Press Release: Chamroeun Phan of #ReleaseMN8 Wins Deportation Relief, but Trump Administration Likely to Appeal Decision

May 22 Press Release: Chamroeun Phan of #ReleaseMN8 Wins Deportation Relief, but Trump Administration Likely to Appeal Decision

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 22, 2017
 
Contact: 
Katrina Dizon Mariategue
katrina@searac.org, 202-601-2968

Chamroeun Phan of #ReleaseMN8 Wins Deportation Relief, but Trump Administration Likely to Appeal Decision

Deportation nightmare not over for Minnesota family

Maplewood, MN - The family of Minnesotan Chamroeun Phan rejoiced for a moment after his Wednesday afternoon immigration hearing last week. Phan's family had been fighting his deportation order to Cambodia for months, along with seven other Minnesota families as part of the #ReleaseMN8 campaign. Finally an immigration judge ruled to cancel his deportation, citing the grave consequences his deportation would have for his family.
 
"Our family was full of so much hope and joy as the immigration judge announced the verdict granting my brother relief from deportation," said Montha Chum, Phan's sister.
 
But the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) immediately said that it would appeal the decision, keeping Phan in detention, his fate uncertain. Chum continued, "Those feelings were immediately crushed. We don't understand why DHS still wants to deport my brother and traumatize our family after an immigration judge ruled in his favor."
 
Phan has been in detention since August of 2016. Scheduled to depart earlier this year for Cambodia, a country has he never known, Phan secured an emergency stay of removal and had his immigration case reopened. Five of the original "Minnesota 8" men have since been deported.
 
Phan came to the U.S. as a refugee following the genocide that wiped out 20% of the Cambodian population. He was born in a refugee camp and never set foot in Cambodia. Phan supports his U.S. citizen wife, five-year-old daughter, and elderly parents. His parents have fallen into a deep depression since he was detained. His wife has had to work double shifts to support their family, and his daughter has experienced emotional trauma since her father was taken away.
 
DHS is trying to deport Phan for a 2009 conviction for property damage after he broke some windows at a bar where he was a regular patron, which resulted in $1,000 in damages. The owner never filed charges and recently expressed regret over the injustice of deporting him. While he was sentenced to 365 days, he only served 40 days with probation and has not reoffended since.
 
Quyen Dinh, executive director of the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC), said, "We applaud the immigration judge's decision to give Chamroeun his day in court and ultimately grant him deportation relief."
 
Dinh continued, "But we condemn DHS for keeping this Minnesotan father in detention and away from his family. Our country has nothing to gain from tearing parents away from five-year-olds. We stand with Chamroeun's family and the thousands of other families living in daily fear of separation in this political environment."
 

 

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