Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - US intends to approve more deportations

US intends to approve more deportations

US intends to approve more deportations

THE United States plans to ramp up efforts to deport non-citizens who commit crimes, according to a statement released in the wake of a controversial operation last week involving the deportation of five Cambodians.

The five who arrived in the Kingdom on Thursday brought to 234 the number of Cambodians who have been deported from the US as the result of a bilateral repatriation agreement signed in 2002.

All the deportees are former legal permanent residents in the US who have served prison sentences or been given suspended sentences for aggravated felonies, a classification that was expanded in 1996 to include some crimes that were previously misdemeanours.

According to an article on the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement website on Friday, the five Cambodians were part of a group of 98 deported “immigration violators” who were transported to six Asian countries on a chartered flight.

“This year, ICE expects to remove a record number of criminal aliens from the country, and charter flights like this are a big part of making that happen,” ICE director John Morton was quoted as saying in the article.

“The United States welcomes law-abiding immigrants, but foreign nationals who violate our laws and commit crimes in our communities should be on notice that ICE is going to use all its resources to find you and send you home,” Morton said.

Activists decried the latest round of deportations, which sparked protests and a petition in the US last week, as well as concern from rights groups in Cambodia.

Loeuth Sim, a 43-year-old who arrived in the Kingdom on Thursday, said yesterday that although he had been deported for the seemingly minor crime of “fighting with people a little bit”, he was happy to be here. “I didn’t do time, they just gave me five years’ suspended and five years’ probation,” he said.

He said he had arrived in the US as a 12-year-old refugee and had not been back since. “I’m happy they sent me back,” he said. “This is my home.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince injured, wife dies after accident

    THE wife of former First Prime Minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh, Ouk Phalla, 39, died while the prince was “severely” injured following a road accident in Preah Sihanouk province’s Prey Nub district on Sunday morning, officials said. Rananriddh, who is also the president of the Funcinpec

  • Guards protest dismissals, reject claims of sharing naked photos of child

    Some 20 former security guards at the US Embassy in Phnom Penh protested on Tuesday against their dismissal. They accused their employers of falsely claiming they had viewed and shared child pornography from their mobile phones as grounds for their termination. In total, 32 personnel were dismissed

  • Bun Heang mocks US, threatens its citizens in scathing open letter

    After being hit with sanctions from the US Department of Treasury, Cambodian General Hing Bun Heang said he would retaliate against any US national who does not respect his country’s sovereignty, has ambitions to invade Cambodia or incites “traitors” in the Kingdom to do

  • Funcinpec urges probe into deadly Preah Sihanouk accident

    THE Funcinpec party has urged the government, especially the Ministry of Interior, to investigate the traffic accident in Preah Sihanouk province which left Prince Norodom Ranariddh badly injured and his wife Ouk Phalla dead. Funcinpec Vice President You Hokry told reporters at Botum Votey pagoda,