ST. PAUL, Minn. (Aug. 28, 2017) — A community protest on Tuesday will occupy the office of Ramsey County Attorney John Choi to demand an end to Chamroeun Phan’s prolonged detention
The march to County Attorney Choi’s office on Wabasha Street will start from Rice Park in downtown St Paul at 10 a.m. Tuesday – the one year anniversary of the detention of Chamroeun Phan, a husband and father from Maplewood who arrived in Minnesota as an infant and a refugee after his parents fled the Khmer Rouge genocide in Cambodia. He was born in a Thai refugee camp and has never set foot in Cambodia, the country the U.S. Government now seeks to deport him to for a 2009 conviction of breaking three windows of a local bar.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) targeted Phan him as a criminal for priority deportation. Earlier this year, Phan’s immigration judge granted him a second chance and reestablished Phan’s permanent resident status and issued a waiver for his freedom. Despite this, ICE has not released Phan, putting an immense emotional, financial and psychological burden on his family and the community.
Despite winning his case in court, Chamroeun Phan has now been detained by ICE for one whole year. On Tuesday community members will occupy County Attorney Choi’s office to demand that he take action to reduce Phan’s sentence which would grant him automatic relief from removal proceedings.
The event is organized by ReleaseMN8, a grassroots group made up of family members of the eight Cambodian-American men who were detained by ICE last year. They have been advocating for Chamroeun’s release since he was detained last August. They will be joined at this event by members of Showing Up for Racial Justice MN, MIRAC, RadAzns, NAACP and others.