About 100 supporters rallied in downtown Minneapolis on Wednesday to try to stop the deportation of Cambodian refugees detained in August by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
At least eight Cambodian refugees in the Twin Cities area were detained by ICE, and informed that they will be deported to Cambodia. Families of those detained and community members, together with advocates from immigrant rights organizations, are calling for their deportations to be stopped and are asking Minnesota’s elected officials to intervene.
They held signs and chanted on the sidewalk and median of Washington Avenue S. near Interstate 35W during afternoon rush hour traffic to raise awareness.
All of those detained by ICE and slated for deportation have criminal convictions, including one with a conviction for attempted murder, said ICE spokesman Shawn Neudauer.
“They’re all clearly priorities for deportation,” he said. They were detained, Neudauer said, because the government of Cambodia recently has begun cooperating more with the United States on these issues.
But it is the long-standing policy of the United States to deport those with convictions, particularly for felonies, he said.