More than 30 Cambodians deported from United States arrived in the Kingdom yesterday and were turned over to authorities.
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued a statement yesterday saying that the 37 Cambodians, most of whom were convicted criminals, were deported to the Kingdom on Tuesday in accordance with their final removal orders after immigration court proceedings.
It said that 35 of them, who were convicted criminals, were flown from the US state of Texas via a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Removal Operations flight to Cambodia.
Their combined criminal convictions include: three counts of murder, two counts of rape, two counts of aggravated assault, five counts of aggravated assault with a weapon, two counts of assault, sexual assault, three counts of attempted murder, burglary, child abuse, lewd acts on a minor, driving under the influence, larceny, stolen property, two counts of firearm possession, two weapon offences, traffic offence, forgery, three counts of robbery, resisting arrest, auto theft, and seven drug convictions, the statement said.
“As a result of ICE’s continued diplomatic efforts in coordination with our partners at the Department of State, the implementation of visa sanctions, and the tireless efforts of the ERO Removals Division, removals to Cambodia increased 279 percent from Fiscal Year 2017 to Fiscal Year 2018,” it noted. “However, there are still approximately 1,900 Cambodian nationals present in the United States with a final order of removal, of whom 1,400 are convicted criminals.”
“ERO carries out its mission to remove aliens, who present a danger to national security or are a risk to public safety as well as those who undermine the integrity of our immigration laws, with the utmost professionalism daily and often in the face of adversity,” Jeffrey Lynch, acting assistant director for removals, said in the statement. “This most recent removal flight took 35 criminals, many convicted of the most heinous possible crimes, off our streets and made our communities safer.”
Bill Herod, Khmer Vulnerability Aid Organisation spokesman, confirmed that the group of 37 arrived at Phnom Penh International Airport yesterday morning.
“As with all previous groups, we look forward to assisting these individuals as they build new lives in Cambodia and contribute their education and skills to their new communities here,” he said.