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Organizations across the country to launch National Week of Action to End Southeast Asian Deportations

Impacted communities, refugees, social justice organizations, and allies denounce the unjust detention and deportations terrorizing families

Atlanta, Georgia, January 17, 2019 — Starting on Saturday, January 19, impacted communities, social justice and advocacy organizations, and other allies across the country will launch a national week of action to stand with Southeast Asian American communities as they continue to be terrorized by policies of mass incarceration and deportation.

This week of action, which spans 15 cities across the country, is on the heels of one of the largest Southeast Asian deportation flights in United States history and coincides with Martin Luther King Jr. Day. In honor of Dr. King’s memory, we call on our country to remember the three evils - racism, militarism and poverty - that continue to devastate and divide Southeast Asian communities and all Black and Brown communities.

WHAT: National Week of Action to End Southeast Asian American Deportation WHEN: January 19-27, 2019

WHERE: Events will take place in California, Georgia, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, and Washington. Additional information is available here.

WHO: APIRISE, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-ALC, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Chicago, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-LA, Asian American Resource Workshop (AARW), Asians & Pacific Islanders Re Entry of Orange County (APIROC), CAIR Texas-Houston, Formerly Incarcerated Group Healing Together (FIGHT), Khmer Girls in Action, Mekong NYC, Montagnard Dega Association, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) Atlanta, Providence Youth Student Movement, ReleaseMN8, SEAC Village, Southeast Asian Freedom Network (SEAFN), Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC), Union of North American Vietnamese Student Associations (UNAVSA), Vietnamese American Initiative for Development (VietAID), VietLead, VietRISE, VietUnity-SoCal

WHY: Since 1998, more than 16,000 Southeast Asian Americans from Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam have been issued orders of deportation. The vast majority of these immigrants and refugees live in the United States in a perpetual state of limbo, constantly under the threat of detention and deportation. The U.S. government’s efforts to tear apart these communities has become increasingly aggressive under the Trump Administration and include the imposition of visa sanctions on Cambodia and Laos and continuing pressure on the Vietnamese government to disregard a 2008 agreement that protects thousands of Vietnamese refugees from deportation. These efforts led to unprecedented numbers of Cambodian and Vietnamese Americans being detained and deported in 2017 and 2018. And the Administration is expected to continue to push its aggressive and inhumane agenda against Southeast Asian American communities in 2019.

The Southeast Asian American community is the largest refugee community ever to resettle in America, following mass persecution and genocide during the Vietnam War, the Khmer Rouge-orchestrated genocide, and the mass bombing of Laos.

During this week of action, we stand in solidarity with all immigrant and refugee communities devastated by incarceration and deportation. We call on local leaders to enact policies that protect immigrants and refugees in their own cities and states and to speak out against the federal Administration’s ongoing attempts to criminalize, scapegoat, and demonize those communities. And we call on Congress to champion policies that celebrate refugee and immigrant resilience, reject attempts to divide immigrant communities into “good” or “bad,” and demand that our laws treat people humanely and in consideration of each individual’s unique story and family situation.

James Woo, (404)585-8446, jwoo@advancingjustice-atlanta.org
Michelle Boykins, (202) 296-2300 x0144, mboykins@advancingjustice-aajc.org
Jessica Jinn, (213) 241-8817, jjinn@advancingjustice-la.org
Brandon Lee, (773)271-0899 x200, blee@advancingjustice-chicago.org
Christina So, (415) 848-7728, christinaso@advancingjustice-alc.org
Elaine Sanchez Wilson, Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (202) 601-2970, elaine@searac.org
Sarath Suong, Southeast Asian Freedom Network, (781) 534-1580, Sarath@prysm.us
Nancy Nguyen, Vietnamese Anti-Deportation Network, (281) 635-3088, Nancy.nguyen@vietlead.org

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