Mini-LAT in Seattle to Keep Cambodian Families Together
Washington State Cambodian American communities have been deeply shaken by the recent raids of beloved family and friends for potential deportation to Cambodia. A total of eight local men from the Seattle and Tacoma area were swept up in the most recent raids and may be deported as early as November. In response, a group of activists held a mini Leadership & Advocacy Training (LAT) on October 11 in the Seattle area focused on addressing this crisis of deportation.
Through sincere community building, education about the 1996 immigration laws, and the deeply moving stories of our members, the mini LAT convening offered a safe space for community leaders, elders, students, organizations and impacted families to support and learn from one another.
Three of the men who were recently detained and processed for possible deportation attended the training to break the silence around their stories. One of the men, a single father of a young teenage daughter and primary provider for his extended family, fell very ill during these deportation proceedings as a result of emotional and physical trauma related to separation anxiety.
Moving forward, convening attendees will collectively strategize on a campaign to educate and pressure elected officials to help keep our families together. In solidarity with and inspired by the grassroots work of 1Love Movement, SEAFN and the Release MN 8 Campaign, Washington State advocates and impacted community members will join a national movement of deportation advocacy efforts.”
Training collaborators and participants represented many community groups including: Formerly Incarcerated Group Healing Together (FIGHT) Cambodian American Community Coalition of WA (CACCW), Tacoma Healing Awareness Group (THAG), Rajana Society, Coalition of Immigrants Refugees and Communities of Color (CIRCC), Renton Technical College ASB (Clay Tolliver), Public Defender Association (PDA – Sokha Danh), and Mt Baker Housing Management (Sameth Mell).