Since 2000, the United States has amped up the deportation of Cambodian American refugees after the signing of a formal repatriation agreement between the two countries. Since its signing, the forced removal of Cambodian American refugees from the United States has resulted in the deportation of over 750 Cambodian nationals. After Donald Trump’s election, the Cambodian American community has seen an increase of deportations by 279%. This has devastated the Cambodian community who has already survived a U.S. backed genocide, poverty, incarceration, and now, deportation. Nonetheless, the efforts by the U.S. government to deport Cambodian nationals has been met with much resistance by the Cambodian community.
In 2017, organizers from the United States and deportees from Cambodia met with the Cambodian government and advocated to halt the deportations of Cambodian Americans. This grassroots group highlighted the harsh impact of separation for families who have survived war and the hardship of transitioning into a country where most deportees have never set foot in. As a result, the Cambodian government agreed to cease cooperation with the U.S. government until the U.S. decided to revisit the repatriation agreement between the two countries.
Unfortunately when Trump took office, the U.S. responded with placing travel sanctions on Cambodia unless they agreed to increase deportations. The Cambodian government has since cooperated with the U.S. government by accepting deportees at alarming rates. The U.S. has not lifted travel sanctions on the Cambodia.
The Cambodian American community has yet to see relief from family separation since the U.S. carpet bombed Cambodia in the 1970s. Cambodian families continue to be separated. Although organizers in the U.S. have fought to provide deportation defense to Cambodian Americans, the repatriation agreement has kept the deportation pipeline open.
We are demanding the Cambodian government and the U.S. government amend the repatriation agreement so that Cambodian refugee survivors can remain with their families in the United States. We are demanding that those who have been removed since 2000, have the right to reunite with their families. We are demanding an end to family separation and an end to violence the Cambodian American community has experienced for too long.
Sign the petition to urge the Democratic National Committee and, if elected, the Democratic presidential candidate to amend the agreement between Cambodia and the United States so we can keep families together.