FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
From NAACP Minneapolis
Media Contact: President Jason Sole [email protected] 651-983-0982
NAACP Minneapolis condemns deportations of Cambodian refugees
The NAACP Minneapolis unequivocally condemns the detention and deportation of the Minnesota Eight (MN 8). In August, the U.S. Immigration, Customs and Enforcement (ICE) detained eight men who have lived nearly their whole lives in Minnesota. The MN 8 are Cambodian citizens that arrived here legally as child refugees: grew up here, have relatives here, raised families here, and are part of the community here. Nonetheless, last week four of the MN 8 were put on a chartered plane to Cambodia, leaving behind families and loved ones struggling to cope.
The justification for ICE detaining these men is that they were previously convicted of crimes. Even though some of these crimes were relatively trivial (for example, one man was convicted of breaking three windows), the MN 8 had their green cards revoked while being permitted to stay. For years they did their due diligence by checking in with ICE, but that routine abruptly and randomly ended last summer.
Of the four MN 8 not yet deported, one has now been released by court order. Three have been granted temporary stays of deportation but are still being detained. One currently faces deportation at any time.
The NAACP Minneapolis calls for; the immediate return of the four MN 8 who were cruelly deported, for a halt to deportation proceedings that are ongoing against one of the MN 8, and for permanent residency status to be restored to all of the MN 8. Decades ago, these men arrived as child refugees, “homeless and tempest-tossed”, and our nation opened “the golden door” and committed to treating them fairly and to provide them with the opportunity of a new life. The impulsive actions of ICE violate that commitment. The MN 8 were raised in Minnesota and are part of the Minnesota communtiy, this is their home, and we stand with them.