The US Deports 43 Cambodian Nationals

On Thursday, 43 Cambodian nationals were deported from the US to the capital city of Phnom Peth in their native country under a law enabling repatriation for immigrants who do not have US citizenship and who have committed a felony offense. The group is the largest sent back to Cambodia under the bilateral agreement, which came into effect in 2002, although more than 500 other Cambodian nationals have also already been repatriated.

The program has proved to be a controversial one, as it has resulted in the breakup of several families, and there are even some instances in which those who have been repatriated have never been to Cambodia, being the children of immigrant refugees.

Critics of the policy claim that many of the immigrants with felony convictions fell into crime because of social dislocation and that those who have lived in Cambodia before still find it difficult to reintegrate into that society due to the majority of their lives having now been lived in the US. Senior immigration police officer, General Dim Ra, who oversaw the returnees, said that three women were in the group, which arrived back in Cambodia on Thursday.

Ra added that those who have family members in Cambodia will live with them and that those who do not will be given private vocational training by a group with US government funding. But, relations between the US and Cambodia have already been strained by the deportation policy.

(This story has not been edited by staff and is from a RSS feed

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