Hitting pause on deportations 

This story was originally published in the December 22, 2017 issue of The Slant. To get Asian American news, media and culture in your e-mail inbox every Friday morning, subscribe today.

Last week, we reported that more than 70 Cambodians in the U.S. were set to be deported. We’re cautiously optimistic to say that, at least for now, that plan is paused.

In fact, while around 50 Cambodian citizens were set to be deported to Cambodia this week, U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney in Santa Ana, CA, halted the deportations for one month, citing the need for “proper consideration to the complex issues.”

That doesn’t stop the deportations. It does give time for these detainees, all of whom arrived as child refugees, to review their cases. 9 others, however, had already been deported to Cambodia earlier.

Let’s rewind a bit

These detainees each have criminal convictions that have made them eligible for deportation, although they’re legal permanent residents. But they’ve also already served their sentences, and had even been released by ICE after.

To re-detain them, as Julianne Hing reports for The Nation, the government needed to show that they were threats to national security or flight risks. But ICE simply raided their homes and detained them.

Seems baseless

Yup. In fact, some detainees have already won temporary stays on deportation orders. Judges say a quarter of the Cambodians should have their orders reexamined.

Thing is, this is embarrassing. When some convictions are decades old, followed by productive, proud lives, deportation just sounds ridiculous. Hopefully, a month will be time enough for judges to see just how ridiculous.

Andrew Hsieh, editor-in-chief, who’s NOT here for this nonsense

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