August 11, 2022
Ched Nin’s family and supporters after his Feb. 24, 2017 hearing. (Photo by MK Nguyen)

Farmington, Minn. (March 8, 2017) — Following months of sustained community advocacy, long-time Minnesota resident Ched Nin was released to his wife and their five children in late February after being held by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for over six months.

Ched was detained by ICE in August and processed for deportation to Cambodia because of a 2010 conviction for which he had already completed his sentence. While detained, Ched’s wife, Jenny Srey, and seven other Minnesota families whose loved ones also faced imminent deportation mobilized activists and Southeast Asian American community members around a campaign to “Release the Minnesota 8.
Quyen Dinh, executive director of the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC), said, “Jenny and the Release Minnesota 8 campaign demonstrate the power of grassroots organizing and embody the fierce resilience of our refugee communities. Ched was finally released through legal channels, but it took months of community mobilization by Cambodian Americans and advocates to come this far.”
Supported by national organizations Mijente, the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, and the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC), the #ReleaseMN8 campaign was covered widely by the media and garnered the support of congressional leaders Keith Ellison (MN-5), Mike Honda (CA-17), and Judy Chu (CA-27) among many others.
At an immigration hearing on Feb. 24, Ched was represented by University of Minnesota law professor Linus Chan and his students John Hoag and Shane Fitzmaurice through the James Bringer Center for New Americans. He was released after an immigration judge granted him a 212(h) waiver and regained his green card on the grounds that his family would suffer extreme hardship in the event of his deportation.
Julie Mao, an attorney with the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, explained, “We are grateful that the Court recognized the extreme hardship that Ched’s deportation would have on his family and community by granting him this rare form of relief. We celebrate Ched’s release and the organizing that brought us to this victory, while recognizing the thousands of families impacted by deportations that are unable to access such relief due to our unjust immigration laws. We will continue to support grassroots community in exposing and organizing against our harsh incarceration and deportation systems.”
“The courageous organizing in the Release Minnesota 8 campaign shows that even if our people have convictions, we will fight and we can win. In Ched’s case, I believe that the broad movement support is what made the difference,” said Jacinta Gonzalez, Field Director of Mijente. “This is a win for organized communities that lays out a road map for how to continue fighting against criminalization and deportations under a much more aggressive administration.”
Ched was 6 years old when he entered the U.S. as a refugee with his family in 1986. Like many young Cambodian Americans, he faced unique struggles to fit into a country that did not wholeheartedly accept him. He made a few mistakes when he was younger, but Ched has turned his life around to become a devoted husband, a loving father, a hard worker, and a beloved community member.
While the community celebrates this good news for Ched and his family, they continue to fight for many others affected by unjust immigration policies. Last month, the Cambodian government issued 34 travel documents to accept community members with final orders of removal. Five of the “Minnesota 8” families have been informed that their loved ones are among those who will be deported in the following weeks.
“I am happy to be back home with my family and am moved by the love and support of the community,” said Ched. “My family and I went through a lot these past six months and my heart breaks for those who continue to be separated from their families. I know there is still more work to be done, and I want to help keep families together.”
Dinh added, “While we celebrate Ched’s release, it hurts to see so many other refugee families suffering. We’ll continue to fight on a systemic level for policies that recognize rehabilitation, second chances, and the sanctity of family.”
Click here for updates and to support the ongoing efforts of #ReleaseMN8.

13 thoughts on “Cambodian deportation halted with help from community support

  1. We, here, in Taman Putra Perdana, Cyberjaya-Puchong, Kuala Lumpur, country of MALAYSIA: R relievD that Chad-Cambodian-Asian-American was allowD 2 return 2 his wife & children, AND, ALL family members were allowD 2 remain n the USA. Happy Chinese New Year of the ROOSTER 2017 “GONG XI FA CHAI”, from Dr. Hazel-Connie Low Sue Tian, Dr. Cammy Cheng Fong Quan( Alternative medicine-Chinese Traditional), Dr. Low Xing Ying(psychiatrist).

  2. Happy Chinese New Year of the Dog to Mr.Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger, former-Governor of California, and family. We support your Amendment EQUAL OPPORTUNITY TO GOVERN. Charles Hong Tchia Lian, Hazel-Connie Low Sue Tian (my sister), Low Sue Shan(me), Cheng Fong Quan, Cheng Fong Hwa under social security number category valid to work under INS authorization only no. 149-o2-6888 vote for you, when it comes, to be President of the USA. Thank You for your support to Chinese-Malaysians, especially my friends listed above Charles Hong Tchia Lian (Malaysia Mykad: 750918-87-5007) and Hazel-Connie Low Sue Tian (Malaysia Mykad: 850305-14-6168) who are psychiatric patients with disease respectively paranoid schizophrenia and bipolar disorder registered respectively at General Hospital Kuala Lumpur-Hospital Bahagia Ulu Kinta-where Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles visited the graves of British soldiers 2018 and Univesity Malaya Medical Center in PJ, Kuala Lumpur, Charles loved the visit to Los Angeles, California, 1996, where he walked the entire length of Grand Canyon National Park-he walks to this day, everyday, here in Malaysia.

  3. I have decided to not be called Cherinee Low Sue Shan but just plain Low Sue Shan,- sometimes Low Su San. Me? I have decided to accept being called Cammy Cheng Fong Quen,- sometimes Cammy cxy-which means Cammy Cheng Xing Ying, Cammy YinYin Elf as fans of Korean K-pop or Korean G-pop are called. I so far only know Sigmond Freud Austria. don’t know Dr. Florey. Can I get internship?

  4. My father drowned when I was less then 2 years old. My mother remarried and my stepfather locked me up in a home for orphans for pining for my biological father. I married a man from the home. He said to me:” This is Malaysia. Being locked up in a home doesn’t mean you are crazy. ” I fell in love with him for THAT alone. Then my stepfather brought me home. I married another man to be like my mother-with a dead husband and a second relationship forever waiting for the future. I wrote a song about my biological father. then I settled down to sex with my second husband. Father died. Mother remarried. Husband: I consider him dead. Sexual relationship with second husband. Here is to my father and to my husband: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfC0TimFZqM .

  5. My father drowned when I was less then 2 years old. My mother remarried and my stepfather locked me up in a home for orphans for pining for my biological father. I married a man from the home. He said to me:” This is Malaysia. Being locked up in a home doesn’t mean you are crazy. ” I fell in love with him for THAT alone. Then my stepfather brought me home. I married another man to be like my mother-with a dead husband and a second relationship forever waiting for the future. I wrote a song about my biological father. then I settled down to sex with my second husband. Father died. Mother remarried. Husband: I consider him dead. Sexual relationship with second husband. Here is to my father and to my husband: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfC0TimFZqM .

  6. I was born in Britain in 1975 and moved to Malaysia shortly after. I studied until elementary 5. Then I joined the church and studied medicine. I continued All this I did with USA help. Then I got a bank account and a government medical card. I continued doing nothing until this day in Malaysia at the age of 44(2019).

  7. Merry Christmas December 2019 to Arnold Schwarzenegger and family and Hazel-Connie Low Sue Tian and family.

  8. I am an immigrant like Arnold Schwarzenegger and like Arnold Schwarzenegger want to be President of the USA: President Hong Tchia Lian.

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