Dreams Detained, In Her Words: the effects of detention and deportation on Southeast Asian American women and families

The AAPI community remains consistently overlooked in larger conversations about immigration policy and reform. Many Southeast Asians (SEA) with old criminal records have been targeted and quietly detained and deported in large numbers due to laws that were passed two decades ago. Immigration detention and deportation is a well discussed and explored topic in today’s political climate. However, there is an element to this topic that rarely comes to the forefront: the families left behind. SEA women who experience detention or deportation in their family are forced to make hard decisions for the well-being of their families and often suffer a huge gap in their financial, emotional, and physical security. The outcomes of these separations have devastating effects on the families affected. This is the silent suffering of AAPI women and children who are left to pick up the pieces after their loved one is torn from their lives.

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