Standards have risen for non-citizens since President Trump was elected. In fact, enforcement has become so strict that even a convicted foreign murderer might be deported!
A recent front page of the San Jose Mercury-News featured the travails of young criminal refugees which included a photo of a killer who may soon get a free ride home. What’s more fascinating is the story about that person, who at age 14 shot dead a liquor store owner during a robbery and was sentenced to life in prison.
But since this is California, Thai refugee Boray Ai was released after serving 20 years in San Quentin. Why he was not immediately deported is somewhat unclear; nevertheless he is still here and hoping for a pardon from Gov Jerry Brown who is about to retire and won’t fear any voters blaming him for being soft on murderers.
Note to “journalists” — using a murderer as a subject in an immigrant sob story may not be the best choice to generate sympathy.
In Trump’s America, childhood crimes haunt Bay Area Cambodian and Vietnamese refugees, San Jose Mercury-News, August 2, 2018
Had Phuoc Thang been born in the United States, the 38-year-old electrician would be quietly raising his young family in their comfy Berryessa home, having turned his life around nearly two decades after serving time in San Quentin for drug possession.
Had he been born in Central America or Mexico, he’d likely already have been deported.
But because he was born in a refugee camp in Indonesia to Vietnamese parents who fled communism, things are much more complicated. Thang is part of a unique group of hundreds of Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees living in limbo after committing crimes long ago — some as teenagers — that cost them their green cards. [. . .]
Borey “Peejay” Ai was born in a refugee camp in Thailand to Cambodian parents who fled genocide by the Khmer Rouge regime. The family immigrated to the U.S. when Ai was 5. But growing up in a troubled family in a crime-ridden neighborhood in Stockton, Ai struggled to fit in. As a young boy, he witnessed his 7-year-old cousin get gunned down in the infamous Cleveland Elementary School massacre of 1989. Five children were shot to death.
Seven years later, he was the one pulling the trigger. At 14, Ai pled guilty to second-degree murder in the 1996 slaying of a Berryessa liquor store owner during a robbery, becoming one of the youngest people in California to be given a life sentence for murder.
He served 20 years in San Quentin and was granted parole in 2016. But on the day he was freed, ICE was waiting outside.
Ai spent nearly two years at the Rio Consumes detention facility in Elk Grove. He’s appealed his deportation order and has asked Gov. Jerry Brown to pardon his crime, which eventually could allow him to stay in the United States.
But even as Brown — who last year pardoned Cambodians Mony Neth and Rottanak Kong, convicted of possessing stolen guns and felony joyriding, respectively — weighs this decision and as Ai’s case sits in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, he could be deported at any minute.
“It’s devastating,” said Ai. “It hurts. There’s no way to describe it. I can’t get comfortable, I can’t do anything because I know that at some point it can be gone. It can be taken from me.” (Continues)
Is this a great country or what? Even a convicted foreign murderer expects all the rights and privileges of a law-abiding American citizen.