Bay Area Cambodian Refugees Face Deportation After Decades in the U.S. - NBC Bay Area

Bay Area Cambodian Refugees Face Deportation After Decades in the U.S.

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    Bay Area Cambodian Refugees Face Deportation

    A group of Cambodian refugees, many who spent their entire lives in the United States, are facing deportation. Cheryl Hurd reports.

    (Published Tuesday, March 12, 2019)

    A group of Cambodian refugees living in the Bay Area, many who spent their entire lives in the United States, are facing deportation.

    The group received a summons to show up to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in San Francisco where they will likely be detained.

    Hay Hov has been in the country for over 30 years and will have to report to the immigration office Wednesday morning where he should be prepared to be detained, according to his attorney.

    "I’ve been checking in once a year for the past six, seven years," he said.

    Last month, Hov got a letter telling him to report to ICE.

    "My world has been shattered," Hov said.

    He could be deported back to Cambodia, a country he hasn’t set foot in since he was 6 years old.

    "It’s a world I don’t know anything about," he said.

    The Trump Administration has been pressing Cambodia and a few other countries to take back their deportees.

    In this case, Hov is a refugee with a record. He served five years in prison for shooting a man when he was 19 years old.

    "I’m not here to commit a crime," he said. "I was young and stupid, I’m a changed man."

    Hov works as a truck driver for Pet Food Express, and the owner of the company is fighting for him.

    "This is a person we have vetted. It’s someone we’d sit down and have a meal with this is a person that deserves to stay in this country," said Mark Witriol, CEO of Pet Food Express.

    Hov has reached out to Governor Gavin Newsom’s office, asking for a pardon so he can stay in this country. He’s also met with the staff of both California senators.

    "I paid my time," Hov said. "I got a wife and kid I just need to be there for them. Without me what else they going to do?"

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