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Fight the Separation of Southeast Asian Families

Photo Credit: Aspire
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By Pete Levine Worth the Fight Immigration

Today, in what will be the largest deportation of Southeast Asian refugees in U.S. history, 46 members of the Cambodian-American community are to be sent back to a country some of them have never known and others sought safe haven from during and after the Vietnam War.

To fight the deportation of Cambodian-Americans, the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) is calling on Omni Air International, the charter air service contracted to transport the deportees, to stop collaborating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). 

Union pilots and flight attendants staff Omni Air flights, and their labor sisters and brothers have been vocal in their objection to asking union professionals to take part in this cruel mission.

AFSCME members of Asian and Pacific Islander descent play a crucial role in serving their communities every day. They are people like Jenny Srey of Local 8 (Council 5) in Minnesota, whose husband has been detained by ICE.

In a press release issued by APALA, Srey said, “It is illogical and unethical, and yet the Trump administration has ramped up their targeted deportation of Cambodian refugees this past year. It is our responsibility to remind the administration that these communities are a part of the American fabric and to deport them would be to tear apart at the heart of our value for family and community."

“It is illogical and unethical, and yet the Trump administration has ramped up their targeted deportation of Cambodian refugees this past year. It is our responsibility to remind the administration that these communities are a part of the American fabric and to deport them would be to tear apart at the heart of our value for family and community."

Jenny Srey, Local 8 (Council 5) in Minnesota, whose husband has been detained by ICE

Today’s deportation follows similar efforts in recent months to deport those of Cambodian, Vietnamese and Laotian descent who sought refuge from the Vietnam War. It is, according The Atlantic, “the latest move in the president’s long record of prioritizing harsh immigration and asylum restrictions.”

Those harsh policies were on display last year, when the Trump administration terminated the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, turning the lives of children of undocumented immigrants upside down.

Then, as now, AFSCME members and leaders like Johanna Puno Hester, an AFSCME International vice president, assistant executive director of United Domestic Workers (UDW) and second vice president of APALA, voiced their outrage at efforts to target hardworking families based on their country of origin.

Take Action

Tell Omni Air to stop enforcing the Trump administration’s inhumane policy of deporting longtime Southeast Asian residents of the United States.

Sign this petition »

And call 918-836-5393 and demand that Omni Air cancel today’s flight and stop working with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).