Forced Deportation and No Appeal
I had expected dreams of hot cars or big houses, but not “papers so my parents wouldn’t be afraid” or “make it so my uncle can come back to the United States.” Immigration concerns are very real for many of my students and therefore, for me.
When community activist friend Carol from HandsOn Bay Area www.handsonbayarea.org needed help putting together a 9/11 commemoration event focused on immigration, I felt I could support my students by volunteering. Carol explained that I’d be helping organize a documentary showing, “Sentenced Home” followed by a Q &A with the director Nicole Newnham. I suppose I thought I knew most of the issues before I screened the film, but 50 minutes and several tissues later, I realized I was wrong.
Just like my students put very human little faces on immigration for me, “Sentenced Home” makes the political personal by introducing us to three young men, Loeun Lun, Kim Ho Ma and Many Uch, being deported as a result of the 1996 Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act. The act was meant to rid the U.S. of non-citizen felons; however, even a minor legal mistake made years ago can result in life-long residents being permanently separated from family and home. No matter how long ago the crime or whether the men or women served a full sentence, these residents can be sent back to their birth country – no right to counsel, no right to judicial review, no appeal. We must change this policy, but first, we need to understand why we should care about men like Lun, Kim Ho, and Many.
I invite Ella’s Voice readers and friends to join Director Nicole Newnham at this special screening of “Sentenced Home”. Learn the facts and find out how we can help.
Where: Humanist Hall, 390 27th Street, Oakland
When: September 8 from 7:00 to 9:00 pm
Cost: Event is free, but gift cards that will be donated to veteran support organizations are encouraged.
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