Lundy Khoy is a legal United States resident. She was born in a Thai refugee camp to Cambodian parents fleeing the war that tore their country apart. When Lundy was a year old, she and her family were granted legal US permanent residence. They moved here, and Lundy was raised as an all-American kid. Unfortunately, in 2000 when she was 19, she fell in with a bad crowd. After a night of partying, a cop asked her if she had any drugs. She truthfully told him she had several tabs of ecstasy. This was enough to get her arrested for possession with intent to distribute. Under the advice of her lawyer, Lundy pled guilty and was given a 5 year sentence. Due to good behavior, she was released after 3 months and put on supervised probation. Lundy went back to school, and started to work to get her life back on track.
Towards the end of her probation period in 2004, Lundy went to visit her probation officer for what she thought would be a routine visit. She was looking forward to finally finishing out her sentence, and even brought her latest report card from college to proudly show as proof of how she was turning her life around. To her surprise and horror, she was immediately detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers and taken to Hampton prison in Southern Virginia. Lundy received no warning before being incarcerated for almost 9 months.
*Lundy's deportation order is a result specifically of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) of 1996. These laws dramatically increased the kinds of offenses for which non-citizens (including legal permanent residents like Lundy who arrived as refugees) can be detained and deported. The laws do not allow immigration judges to consider Lundy's individual circumstances (her ties to the U.S., her work history, or her community service) before ordering her to be deported. The laws were also made to be retroactive, meaning that a legal permanent resident who was convicted of an “aggravated felony” even before the passage of the laws in 1996 can also face deportation.
After being told by the Cambodian government that it wouldn't accept a person who has no ties to its country, ICE had to release her.
Once free, Lundy went back to the only life she knows: that of being a hard-working American. She is now close to completing the Bachelor’s Degree in Communications that she’s had to earn part-time, and has been working for the last 6 years as an enrollment advisor with a local university.
Lundy pays her taxes and regularly volunteers with local charities, including Habitat For Humanity, March of Dimes, and Boys and Girls Clubs of America. She complies with what ICE tells her, filling out their forms and reporting to their offices whenever they summon her. She’s doing her best to abide by the laws of the country she loves, in fact the only country she knows: she has never even set foot outside of North America.
In April, 2012, Lundy was informed that, despite her model behavior, she would be placed in the Intensive Supervision Appearance Program (ISAP), with a view towards immediate deportation. Her new case officer has told her that even if Cambodia won’t accept her, she should just pick another country to go to, as if choosing a country is as easy as picking out a new outfit. ICE is also threatening to revoke her work permit so she can no longer be a contributing member of society, and has already forced her to wear an ankle bracelet despite the fact that she is in no way a flight risk.
Please help us stop this horrible miscarriage of justice.
Lundy is a law-abiding legal resident who made one mistake as a teenager and who has served her time for it.
Lundy Khoy is not a threat to society. To the contrary she is a loved and valued member of her community. It is horrifying that our legal system would punish her twice for a crime that happened over a decade ago, and that they are making her choose another country, any country, over America, the only nation she knows and the only one she loves.
*As the campaign progressed, we learned more about the exact nature of Lundy's deportation order, finding that it was these 1996 laws, not the Patriot Act, that mandated her deportation. Lundy was never informed of the exact reason she was being deported, and her advocates have helped to clarify the legal mechanism at play. These laws must be changed to restore the ability of judges to look at the facts of each case and make decisions based on both compassion and common sense.
Update 8/19/2012: In only NINE days, we've received over a quarter of the amount of signatures we set as our goal. We cannot thank all of you enough for your support! Because of you, Lundy's case has come to the attention of media and advocacy groups ready to take her cause to the next level.
Thank you again for being part of this cause. Together, we ARE making a difference.