Stop the Deportation of Bounchan Keola

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Bounchan Keola is about to be deported to a country he only lived in until the age of four. Bounchan was seriously injured fighting the California wildfires. But Governor Newsome has called on ICE to deport him. He recently passed a new law allowing "some" incarcerated immigrants to be deported once their jail sentence was completed. And now ICE is coming for Bounchan.

Bounchan and his  family - members of the ethnic Khmu minority - fled Laos after the Viet Nam War. When he first arrived he was afraid of blue-eyed people - he had never seen them before. He was ridiculed for being Asian and not having a school lunch. But he has lived in the US ever since since as a permanent resident and only knows himself as an American. All of his family is here.

 Bounchan was crushed by a falling tree while fighting the Zogg wildfies in California. He was  part of the incarcerated firefighter team getting paid $1 an hour. He recalled drivers honking and thanking them and feeling,"They treat us like firemen, not inmates. From then on, I knew this was what I meant to be." But he was nearly killed in the incident and diagnosed  with severe neck injuries. At the time, Bounchan had only two weeks left on his long sentence.

Bounchan was tried as an adult at the age of 16 for being one of several teens in a car who shot back at shooters running at them with guns. His mother feared he would get life, so he chose a plea deal and got put away for almost 3 decades. Now, after serving his time and this country, ICE is planning to ship him back to a country he does not know. A world away from his family.

"I didn't just harm the victim and his family - I hurt my family and whole community. I can't take back what I did. But I can make amends and live differently and do whatever I can to help the next person."

Please tell Gov Newsom this is inhumane, un-American and deprives our country of an honorable and self-sacrificing part of the community.