April 31, 2018 -- Early this morning, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) came to pick up one of Freedom, Inc.'s longtime members, a Khmer man named Sophal Chuk. Sophal is 67 years old, does not speak English, and has a knee injury that needs medical attention. He is currently being detained in Milwaukee, and will potentially be deported to Cambodia.
Sophal's family is very concerned about his safety and well-being, and they are not allowed to visit him until Monday. Today is the first day of Khmer New Year, and instead of spending the weekend with his family as he had planned, he is now spending it in a jail cell. Like all members of our Madison Khmer community, he does not deserve this treatment! We are working with Southeast Asian advocates to communicate with Sophal and gather information, and will keep sharing updates when we can.
This unjust detention is the direct result of President Trump's aggressively anti-immigrant agenda, which has led to the rounding up, detention, and deportation of hundreds of Southeast Asian refugees. Just last week, 43 Cambodian Americans were deported, joining a group of hundreds of refugees who came to the US to escape the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia and are now being torn away from their families and homes. We need to work together to oppose these inhumane actions and protect our Southeast Asian families in the U.S.
If you have a deportation order, do NOT open the door for ICE. They may claim to be the police or have a warrant, but they are lying. If you get an unscheduled check-in appointment, expect to be detained. Please call Advancing Justice ALC at (415) 896-1701 if you know of Khmer Americans being picked up by ICE, or if you have an ICE check-in. They will help assess the case and assist families in planning for the possibility of detention.
For more information from Freedom, Inc. please contact: Nancy Vue or Savang Chhorm