On March 22, 2002, amidst political pressures exerted by the Bush administration, the government of Cambodia was forced into signing a repatriation agreement with the United States that immediately made some 1,600 Cambodian Americans, most of whom were fully acculturated teenagers with virtually no ties to Cambodia, deportable under the Immigration and Nationality Act’s aggravated felony provision. This Note addresses the aggravated felony provision as applied to Cambodian refugees and two legal theories that have been developed in order to prevent their deportation. Based on current trends by federal courts to incorporate international legal norms into American jurisprudence, particularly Beharry v. Reno and Maria v. McElroy, this Note contends that a more serious look at these two legal theories, which rely heavily on international human rights standards, is needed.
Émigrés of the Killing Fields: The Deportation of Cambodian Refugees as a Violation of International Human Rights,
B.C. Third World L.J.