A solid deportation defense came too late for one California man, who found himself put on board of a plane and sent to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, in September. Even though the man’s citizenship in Cambodia is legal, the man faces hard challenges since he neither knows the language nor has much family there.
While the man’s deportation was technically legal, it was also tragic. He had to leave behind his common-law wife and five children, all U.S. citizens. As he struggles in a strange, new land, his wife is working on getting the family back together. Life is hard for her as well, as the husband was the primary wage earner for the family.
What makes this story so compelling is that the man was three years old when he arrived in the United States with his parents, who were refugees fleeing the repressive government back in 1983. The family settled in Stockton, California. The man had a few problems with the law in 2003 and 2005 and served 16 months in prison. He was released in 2007.
After his release from prison, he worked full time and did his best to take care of his family. Four years later, the U.S. and Cambodian governments reached a deportation agreement and the man was taken into custody. He spent about six weeks at the immigration center in the Sacramento County Jail before being deported. He is now working on getting back to the United States legally. The wife has since had to quit her job and go on welfare to support her children and work on her husband’s appeal, which can take more than a year.
This type of immigration action is not all that uncommon. For those who may need deportation defense action or help with any type of citizenship issue, consulting a qualified immigration attorney may be the best first step. With the laws becoming stricter, legal assistance is often the best course of action to help families stay together.
Source: Lodi News, “Lodi man deported to Cambodia,” Maggie Creamer, Oct. 1, 2011