477 petitions

Update posted 2 hours ago

Petition to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Stop ICE from unfairly deporting Asian refugees

Dear loved ones, friends, colleagues, and associates, My husband's best friend, Sivath Yaing, was detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") in a nationwide sweep of mass arrests targeting Southeast Asians who came to the U.S. as refugees. This action is part of a larger ramp up of ICE raids that began fall of 2017, through which ICE has detained and/or deported record numbers of Cambodian, Vietnamese, and Laotian Americans.  As is the case for most of those being detained and deported in these raids, Sivath came to the U.S. as a refugee over 35 years ago, when he was just a child. Almost 20 years ago, when he was barely out of his teens, he was convicted of drug trafficking and sentenced to 5 years in prison and indefinite probation. He served all required prison time and has been attending his probation meetings without fail for the past 15 years. He has not committed any crimes or bad acts since his release from prison 15 years ago; and he has used his life story as a platform for mentoring other Cambodian youth who are at risk of falling into the same traps he did. When Sivath was convicted of the felony, he became deportable under the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act ("INA"). The U.S. government issued an order for him to be removed from the U.S., but Cambodia would not take him back because his refugee status effectively made him a "citizen of nowhere." ICE then put Sivath in probationary immigration status, allowing him to remain in the U.S. legally, work here and pay taxes, provided that he would check in regularly with ICE. He has held that probationary status for the past 15 years, during which time he naturally has built a life and community for himself and his family members, most of whom are now U.S. citizens.    Unfortunately, it appears ICE has taken the position that individuals in Sivath's position are "low-hanging fruit" whose removal will appease Trump Administration's supporters. Federal law gives the Department of Homeland Security broad discretion to waive or stay a deportation order on the grounds that an immigrant is not a threat to society and has been rehabilitated, particularly when deporting the person would cause undue harm to a U.S. citizen family member. But since fall of 2017, ICE has declined to exercise favorable discretion in these cases, choosing instead to deport or detain individuals on the basis of decades-old convictions even if they have never committed another crime and have spouses and children who are U.S. citizens. (See In Trump's America, childhood crimes haunt Bay Area Cambodian and Vietnamese refugees). Perhaps Sivath is more fortunate than some of the affected immigrants, as he intentionally refrained from getting married and having children after his release from prison because he knew the U.S. government had total control over his presence here. But I will personally attest to the extreme loss the Cambodian community in Metro Atlanta will experience if Sivath is removed. Sivath is one of the kindest, most respectable people I know. To say he has been rehabilitated is an understatement. He was re-born when he went to prison. Isn't that the beauty of the U.S. justice system, after all - its willingness to give the deserving a second chance? ICE detained Sivath on Wednesday, 9/5 and would not give his legal team any options to challenge the detention. He is scheduled to be deported after interviewing with the Cambodian Consulate in Miami. I am proud and extremely honored to share that Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Atlanta ("AAAJ") has taken Sivath's case and is organizing folks for rapid-response mobilization to show community support for Sivath and his family. As part of this response, I created the enclosed petition. If you disagree with ICE's deportation of law-abiding, tax-paying Asian refugees, like Sivath, on the basis of a crime they committed decades ago, I humbly ask that you sign this petition. Sivath is aware that there may be little AAAJ or anyone else can do for him specifically; but, in keeping with his extraordinarily generous and compassionate nature, he has agreed to be the "face" of this issue in Georgia in case AAAJ's efforts can help others like him. As members of immigrant, POC, and allied communities, we cannot stand idly by as ICE and this administration continually terrorize immigrant and refugee communities with impunity. We will not let our friends, neighbors, and loved ones be taken, forgotten, and lost in yet another systemic failure to deliver justice and respect humanity. But, even if you do not feel aligned or sympathetic to immigrants like Sivath, I hope you will at least view this ask as a personal request from Chris and me, two people who you know would not ask you to sign your name to a frivolous or untruthful cause. The photo above is from the hospital the day after my oldest son, CJ, was born. Sivath came to see us right away. He has been with Chris and me to celebrate every milestone and mourn every loss. In almost 14 years together, I have only seen my husband cry twice. He cried when he learned what ICE is planning to do to his friend. Please follow your heart and do what you can.  Thank you for your love, support, and compassion. Kristin Aquino-Pham

Kristin Aquino-Pham
4,178 supporters
Started 3 days ago

Petition to Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Medical Guidelines for Care of Immigrants at US Border Crossings

The recent death of a 7 year old dehydrated girl at a border crossing while under CBP custody highlights the need to have emergency response services well-planned and well-executed for this population who have endured hardships and privations while crossing the desert and travelling many miles to their destination. As a nation founded by immigrants, and sustained by our guiding principles of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, we are obliged as human beings to provide life-preserving services when someone is in US Custody. It is depraved indifference to do otherwise.  Therefore we propose: 1. Each border crossing should have a medical emergency plan in place and should be able to activate the plan quickly and efficiently, including evacuation by helicopter to the nearest fully-equiped medical facility if necessary. 2. Products to treat dehydration such as electrolyte-containing fluids should be readily available, including oral hydration products and IV fluids.  Water especially must be plentiful. 3. Border agents must be forbidden to empty containers of water left in the desert to keep people hydrated. 4. Each border crossing should have trained personnel on hand to treat medical emergencies such as dehydration, heat illnesses, and other critical ailments. These personnel should have at least EMT-level training. Mid-level providers such as Nurse Practicioners and Physician Assistants would be a preferable choice. 5. Proven indifference to the reversable suffering of any human being should be a felony.  

Kathie Allen
665 supporters
Update posted 4 days ago

Petition to Department of Homeland Security

Demand DHS protect immigrant women from sexual assault

For immigrant women, entering the U.S. can be a difficult road. A recent study showed that many women are being strip searched and sexually abused by Border Patrol Agents. Their complaints are rarely addressed, and the agents are hardly ever reprimanded. The current process for even filing a complaint is filled with obstacles. When complaints are filed, it’s often the Border Agent’s word against the victims. Immigration stories shouldn’t include incidents of sexual coercion. Tell the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to protect immigrant women from sexual assault - place cameras in booking areas. Two sisters from Guatemala were strip searched and sexually assaulted by a Border Patrol Agent. He took each of them separately, forcing them to remove their clothes and touched their genitals. The booking areas all were without cameras. Current DHS policies require strip searches be performed only by female agents. If that is impossible due to staffing, then two agents are supposed to be in the room. Their complaint was investigated, only to be thrown out due to a ‘lack of physical evidence’. Their story isn’t isolated. From 2010-2016, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection received 84 complaints of coerced sexual assault. Agents should not use their positions of power to sexually assault  immigrant women. Tell the DHS to protect immigrant women from sexual assault, install cameras in booking areas. Sexual assaults by Border Agents is not something that can be overlooked.

Campaigns Lab
38,200 supporters
Started 5 days ago

Petition to U.S. Congress, Acting Inspector General John V. Kelly

Demand a full investigation into the death of 7-year-old Jakelin Maquin

A 7-year-old girl named Jakelin Caal Maquin died three days after her birthday while in Border Patrol custody. An autopsy report revealed that she died due to dehydration, exhaustion, and septic shock. The girl was traveling with her father from Guatemala. They were taken into custody, and 8 hours later, she began having seizures. When medics arrived, her body temperature was 105.7 degrees. She “reportedly had not eaten or consumed water for several days.” She went into cardiac arrest and died less than 24 hours later. We don’t know yet if she was given food and water after being in Border Patrol custody. Whatever your beliefs are on immigration into the United States, we can all agree that those being held by a U.S. government agency should be treated as human beings, and this girl, who had no choice in the matter, was not treated as one. Weeks ago, a 19-month-old died from consequences from the unsafe conditions, neglectful medical care, and inadequate supervision in ICE custody. The child, Mariee, contracted a respiratory infection and her mother was refused medical care over and over again. This is not right. These are human beings, and we should be treating them as such. Border Patrol represents us as a country to those seeking asylum, and this is not how we should be represented. A child died. Something has to change. Demand Congress and the Inspector General conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances that led to Jakelin's death. 

Campaigns Lab
137 supporters