Danny currently has a final order of deportation to Laos, a country he has never set foot in, and where he has no family or support. Read more about Danny's story here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1EFmSMvdw-A0zn7wKh_fYaScq4bGvtr2_/view?usp=sharing
Recently, the US government sanctioned Laos in order to force them to take deportees. Danny is one of those who could be picked up by ICE at any moment. Like Danny, many Southeast Asians affected by deportation are refugees who arrived in the US at a young age, their families escaping war. Many resettled in impoverished and under resourced neighborhoods in the US without culturally competent support. For those from Laos, their families were forced to flee due to the Vietnam War era "Secret War", where the US government dropped more bombs in Laos per capita than have been dropped anywhere else in the world. In fact there are still many unexploded US bombs in Laos today.
The only likely way to prevent Danny's deportation is to get a pardon from Governor Brown. Please, help sign on to prevent Danny's deportation! Sign on to the letter below:
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I am writing to strongly urge your timely pardon of Somdeng Danny Thongsy. As a refugee youth, Danny grew up in an impoverished neighborhood in Stockton, CA rife with gangs and violence. When he was 17 years old his brother was murdered, and Danny was not prepared to deal with the trauma and loss. At the age of 17, Danny was in a deep depression and coped by engaging in negative teenage behaviors. He made a poor choice and was sentenced to life imprisonment. This was not what Danny’s family envisioned for them in the U.S. after escaping the war in Southeast Asia.
While incarcerated, he matured and with full remorse of his past actions he transformed his life. He graduated with a high school and college degree, joined and facilitated numerous self-help programs and mentored others to make positive choices. Danny found spirituality and became active in chapel programs and religious studies. He advocated with Kids Creating Awareness Together (Kid CAT) to pass SB 260 and 261, resulting in hundreds of parole grants to those sentenced to life as youth. Throughout prison, he had a clean record.
Since Danny paroled and has been out, he has made numerous positive contributions to his community and society. He was awarded a fellowship at the Asian Law Caucus where he worked to organize, advocate and provide legal support around immigrant rights and criminal justice reform. There, he advocated for SB 54, which helps keep immigrant families from being torn apart and AB 1308 for youth offender parole hearings. He engages in community outreach as a member of the Asian Prisoner Support Committee. He is active in his church community and interfaith organizations, volunteers extensively in the Bay Area such as helping with re-entry support and teaching origami to youth, attends numerous leadership workshops and conferences, and promotes voter engagement through his job at Oakland Rising, among other activities.
However, Danny is facing imminent deportation to Laos, a country he has never set foot in, because of his immigration status. For many refugees like Danny, a pardon is one of the only ways to prevent deportation. A pardon would give him the chance to remain together with the only family he has left, his sister. It would allow him to remain a contributing member of society in the US, the only country he has known given that he arrived here as a refugee when he was 2 years old.
Given Danny’s positive contributions to society today and imminent threat of deportation, I strongly urge you to grant Somdeng Danny Thongsy a pardon. Sincerely,