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Immigration Reform Bill Could Lessen Deportations: Group

The US has expelled more than 200 Cambodians under the law since 2001, when Cambodia signed an agreement to take back deportees.

A new immigration bill already drafted in Congress could reduce the number of Cambodians deported from the US, supporters say.

The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill, which has the backing of a number of groups, including Cambodian, still needs more support, Sinuon Hem, director of the Asian Pacific Islanders Youth Program, told VOA Khmer.

“We should push congressmen from the Republicans to help sponsor it,” she said from Seattle, Wash.

Passage of the bill would reduce Cambodians on a deportation list under immigration laws, she said. Currently, the list is 1,400 Cambodians long, many of whom have already served jail time and have the potential of becoming good US citizens, she said.

Deportation of some US-Cambodians under the law have met with opposition from the Cambodian-American communities. So far 230 people have been deported. Five of them were sent in September.

Daravuth Huot, the Cambodian consular in Seattle, said he has received requests for more information about deportation procedures, but he encouraged people who are concerned to seek legal counsel.