their green cards.
His attorney, Kevin Lo, had argued that a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the federal definition of a “crime of violence” put Hov outside ICE’s reach for deportation. Federal Immigration Judge Jaime Jasso, based in Imperial County, reversed Hov’s removal proceedings and restored his green card status in on April 25.
Lo was notified of the court order last week, and Hov was released the same day. He took a Greyhound bus back to the Bay Area.
“It feels like a dream. It’s like I’m in heaven,” said Hov during a phone interview Friday, minutes before speaking at a community rally at the state Capitol.
“I’m here to fight for others who haven’t been released yet,” he said.
Every day, Sothy Kum wakes up at 6:30 a.m. to talk to his wife and their 2-year-old daughter in Wisconsin, more than 8,000 miles away from his condo in Cambodia, where he’s lived for the past nine months.
It’s 5:30 p.m. then in the Midwest, and Kum’s wife is typically just leaving work. They stay on the line for three to five hours until their daughter’s bedtime.
Those conversations have become a lifeline for Kum, 44, since he was deported to Cambodia last April. Hearing the voices of his wife and daughter helps him cope with depression as he adjusts to life in a country he left when he was 2.
PHNOM PENH—Thuch Sek’s skin is an ink-filled canvas, his Cambodian heritage and American life woven across his back and down his limbs. thug life marks his right forearm; a misspelled tattoo extolling khemer prideblankets his muscled shoulder blades. The 39-year-old was born in a Thai refugee camp to parents fleeing the Khmer Rouge, the brutal regime that in the late 1970s killed nearly a quarter of Cambodia’s population; at the age of 2, he resettled with his family in Philadelphia.
Thirty-six of 46 Cambodians convicted of crimes and set for deportation from the United States arrived at Phnom Penh International Airport yesterday.
The 36 deportees were met by police and workers from the Khmer Vulnerability Aid Organisation before being transferred into the NGO’s care.
Last week, an attorney for the group said the US Homeland Security Department was set to deport a total of 46 Cambodian refugees convicted of crimes in the US.
However, Asia Law Caucus’ Kevin Lo yesterday said his firm and another organisation managed to save some of them from deportation.
Six months after he was deported to Cambodia, a country he has never visited and a place his family fled as refugees more than three decades ago, Phorn Tem returned Friday to the United States and his waiting family.
It was a surprise to his mother, Run Nhei, who thought she was at the San Francisco International Airport to meet a Cambodian embassy official. When Tem appeared at the arrivals gate, she wept. read full article