Hi, I'm Sophea! Thank you for your interest and taking the time to read my story.
I was ordered for removal from the United States in 2007 for a nonviolent crime I had already served time for– all because I was not an American citizen, only a Permanent Resident, since the age of one. During that time, Cambodia was not accepting deportees, and I was released from ICE custody under an order of supervision. Four years later in 2011, travel documents came through, and I was removed and deported to Cambodia, where I'd never been before, far away from my home and family. Although I was in disbelief, I didn't let this hurdle stop me from staying positive, and I made a new life for myself in Cambodia as an English teacher for the majority of the years.
In 2020, I received a gubernatorial pardon from Governor Newsom, and in 2022, Homeland Security restored my Permanent Resident status, entitling me to return to the United States... (Thank you, Kevin and Anoop at Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus, 1Love, the whole #Right2Return Movement Delegation, and all of my number one supporters)! We have been fighting my case for quite a while, but the timing couldn’t have been better. I believe things fell into place when the Universe and I were ready. I am indebted for my life experience in Cambodia, and I will forever remember it as a huge blessing in disguise.
After almost eleven years away from my home, I am reuniting with my family and readjusting my life once again. I am so excited and grateful to be with my family and for my US permanent status reinstatement! However, starting all over and maintaining my status and relatively new marriage isn't easy nor cheap. The return process and just living in America is so costly, as you all may know. I am humbly asking for help with resettling in the first few months as I slowly transition back. These funds will help with my document processing fees, initial flights, past due restitution fees, and possibly allow me to take time off to focus on writing my book.
I'm uber exhilarated by this massive win for my #Right2Return, and to share this moment with you all! Thank you for continuing to be a part of my journey...
I appreciate every penny donated to my situation, and I can't thank you enough from the bottom of my heart for your ongoing support and kindness.