Assemblymember Ash Kalra Denounces Actions of Federal Immigration Officials Against Southeast Asian Americans
SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D-San Jose), who is a member of the California Asian Pacific Islander (API) Caucus, released the following statement following the release of the API Caucus’s letter to the Department of Homeland Security regarding the reports of targeted detainment and potential deportation of more than 200 Cambodian and Vietnamese Americans by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials:
The unjust detentions and deportations of roughly 100 Cambodian and 95 Vietnamese people speak to the federal administration’s lack of compassion for our Southeast Asian immigrant population, including those who escaped political persecution and genocide to come to the United States in search of freedom and opportunity.
Many of these immigrants have been living in this country for decades and were granted stay without naturalization as refugees through the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the United States and Vietnam, as well as Cambodia; however, we are now detaining these individuals and tearing apart families while never giving them a chance to become American citizens. This clear violation of the MOUs is a betrayal of our country’s commitment to these communities and only further undermines the integrity and sanctity of our country’s diplomatic agreements.
The actions of this administration callously reject the American dream and I rise in support of immigrant communities throughout the country. I stand with my colleagues in calling upon the immediate release of the detainees, an explanation of the shift in procedure leading to their detention, data on the number of individuals detained and transparency with families and organizations supporting impacted individuals.