Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - US governor pardons two Cambodian refugees facing deportation

US governor pardons two Cambodian refugees facing deportation

California Governor Jerry Brown delivers a speech in Pennsylvania in 2016. Brown pardoned two Cambodian-American refugees on Saturday, potentially halting their deportations to Cambodia. SAUL LOEB/AFP
California Governor Jerry Brown delivers a speech in Pennsylvania in 2016. Brown pardoned two Cambodian-American refugees on Saturday, potentially halting their deportations to Cambodia. SAUL LOEB/AFP

US governor pardons two Cambodian refugees facing deportation

Two Cambodian refugees facing possible deportation from the US were pardoned by California Governor Jerry Brown on Saturday.

California residents Sokha Chhan and Phann Pheach were among five immigrants slated for deportation who were pardoned by Brown.

Chhan, who entered the US as a 13-year-old as his family was fleeing the Khmer Rouge, served nearly a year in jail for the misdemeanour of inflicting corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant, according to the governor’s office.

After his conviction, Chhan turned his life around, raised five children and served in the US Army Reserve. “Whether it was working in the fields, working as a mechanic or baking donuts for 12-13 hours every day with no days off, he never gave up on us,” his daughter wrote to the governor’s office.

Pheach, who entered the US as a 1-year-old, served six months for possession of a controlled substance for sale and for obstructing a police officer. Since then, he “has lived an honest and upright life”, according to the governor’s office.

Bill Herod, founder of Phnom Penh-based NGO Returnee Integration Support Center, called the pardons “great news”.

“We were in contact with Phann Pheach’s wife and were expecting to see him here this week,” Herod said in a message. “We hope there are many, many more pardons.”

Herod added that the pardons do not exclude the possibility that Chhan and Pheach will still be deported, but they may reduce it.

Brown previously pardoned two Cambodian refugees in December who were also on the brink of being deported.

MOST VIEWED

  • With herd immunity likely in 2022, is Cambodia ready to reopen for tourism?

    The government aims to inoculate 80 per cent of the target population by June next year, giving it a head start among regional peers to reboot the sector but first, it has to do a few things to up its game A sign on a glass

  • Quarantine still a must for all arrivals, in next Covid chapter

    Since early May, an average of five to 10 Cambodian people have died from Covid-19 a day with many others testing positive amid the ongoing community outbreak. At the same time, however, hundreds of patients also recovered a day. The first Covid-19 case in Cambodia was

  • US wants 'full access' to Ream Naval Base

    On June 11, the US embassy's Defense Attaché Colonel Marcus M Ferrara visited Ream Nava Base in coordination with Cambodian officials following the recent approval of Prime minister Hun Sen to allay the concerns on Chinese military presence at the base as raised by US Deputy

  • Jab drive heading to 5 provinces

    The government is set to vaccinate more than 1.2 million people in five provinces after finishing with Phnom Penh and neighbouring Kandal in an ongoing campaign administered by the ministries of Health and National Defence. The five provinces are Preah Sihanouk, Kampong Speu, Takeo, Kampong Cham

  • New immigration bill targets illegal foreigners in Kingdom

    General Department of Immigration (GDI) officials are discussing revisions to the new draft law on immigration to prevent foreigners from entering Cambodia illegally and to supervise those living in the Kingdom more effectively. The revisions draw wide support among civil society organisations. GDI director-general Kirth

  • Kingdom set to be a gold producer

    Cambodia will soon join the roster of gold producing countries after the government announced the commencement of commercial gold mining operations in the Okvau area in southwestern Mondulkiri province's Keo Seima district from June 21. Prime Minister Hun Sen on June 10 announced that after 14 years of