PHNOM PENH, May 10 (Xinhua) — The United States is planning to deport about 2,000 Cambodians people back to their home, officials said here on Thursday. “We will check their cases one by one in order to decide whether we accept them or not,” said Khieu Sopheak, spokesman for the Interior Ministry of Cambodia.
He said that these Cambodians are living in the U.S. illegally or with felonies may face a lot of problems after they return home,such as inability to compromise themselves with the Cambodian society, difficulty to find jobs and lack of trustworthy relatives and friends.
Meanwhile, Jeff A. Daigle, spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Cambodia, told Xinhua by e-mail that the Cambodians to be deported by the U.S. are not Cambodian-Americans.
“The returnees only have Cambodian nationality. U.S. citizens are not deportable,” he said.
The U.S. government has provided 577,630 U.S. dollars to the Returnee Integration Support Program (RISP), a local NGO, to help the returnees successfully re-integrate into the Cambodian society,he added.
According to the embassy, 163 Cambodian nationals have been repatriated by the U.S. since 2002.
The U.S. immigration law mandates removal from the U.S. of aliens, who have been convicted of “aggravated felonies” and against whom the U.S. courts have issued finals orders of deportation.