Asian American groups oppose Cambodian refugee deportations

LOWELL, Mass. (AP) — Asian American groups are objecting to the Trump administration’s efforts to step up deportations of Cambodians with criminal records.

The Southeast Asia Resource Action Center and other groups say more than 50 Cambodian nationals living in Massachusetts, California and elsewhere have been ordered to report to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement next week for removal.

Demonstrations are planned in San Francisco, Sacramento, and Boston next week against the orders.

Kevin Lam, of the Asian American Resource Workshop, says many of those facing deportation served criminal sentences decades ago but are now valuable members of their communities.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials say Cambodian deportations rose about 280% from fiscal year 2017 to 2018.

The agency says it respects the groups’ rights to demonstrate, but remains committed to enforcing the nation’s immigration laws.

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