Cambodia signed a repatriation agreement with the U.S. in 2002. Since then, about 800 people have been deported from the U.S. to Cambodia. The deportations picked up speed in the fall of 2017, when the U.S. cut off visas for certain high-level Cambodian government officials until they start cooperating with U.S. deportation policy. Cambodia will not issue a travel document until after interviewing a person. Cambodian officials travel to the U.S. each year to conduct interviews at a detention facility. ICE carries out raids targeting Cambodians with removal orders in preparation for the interviews each year. There are about 1,900 Cambodians with removal orders in the U.S.
ICE detained around sixty Cambodians in September 2018. A deportation flight with 36 Cambodians left from El Paso, Texas on December 17, 2018.
A nationwide temporary restraining order currently requires ICE to send written notice to some Cambodians two weeks before re-arresting them.
ICE began sending these notices in mid-February 2019 and arrested Cambodians throughout March. The detained Cambodians are currently being interviewed by consular officials for travel documents at the Montgomery Processing Center in Conroe, Texas. They will likely be returned to local detention facilities soon.
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UPDATED: April 3, 2019