As ICE deports more Cambodian refugees, some find hope in pardons

The Trump administration has deported Cambodian refugees with criminal records at an unprecedented pace. Liberal governors are using pardons to fight back.

When Ruth Seng’s partner, Kang Hen, was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents last month, she didn’t know what she would do. Seng was recently diagnosed with kidney and heart failure, and she may not survive her illness. As her health declined, she had been relying on Hen to take her to doctor’s appointments, bring her healthy food, and take care of their three-year-old son, Kayden. Now, she feared that Kayden would end up without parents.

“I’m coming home every night, looking at the entrance to my house, and I start sobbing,” she said last week, as Hen sat in a northern California jail, awaiting deportation to Cambodia. “A place that used to be so much laughter is now all quiet and sorrow.”

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