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Poor US cousins

Dear Sir,

I'm writing this letter to you to express my concerns over the

issues of tourism and of the misconception that every Cambodian American

individual is rich. I would like to clarify these two points.

My mother

goes to Cambodia every year and every time, she faces with the problem. She is

being pushed around and threatened by the workers at the airport. On several

occasions, they snatched her belonging and called her names that were

inappropriate. I am torment by this kind of treatment.

Another issue is

the misconception that every Cambodian American individual has a lot of money

and owns a beautiful home.

As a counselor (a social worker), working for

a non-profit agency that deals with Cambodian families, I can tell you that the

majority of Cambodian families receive some types of public assistance.

Most live below poverty line. Those who work, barely make beyond minimum

wage which is $4.25 an hour.

Most of Cambodians who live in Cambodia

expects their Cambodian American relatives to give them hundreds of dollars. No

one has that kind of money because the situation here in America is not that

much better than in Cambodia.

Please let the Cambodian people know that

the people here are not rich. Some barely survive from day to day.

Think

about the PG & E, telephone, water, rent bills. All of these add up. Nothing

is free in America.

I am writing not to ask for sympathy but I would like

to let people know the reality of America.

From a concerned Cambodian

American.

- Pollie D. Bith, Berkeley, California

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