This is urgent and we need your help.
Since last August, immigrant rights activists and families from Minnesota have been fighting for 8 Cambodian men, also known as the MN8, who are being detained and could be deported any day now.
The stories of these men are intertwined. They are refugees who escaped the Khmer genocide after experiencing extremely violent and traumatic events and were eventually resettled in the US with little to no support — making them vulnerable to the school-to-prison-to-deportation pipeline.1 Since 1998, around 16,000 Southeast Asian Americans have received final deportation orders—78% of them based on criminal records.2
The MN8 are dads, husbands, sons, brothers and community leaders who in some cases were detained and separated from their families without any notice. They are at the intersection of immigration and the criminal justice systems which still criminalize them as a threat to national security and public safety despite having already served old convictions.
As our partners from the Release MN campaign shared with us: “They are exhausted and need our help now more than ever. All Stay of Removal applications have been denied for each individual. This means that these family members are closer to deportation. However, given that these men have been detained for over 90 days, they are entitled to a custody review and another stay or removal application can be filed.”
When the Obama Administration pledged to deport “felons, not family,” these families fell into the crosshairs. Now the next administration may escalate the attacks on Asian American families.
Together, we can amplify the MN8’s stories to help them reunite with their families and friends and end the unjust deportations of many immigrant families.
Oanh-Nhi and the 18MR team
P.S. Don’t forget to share this petition once you’ve signed it!
1. Asian Americans Pacific Islanders BEHIND BARS, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – LA, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, Asian Prisoner Support Committee, National Education Association, Southeast Asian Resource Center, December 2015.
2. Automatic Injustice A Report on Prosecutorial Discretion in the Southeast Asian American Community, Southeast Asian Resource Center, October 2016.