Porthira Chimm


Recorded by Robynn Takayama
Cambodian Deportation

Porthira Chimm::14 Ok, I am Porthira Chimm and I was a New Voices fellow at Cambdian Community Development where I ran a project called the Cambodian American Project for Empowerment. And I actually met Andrew through my work there. He had come in to :30 do volunteer with our agency to do some community service and I was his immediate supervisor.

And when he came to us, we had him come in a couple hours a week to do administrative stuff, but we quickly realized that he was very articulate and talented. :47 And we had him start working with youth and ironically enough, got him involved with our citizenship program and naturalization services. And he actually worked with a number of our seniors as well. 1:00 Read more...

Bill Hing

:33 My name is Bill Hing and I’m a professor of law and Asian American Studies at UC Davis.

TALK ABOUT ROLE THE US PLAYED IN DISPLACING CAMBODIANS AND WHY DID THE US START TAKING IN REFUGEES

:55 Well, the United States started taking in Cambodian refugees in large part because it felt, the US felt culpable, and it was culpable, in dragging Cambodia in to the SEA war because Cambodian had attempted to remain neutral but the VC were using military routes on one of the borders between VN and C so the US began to bomb, secretively unknown to Congress, bomb the routes. This was under the Nixon administration because the military was not supposed to go into other countries so it began doing that. And as a result, C reacted negatively to that, so they resisted the US coming in. So the US 1:53 offered support to a right-wing faction that would allow the US to come in. The long and short of it is that that right-wing faction, which was led by Pol Pot ultimately prevailed in C and the US went in full force at that time. 2:21 VN fought back against Pol Pot, but during that whole era of Pol Pot, as people know, millions of C were subject to what many people consider genocide of his own people, auto-genocide. And as a result of that, the US felt obligated, in my opinion, after people started fleeing to Thailand and other places, the US felt obligated to take responsibility for some of those refugees. 3:00 Read more...