This is an emergency message from Councilmember Nikki Fortunato Bas. Attached is a letter from Mayor Schaaf and Councilmembers Bas, Thao, Reid and Kaplan:
Right now, three Cambodian-American men— Kang Hen, Hay Hov, and Roeun Pich, fathers, sons and husbands from the Bay Area, two of whom are Oaklanders, are facing imminent deportation orders by the Trump Administration’s ICE based on decades old convictions, despite having demonstrated rehabilitation and established solid jobs and families.
As the country celebrates Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and the many important contributions our diverse communities have made to our country, ICE raids have targeted Cambodian and other Southeast Asian Americans across the country including San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose.
Kang Hen, Hay Hov, and Roeun Pich are Cambodian American refugees whose families fled the genocide in Cambodia and resettled in the Bay Area in 1985 when they were small children. In addition to the trauma from the violence they endured in Cambodia and the refugee camps in Southeast Asia, they each grew up in poverty, with few resources, and violence in their schools. As youth, they, like many other Cambodian Americans and others who came to this country as refugees, wound up in the criminal justice system because the communities they lived in were under-resourced and over-criminalized. In many cases like other poor defendants they were forced into plea deals.
Today, we, on behalf of the Mayor and City Councilmembers of Oakland, sent a letter to Governor Newsom, urging him to use his clemency power to grant pardons for Kang Hen, Hay Hov, and Roeun Pich who were picked up and detained by ICE and are now under imminent federal orders to be deported to a country they left as children.
Thank you to Mayor Schaaf, Council President Kaplan, Vice Mayor Reid, and Councilmember Thao, who joined this letter, and many thanks to the Asian Prisoner Support Committee (APSC), Center for Empowering Refugees and Immigrants (CERI), and Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus for bringing this important issue to our attention. We denounce all forms of family separation, trauma, and racial injustice that this Administration continues to inflict on the most vulnerable members of our community.