Washington, D.C. — The Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC) on Tuesday, Aug. 12, at 10 a.m., will join the Asian Law Caucus, Chinese for Affirmative Action, the Ecology Center, and the East Bay Community Law Center to host a rally in front of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office at 630 Sansome St. in San Francisco to demand that ICE use prosecutorial discretion to release Chea Bou and Daniel Maher – both long-time residents of the Bay area.
Although Chea and Daniel have served their time and demonstrated that they are no threat to the community, ICE continues to treat them and many immigrants like them as disposable. Through the use of misguided enforcement tactics that emphasize the deportation of “felons not families,” ICE continues to tear families apart, while contributing little to enhancing the safety of communities.
This summer, Congress has grown increasingly accepting of blanket enforcement policies that undermine the basic civil rights and dignity of many immigrants and their families. Divisive politicians have fueled irrational fears about immigrant communities and have undermined trust between communities and local law enforcement.
Chea Bou came as a refugee from Cambodia thirty-five years ago fleeing the Khmer Rouge genocide. In 2011, he was arrested for a minor role in a drug conspiracy at his workplace. After serving his sentence, he was sent to an immigration detention center in Dallas, TX. Because his U.S. citizen wife and U.S. citizen children live in Oakland, they have been unable to see him for over a year and a half. He previously lost a sixteen-year-old son to leukemia, and another to violence in the community. Before passing away from cancer, his son wrote the Make-a-Wish Foundation to ask that they stop his father from being deported.
Daniel Maher has spent the last fourteen years dedicated to recycling, sustainable living, and working with at-risk youth in the East Bay. Daniel immigrated to the United States from China at the age of three with a green card. When he was younger, Daniel took part in a robbery attempt. Twenty years after his conviction, ICE agents raided his home and took him to a detention center. ICE claims that Daniel is a public safety threat based solely on a mistake he made decades ago.
Join SEARAC and our partners in elevating the real impact of enforcement-only approaches to immigration law. It is time to stand up against harmful policies that hurt all Americans, and it is time to show ICE that people are
The Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC) is a national organization that advances the interests of Cambodian, Laotian, and Vietnamese Americans by empowering communities through advocacy, leadership development, and capacity building to create a socially just and equitable society. Find out more at www.searac.org.