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Video via Exiles to Cambodia: “Return To Sender”

April 9, 2012

This is a video letter addressed to the President of the United States of America, the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Senate, and the U.S. Supreme Court from a group of Khmer Exiled Americans (K.E.A.s). This video letter was filmed in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on March 7th, 2012.

This video was intended to be shown at “Champions of Change” event at the White House in April. Our previous video “My Asian Americana” was a finalist for the White House AAPI’s “What’s Your Story” video contest. We won the highest popular votes by a landslide. But the White House decided to disregard the votes and silence our voice in this election year. They formally refused to invite our movement’s representative to the event.

Despite the fraudulent treatment, we intend to keep on informing the public of the devastating effects of so called “criminal alien deportation” which allows no appeal in the court. Many of the deportees, whom we began to call “exiles”, were living respectable lives after their incarceration, having their own business, going to school, starting their own family.

And one day, I.C.E. (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) would come pick them up, detain them in some cases up to 2-3 years without any charge or trial, and send them back to their supposed homeland, like Cambodia, leaving wives, husbands, fathers, mothers, and their young children in utter financial and psychological devastation. Often these K.E.A.s (Khmer Exiled Americans) had never seen Cambodia until they were escorted off the airplane by the agents at the Phnom Penh International Airport.

Please ask the White House why they try to silence this issue in manners that do not honor democracy.

“I truly believe the change will come” — Kosal Khiev, (K.E.A.)

“Yes, when I was fifteen, I committed a crime. To label me a criminal then, fine, I accept it. But… for you to call me a criminal 14 years later does not speak the truth. So judge me for who I am and not for who I was.” — Chally Dang (K.E.A.)

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