SENTENCED HOME



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08/07/2010
Clovis, CA

My sister is married to Chantha Kong, a Cambodian refugee granted permanent resident status to the US when his parents immigrated here when he was 2. They were escaping the horrors of the Khmer Rouge in their homeland of Cambodia, and had been living in a Thai refugee camp prior to being granted residence in the U.S. He is now 28, married to my sister, and working full time, as she goes through school. On August 5th, the INS called Chantha at his work and told him that they needed him to report to their field office to fill out some paperwork. He has been doing this regularly for several years, so he thought nothing of it and reported as instructed. Once there, the INS took him into custody and told him they were transporting him to Bakersfield to await deportation to Cambodia. You see, Chantha had been arrested and found guilty of possessing a firearm years ago, when he was involved in a Fresno gang as a youth. He has done a great job of integrating into society since than , turning his life around and working hard to become a productive member of American society. However that arrest enabled the INS to turn his life and my sister's life upside down, as they have made arrangements with the Cambodian government to ship him back to Cambodia August 31st, even though Chantha has never set foot in Cambodia! Chantha is the sweetest, most engratiating person I have ever met, and this deportation has shocked and dismayed so many people in the Clovis and Fresno, California community where he lives and works. Researching this has shown that the way this event took place is a carbon copy of process and procedures that the INS uses to deport refugees, or "permanent residents" who have some infraction on their record. This process is a direct result of immigration processes put into strict enforcement after 9/11, and seems so horribly unfair. The phrase "We are cutting off our noses to spite our face" comes to mind, as Chantha is such a perfect example of the kind of immigrant we shou ld want to have in the U.S., but instead we are doing our best to kick him out. My family is desperate. Chantha will be deported in 3 weeks to a country he has never been to, for something that he has tried to erase but seems as though it will haunt him forever.

03/20/2008

I caught the documentation regarding the deportation of immigrants. I am not sure of the exact title because I just started watching it after it started. My guess is that i may have missed about 10 minutes of the beginning. I was disappointed that i did not see any information on the victims of the crimes that were committed by the criminals featured on your program. How can this be considered show the full picture if you neglect to show the other side of the situation. The only picture i got from this was a pity party for these criminals. I also did not get a full picture of the exact crimes that were committed. Maybe that is what i missed in those 10 minutes but even if i did, again it proves to me that it was not giving a complete full picture of all that went on and how it effected everyone involved.

01/23/2008
Jenn
Elkridge, Maryland

I wasn't expecting to be as moved by this documentary as I actually was. I can see the reasoning behind the law, but I also see its many flaws. As a natural born US citzen I realize how crucial law enforcement is to keep an orderly society, but at the same time as a 24 year old Cambodian-American I see the pain and devestation that this causes to those of us who entered the states by other means.

I was extremely saddened by Kim Ho's ending statement. In sad reality, it is the very truth to say the least. The US welcomed these refugees with open arms and gave them the same options as any person born in the US from government assistance to any other privilages, but because of a single human error, they were punished by being sent back to a foreign land and told to build a castle with a grain of sand. I do believe very strongly in doing time for a crime committed, but for those like Loeun and Many who have turned their lives around for the better, they should have been given a second chance. They proved tha t they were changed men because they had been out of trouble since their initial release, but yet the INS saw it fit that they be thrown to the wolves.

Isn't our country built on the foundation that every man deserves to be given at least one more chance? Fine, should the individual committ a second offense I believe then that they should maybe be deported because they obviously weren't grateful for the second opportunity at an "American life".

We stress so strongly that FAMILY is where it all starts. These refugees came to America with their families who knew nothing of the American lifestyle and were never taught the right way. If we can make excuses for natural born citizens who committ crimes, saying that they are a product of their enviornment, then who are we to deny that this is true of the Cambodian refugees who await deportation?

There needs to be a better procedure in place for reviewing cases and if EVERY MAN THAT COMMITTS A CRIME HAS THE RIGHT TO A FAIR TRIAL, THEN WHY IS IT THAT A MA N WHO COMMITTED A CRIME AS A YOUNG CHILD OR TEENAGER ISN'T GIVEN THE SAME OPPORTUNITY TO APPEAL HIS DEPORTATION AND PROVIDE PROOF TO THE INS THAT HE HOLDS A STEADY JOB, THAT HE IS A LAW-ABIDING "CITIZEN" OR RESIDENT OF THE US, AND HE IS BEING A MAN BY TAKING CARE OF HIS FAMILY???

I love this country because it is MY country, but it breaks my heart to know that indeed the system fails us still.

6/26/07
denver colorado

Why has the PARENT FIRST PREFERENCE immigration right be capped��??.. If you are a single US citizen over 21 years of age, and you live with your parents. They will have to go?�, why this bill is trying to rip off the right of them to come and live as parents of US Citizens did since the beggining of the Immigration law back in the 1800's ... Who are these lawmakers to change that. I cant get a fake marriage licence witha mexican women, get her a green card for some money, and divorce her a while later , but can I change or divorce my parents���???. The strongest family ties are with the parents and this goverment want to tear it apart.

5/30/07
Jan

Sentenced home documentary compelling. thanks to the photojournalist! just heart wrenching! great work! pbs! thank you thank you thank you.

5/30/07
Anong Ott
Seattle, WA

I feel sad watching the way their lives spun out of control. They have no one to blame but themselves for being irresponsible, one of them is even acting like an ignorant.The people who hurts the most are their loving family members, the innocent children, the poor unconditional loving moms, the poor wife and relatives who stick by them no matter what. They should have known better that there are consequenses for commiting crimes, the law has no exception for one who has no legal status as a US Citizen or not. Better yet, we, the immigrants are being held with higher standard than those who were born with a citizenship. Our skin is not white, they look at us as if we came from Mars or talked down to us when they hear our broken fresh off the boat english.I am a well educated immigrant from Thailand with a degree, I found so many forms to file, several appoitments to meet and make, so much fees to pay and so much time spent and yet going nowhere. Being on the otherside of the laws I can not afford to be as it could end all the hard work and the time I have invested into maintaining my legal status in this country. I visited Cambodia, I witnessed the poverty, the hardship regular people face daily, the corrupted system and the unequal, I see it first hand, it was killng me inside, there was not a day I spent in that country that I did not cry. for the innocent people who has no opportunity created for them. The Killing Fields had killed their spirits, their souls had died the day Phol Pot took away their rights. The crooked current Prime Minister and his wealthy Vietnamese friends are the ones who run the country to build their ever richer empire upon the back of the poor.

5/30/07
William E. Coen
Harpers Ferry, WV

When the US arranges special immigration procedures for an 'endangered' group of foreigners,(waving usual procedures) we should likewise wave our usual procedure of deporting convicted immigrant felons for members of these groups. Possibly their deportation could be suspended while they petition for citizenship.

5/25/07
Boston,MA

This is a sad story.Those cambodian refugees have paid their debt already to the US justice department, so why send them in a third world country that they don't know about ? Everyone makes mistakes in their life but those people have already paid for that; so why punish them again ? What about sending back to England or Ireland any american who has committed a crime ?

5/24/07
Bozeman, M

I watched this documentary with disbelief. These young men were infants or children when they came here and were raised in our American culture as Americans. I could only put myself in their place if I were to be sent back to a primitive culture where I did not know the language or people, or have the ability to secure a job, and were seperated permanently from all my loved ones. I think there are many American citizens who have children, siblings or spouses who have spent time in jail for minor crimes - we can identify with the anguish that these families feel as their loved ones are deported. How can I help push to change this law and make it more humane?

5/24/07
Many
Seattle

life goes on!!!!!

5/22/07

I adopted two of those Cambodian children--URM's-- in 1984-6:daughter at 14-16 and son at 5-7.My daughter was mostly oppositional through the years, probably Reactive Attachment Disorder. However, we are closer now; she is married with three young children. My son opted for a drug gang at around 10 years of age, and as he became more out of control and dangerous to teachers, classmates and me, his therapist and I hospitalized him. With 10 years there and in therapeutic group homes, we grew closer until he married. He is in the military now, in Iraq. Prior to that, he and his wife were the subject of a documentary film and have toured the country of behalf of aging out kids under the pretext that he has no family. (They were living with me while the photographer filmed them, unbeknownst to me) Now retired, I am going through boxes and years of receipts for his various treatment, special schooling, group home stipends, therapy, etc., etc., not to mention piles of letters and copies of institutional charts on him, me, and our relationship. Now, according to his wife, he blames me for his life. My heart goes out to two of the young men in the film; the third, who evidently still can't make sense of his situation, behaves and sounds exactly like my son during most of our years as a family. My profound sadness about all of these young people is that our government is now re-creating a new generation of innocent war victims in Iraq!

5/22/07
Chantal
San Diego, CA.

To the person who was wondering about why they weren't citizens. This was explained in the film. The reason is that these people were not educated about citizenship so never took it into consideration. I was completely disgusted by the inhumane way our government is treating those they who they once "saved" from inhumane treatment. To not take into consideration the difficulty these kids had as refugees in this country or the reasons for thier misbehavior, is just horrifying. Something must be done to change the 1996 law. Everyone makes mistakes! What can I do as a citizen to help get the law changed?

5/22/07

First of all I am not sure if someone has discussed but the name of the film is misleading. "Home", in my opinion refers to the concept that this is a familiar place of residence for these three men; this is not true, the title does not truly encompass the reality of the fact these men committed a crime and are being exiled from America to live among people as the Caucasian social justice systems deems as "their" people, and "their" society.

Also it was not discussed in depth, but masculinity as it pertains to these three men, show us that their was no one, none of the parents, schools, America as whole could not anticipated the needs and services these boys would need in order to become men. It's hit or miss, and in this case they missed.What the American government serves to do solve the problem they created was by throwing them out without grave consideration for the full impact of their consequences from their prior actions. Americans we love living in our polar opposites, there is good and bad, there is no in between. The problem becomes not so clear but that laws that serve to protect us has no room or space for interpretation and room for the gray areas.

Also laws just as rules they must adjust with the times to line up with the current society. To say that we should stick to what is good at that time may not be true for the future; it locks us into a place and a system that sets us up for failure without the space and room for advancement. If we stuck to laws people of color and women would still not have rights or liberties. Change is constant, and because this is true perhaps we need laws that allows us to re-examine the laws we make.|

5/21/07
Luc Payant
Brighton,MA

Great and touching story your film on " Sentenced Home "-You should send a copy to INS.-But here is my question : Were those cambodian individuals involved, US citizens or permanent residents- what was their immigrant status in this country ? If they were all refugees, then why they did not have the status of US citizens yet ? Thank you.

Editor's Note: Visit The Film and The People pages of this Web site for more information.

5/21/07
Monterey Park, CA

I think the 1996 law needs to be repealed, give the judges the power to decide who to deport. In my opinion, racism and xeno phobia have led our lawmakers to enact these severe punishments. 9/11 further escalated fears about non-western europeans. We may be only a few rabid conservative lawmakers away from creating deportation camps. This is the greatest country on the face of this planet, but we have a long way to go in coming to terms with race relations. My grandfather was barred from becoming a US citizen for a long time because he was born in Japan.
For a lot of people, an American is someone of western european ancestry. I had a co worker who immigrated from a european country when he was a teen, he told me when he took the oath to become a citizen, He felt like he was the only American there because he was the only caucasian in the room. Immigration laws are too strict.

5/21/07
Dylan
Fresno, CA

In respond to those who think that it is unfair to deported people back to there native conutry, it is an utterly narrow ways of thinking. You need to have a broader ways of thinking pertaining to the American system. Yes, I agreed with some of you about how unfair the system can be. But if you think of the responsobilities that one must have when such criminal act is committed, then one must face such consequences. Of course you know that FREEDOM is not a right, but rather a privilege.
Just to let you all know that I was once in the same predicatement. Not to long ago, I was facing deportation. I had to face the immagration judge just like any other who committed such criminal act. even my conduct was a conduct of compassion, but as a man, I took responsiblity for my conduct and dispite of my compassion. It was wrong and unjusifiable.Fortunately, for me I was granted to stay in America. One who brought such consequences upon them seleves and commited stupid act's, one has no right to debate or complain such justics that brought upon them.

If you come to this country (U.S.) for better life and education, one must not take such precious gifts for granted. I come to realized how much I appreciated the open arms of the United States. I owed a great deal of gratitude to the United States.

5/21/07

This is so sad! I cant believe these people can just be thrown around like this. They are being sent out of the country they live for crimes they have already done their time for. Why did they need to serve time in America if they arnt given rights to live in America? This is not fair and does not do any good for anyone! How does it help out to send a person away when they arent doing anything wrong currently? This s**t is messed up and needs to be changed!

5/21/07
Derrick Demaree
Louisville Ky

I think that was the most unamerican thing i've ever seen. The Nazification of this country is sickening. Gestapo = INS ?

5/21/07
Maria
Texas

I feel that everyone in life make mistake somewhat, but I don't feel that is fair for the boys or anybody who has committed a minor crime since they were teenager to be deported to their homeland. The immigration change their laws every months, but as for boys and anybody that have committed the crime before the 1996 laws when into affect they deserved a second chance to learn their mistake. First of all the US belong to the Native Indian and the Native Indian are Asian. And who do they think they are taking control of someone else country, making it look likes it their from the beginning when they are from a different county as well. I feel that the immigration laws are too strict on stupid things. How do they feel if their family are being torn apart? I feel that the government should deport everyone who has committed a terrible crime even though they are white, black, asian, and mexican. Because none of their family or ancestor are from the USA originally. The government should think it as this way, without all the different type of nationality in America, then there would not be America. It take all type of race to built America, not just one race.

5/21/07
San Francisco, CA

I do not feel sorry for the deportees. I especially have no sympathy for those that were actually deported in addition to being arrogant and unapologetic for their actions. They have brought shame and more hardship upon their families because of their own selfishness. Not only were these guys legal immigrants, but these deportees had plenty of opportunities during their stay in America to avoid such unwanted outcomes.

5/21/07
MG
CND
I think that these three man should be brought back to America and given a second chance. They have done mistake and minor crime in the past as teenager.........dat,do not mean they are not dangerous criminal. And they have pay for they crime already by sending them to jail.

Why wait many years later to deported them....after they have built a new life and family and work and contribute to the country.

The law on immigration deportation needs to be review and changes. We all need to live and learn from our mistake.

5/21/07
Jane Lewis
Sioux City, Ia

Two things struck me about the info on the show "Sentenced Home" The first was noticed by another viewer, that none of these men went underground to stay in the US. The second was more profound and a little scary. All three obeyed the law. When told to report, for a check in or detention, all complied. It was a frightening reminder of Poland 70 years ago. The government will never allow us to be hurt, nor will they abandon us.

These men are LEGAL immigrants, who followed the law to come here, and with minor exceptions, still follow the law. The US Congress and Bill Clinton should be ashamed of themselves. I am ashamed for not knowing of this sooner.

5/21/07

As an African American, I am thoroughly disgusted this is just cruel and unusual punishment. These young men are American citizens no matter how you slice it. There is so much inequity in what is going on with this policy I do not know where to really begin. However, I believe if they have paid their debt for the crimes committed why should they be sent back? These young men know nothing of Cambodia they are totally American and their roots are here with their families. If the U.S. Immigration is so intent on deporting criminals back to their country then they should start with those jumping the boarders in California and Texas. These Cambodian Americans have more right to be here then those people. The immigration laws are too strict regarding the Cambodians and too lenient regarding boarder jumpers! This is unacceptable!

5/21/07

it is appallling to hear about the deportation of those 3 guys back to cambodia. Even the Greatest nation (USA) of this world has its flaw in the justice system. If you compare the crimes commmited by these three guys to other reall criminals out there, such as child molesters, rappists.. murders, that are out there runing the american streets, it is unfair for these three to not have a second chance and be broken off from their families. On the other hand, the illegal immigrants who over whelmingly entering the US visa the boarders are not being deported, or not being deported enough. many have hold jobs in the US. i guess it would cost the tax payer too much to deport those millions of illegal. so the congress is amending the laws to allow them becoming legal and then acquire citizenship. i think if they come in shear volume like those illegal, they have a greater impact, more voices to protest, fight for their status in the US--land of opportunity..

What do the US do?

one more thing, have you notice that most of the signs, labels etc in HomeDepot, grocery stores etc..., now come in two languages.?? i hope the spanish language wont replace the english....i can not read spanish... i will have to deport myself to the end of the Earth when English is being replaced by Spanish in the US of A.

5/21/07
Alan Owens
Ann Arbor, Michigan

"Sentenced Home" is about Cambodian infants who, not through trade or regular immigration, came to America and knew very little about where they were from. The refugee infants grew up in America under American customs. The refugee infants not knowing or understanding their adopted home turned into street gangs and got into a lot of trouble with the Federal Government. In response because the refugee infants broke American law they were "Sentenced Home" to the land where they were born. Again these refugees knew very little where they were born.

I believe the refugees should cooperate or obey American law-but the law was not just. They refugee can be deported with very little notice. The refugee can loose everything this way. The refugee has something to offer the U.S.A. and the U.S.A. should accept him for this reason even if he broke the law. The refugee child came to America as someone innocent and wants to lead an honest life in America. An honest life is an asset to the U.S. A.

5/21/07
Sue Gucci
oakland county MI

This story brought tears to my eyes as im sure it did to many others...i think people need to be forgiving and understand that we are all humans and most DO in fact learn from our mistakes.I think the immigration laws are there for a reason and thats to protect our country , but if the people that have to be deported have a family and a way of life and are obviously not a threat to society, i dont see a problem with them living here in the US because this is where they have lived all thier life. after all we should be proud,people from other countries would like to live here, but from what i saw from the 3 men , they are wonderful human beings and i think its horrible what they are being put through, imagine being torn away from your way of life and having to be lonley in a place u should call home but cant and having to watch your wife and children grow up on a television...? its not right in my eyes. i'll leave it at that

5/21/07
Washington,DC

After watching the documentary, I cried. I thought that not only my brother is having such hard time. My bother is currently being detained right now awaiting for his deportation. It breaks my heart everytime I remember him and what are the positive things that he did compared to the negative. He is a hardworking man and his current employer would welcome him back to work regardless of what he did. He works double shift or 7 days if needed, to make ends met. I love my brother to death and I'm always here for him.

5/21/07
Siera

If they were deployed here long ago, they should have the right to try to become a US Citizen. We are ALL IMMIGRANTS....I feel the immigrants who are here in the US need to have the right to apply for permanent residence and they need programs to help them go through this process. I do think if someone comes here illegally they should be deported and go through the correct process of becoming a citizen from now on. Those are the ones that need to be deported....but the people who have seeked asylum here in the US long ago, should have the right to become a citizen they lived here for so long. But, the ones who are crooks and thugs need to go back.....they do not deserve to be here.

5/18/07
Eugene Oregon

What a story! I was so sad to see that this was going on. I had no idea. I do not think it is fair to just lump people into categories and deport them. I think that people who do bad things should serve their time and be set free regardless of where they were born. How can these people ever live their lives without fear? The women representing the US made me sick. Her tone and condisending attitude that they are priviliged to live here, but aren't we all. I know of a lot of people who do much worse crimes that get to stay in USA because they were born here. Shame on the government for letting this happen.

5/21/07
Kirsten Glenn
Glen Burnie, Maryland

I saw the Sentenced Home Program tonight and I was appalled. You know the INS certainly don't have any empathy or sympathy for these young men. How can you send someone back to a country that they have no knowledge of let alone barely speaking the language. Apparently these immigration laws must not apply to any other race of people except Cambodians because I've never known it to apply to any other race of immigrants, I've never heard of it with the Mexican, African, Chinese or Japanese or any other race until I saw the documentary tonight. Sorry but INs laws are crappy!!! and the goverment of the United States know that they are and they need to changed for the betterment of these people to help not to harm. How can you strip someone of everything and send them back to a primitive place such as Cambodia. I think that they do these kinds of things because it's like we already have to many immigrants here so why not pick this race of people to be the chosen one's. What about the criminals you have here that are Americans where can we deport them back too for committing their crimes and why does it take so long for our judicial system to pursue them and so little time for immigration to deport these people back. As a matter of fact not just people but Americans. They were born and raised here they know no other country but America and America has let them down. I thought that this was the land of freedom and opportunity.

5/21/07
Kahlan
Kentucky

These people who are being �Sentenced Home� should have due process that allows them to defend themselves in regards to this law, have the opportunity to appeal, and each case should be reviewed on an INDIVIDUAL basis, not have everything from jaywalking to serial murder be lumped together with the same sentence of deportation. People make mistakes. If they pay for them and get on with their lives and are not repeatedly committing crimes, they should be allowed to remain in the U.S and apply for naturalization without fear of being ripped from everything they have ever known, especially those who arrived as children and know nothing of their land and/or culture of birth.

Our elected officials, who live in prosperity and safety and in degrees of luxury, have totally lost touch with the nation and passed a law in fear due to the act of a NATURAL BORN CITIZEN to stop terrorism, yet now Congress is terrorizing people here where people wanting to naturalize cannot due to fear of a past minor crime. It�s obviously a priority to get these 'EXTREMELY DANGEROUS' people out of the country since they are taking their time in only deporting 12 people a month and keeping them imprisoned. Every lawmaker in Congress should be made to watch �Sentenced Home.� For all their education, most of them would learn a thing or two. As a natural-born citizen, I am appalled and ashamed that my government is abusing people in such a manner.

5/21/07
Ariel Lysander
Juarez, Chihuahua

I was deeply touched by Loeun Lun�s story. I know US immigration policies need to be enforced, but I also think that strong family ties should be considered before deportation. My suggestion for Loeun is to come to Mexico on a business visa(for example)and settle on a border town. That way, although not physically in the US, he will be much closer to his family, and could even find a well paying job where English is widely spoken. I volunteer to help you in the process. Thanks.

5/21/07 Ken Follett Kansas City, MO IT is beyond anything that I could have imagined. The people should be allowed to take care of the children they have if they are American born. To make these Children who are American citizens suffer the loss of a father or mother who is not a threat to this society in any shape or form is just plain wrong. The children need them to prevent them from becoming a burden on the American taxpayer since they are citizens. They need to grow up knowing that this country is not another Nazi National Socialist Party run Government resurrected in the Land of the Free and the Brave. I am ashamed to call myself a citizen of the United States with these kinds of atrocities being done.

5/18/07

This film scared me to death. My ex spouse accused me of giving a lethal injection to one of my patients as a means out of our marriage. I was arrested. Subsoquent exhumation and autopsy revealed no such thing took place. I was instead charged with "unlawfull administration of a narcotic", a class 2 felony. It didn't matter that a doctors order for this medication was written. Out of money for a legal defense I plead guilty, and in the plea agreement the offense was lowered to a class 6 felony. I was given probation. Ironicaly during family court proceedings she was caught in her lie and I got custody of our 5 year old son. Imagine that. I walked into court with a supreme court precedent stating that a child under the age of 5 is considered to be in the "formative years". In plain language that means that dad has very little chance of getting custody. Secondly, there is further precedent that states that "it is not in the best interest of the child to be raised by a convicted felon". Finally, believe it or not I had no funds to hire an attorney so I represented myself. I did a good job of ripping her apart in court and now she pays me child support. But I still have a felony record. I came to this country from Romania and I am not a citizen.I was only ten years old. I can't even speak my native language anymore. My green card is expired and I have been afraid to go in and apply for a new one. After watching your film I am more scared than ever. I don't know what to do. I am not even guily of the charge made against me. This is America's version of Hitlers "Final Solution". I can think of no other way to put it. What a horrible thing to do to these men. I might be one of them someday. What will I do with my son? Who will take care of him? What will I do in a country I don't even remember?

5/18/07
Jeffrey
Phoenix

I saw this Doc , last evening & I felt discusted as a american to see what we do to people,I have never heard of an issue where the (mexican) imagrants get deported for minor offences & there are 100's & 1000's of the coming to Az everyday , I have been to court personally where i have seen many Mexican imagrants in trouble for minor offence & major offences & all they do is fine them & let them go back to there lives because they know, I believe they should jail them & deport them @ that point even if you are on a work Visa. But Az knows that they would be getting rid of the work Cheap Labor work force . I think the Laws are right on what they should be , but america needs to be consistent with those laws.

5/18/07

They should be kicked out of the US.

5/18/07
Kat
Canada

The laws is too strict.....but also too weak. In this case it is too strict. Cos they are deported because of a mistake they did in they youth. What kind of people YOU are for breaking family apart for some minor crime that a lot of Americans white skins poeple does. And sometime worst. Those man they dint commit murder or rape or hurt anybody. And they lives are ripe apart bcos of some mistake they did in a past as teenager. You want to protect yur country from terrorismes .....well then do it. There is terrorismes why not send them home. Theses man havent done or hurt anybody....and they are doing better in the society and try and became decent civilisation,but now there are deported ,away from they family and kids. That is so SICK. So outrageous.

5/18/07
Sue
Albany, NY

This program touched me profoundly.I cannot express how saddend I feel for these brave young men and thier families.The currant immigation laws need to be revised.Atthe very least each case should be judged on an individual basis.These men are the result of the socio-economic backgrounds they were placed into.If teir parents were never advised and supported in the process to change their permanent resident status, how could we expect their children to understand.These young men were raising themselves,navigating the dangers of the streets they lived on.Given the currant culture of inner-city America,are we really suprised that crimes were commited?The fact that these young men did their time in prison,returned to society,and overcame the disadvantages of their youth is true testament to what I consider the American Way.To deport them is the true crime.

5/18/07
Tamara Scott
East Lansing, MI

I think the way the government is treating these people are deplorable. To send these americans back to Cambodia where they have no ties, no money, no family or limited connection to their families, is insane. Deportation should be looked at on a case by case basis. Shouldn't they be afforded the same Due Process? Would any of these legislatures want their children sent back to their country of origin because of a minor offense? Can these people go anywhere else, like to a european country, where they may have access to a better life? This really saddens and sickens me and I would like to find a way to get personally involved.

5/18/07
Krista
Pittsburgh, PA

Sending Americans (because that's what they are, to me at least) that spent their whole lives here to a third world nation is wrong.If I were deported to the land of my ancestry, it would be Germany. There, I would have a chance at some semblance of the life I had lived in the United States. Those featured in your documentary are experiencing a cultural and emotional apocalypse by being sent thousands of miles to an undeveloped foreign land. Deporting someone "back" to Cambodia is the equivalent of rebuking our constitutional right to exist and be free, no matter what they've done wrong. We should be ashamed of ourselves. I had no idea that this was going on, but now that I do, I will be speaking up about it. Thank you for shedding light on this horrible situation.

5/18/07
Terry
Houston, Tx

America has a severe hatred for their immigrants. They do not seem to understand that the form the backbone of our society. Every single one us, somewhere down the line, immigrated from somewhere. We are supposed to be the land of opportunity, instead we are monsters that separates fathers from their children and sons from their mothers. That is truly the most horrible thing about this, the separating of the families. I cried when Kim and Loeun said goodbye to their families. When Loeun said goodbye to his wife and children. Those poor families. These men arrived as children fleeing from genocide where they witnessed and experienced horrors that we can never dream of. I'm surprised they are doing so well. I know people who experienced far less who have done much more damage to themselves and others. These men made some small mistakes as teenagers and are being punished for it for the rest of their life.I hope both Kim and Loeun both make it back to the US soon. Hopefully Many will never know what it is like to be separated from his family.

5/18/07
Joe
Honolulu, HI

I felt saddened by the plight of the two, who were productive and givng back to the community. We all benefit when members of our community act as they do. It seems as though they "fell between the cracks". I don't understand why something wasn't done to address the situation of these refugees, when they were allowed entry to the US. Hoepfully this oversight will be fixed.

5/17/07

How many young people make mistakes; how many young people finally grow up and become honest, hardworking human beings. Are we so unforgiving, that even for a minor infraction, we just deport people to a country that they have no memory of, no matter what or how they have changed around their lives. People with families, little children. What kind of a message do we think these children are getting & how angry will they be when they're old enough to understand. There needs to be a review process, a REAL review process, not just some kind of a rubber stamp 'show' process. These are human beings and we are not a dictatorship, yet!! Great work exposing this horror.

5/17/07
Kalamazoo, Mi

My impression of Kim Ho Ma is that he is every bit of American as base ball, hot dog, apple pie & chevrolet that's typical of a young person that grew up in the projects. I think it was a mistake to deport him to a country where he doesn't know the customs, traditions or the way of life. America is his home. I think he should be brought home & given a second chance.

5/17/07
Kim
New Haven, Ct

So let me get this straight. The US is deporting legal, permanent residents for committing crimes without looking at their situation case by case? And as we speak Congress is working on some kind of immigration reform that benefits illegal immigrants? Something is very very wrong here.

5/17/07
Bob

This show saddened me on the injustice that occurs in the US .For the minor crimes that these individuals did they are being sentence to a life of imprisonment in a country that they barely understand. It reminds me of John Paul Jones as a "man without a country." For serious crimes, I understand the logic for deportation. However, for minor ones especially when committed when they where youths is ridiculous. There are many case where people were murdered or raped and get less of a sentence. Since most of this crimes are state crimes, is it possible for the governor of state to issue a pardon to these individuals thus erasing their crime and allowing them back into the country since the reason for deportation is no longer valid? The long term impact this have on the families like Loeun Lun's will impact the US in the long run. Bush and the others keep talking about family values. How does this help families by breaking them up?


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