They sent me here seven years ago,” says Buck. With his big smile and backwards baseball cap, he comes across as a real-life Joey Tribbiani from the TV show Friends. But Buck isn’t an American, he’s one of around 800 Cambodians who’ve been deported from America in recent decades. Born in a refugee camp in Thailand to parents who’d fled the Khmer Rouge genocide, as a baby he was taken to live, illegally, in the US. Buck couldn’t be more American if he was wearing the star-spangled banner and eating apple pie. With him is his friend Jimmy, who has a similar tale to tell. His new life in the US began at the age of six, when his family fled the Cambodian Civil War. Nearly 40 years later, he too was sent back to Cambodia, a country he’d never visited in the intervening years.
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