Mia-lia Kiernan

Mia-lia is a co-founder and organizer for One Love Movement. One Love Movement formed in the Fall of 2010 in response to the rise in detention and deportation of Cambodian-Americans on the basis of prior criminal convictions in Philadelphia, and nationwide. The Obama Administration officially announced a new policy prescription in August 2011 that targets and prioritizes “criminal aliens,” or anyone with criminal histories, for removal from the United States. These policies neglect to consider the severe flaws in the immigration system, including the presence of retroactive punishment, denial of individualized review, the broad range of crimes deemed deportable, and the value of rehabilitation. The experience of Cambodian families who have been broken apart by deportation has led One Love Movement to stand up to keep their families together and create more awareness of the deeper story behind what the government labels “criminal deportations.” Mia-lia will provide multi-faceted insight into the issue of deportation in the Cambodian community ~ including issues of foreign relations, refugee resettlement, behavioral health and PTSD, education, the links between the criminal justice and immigration systems, and the current political landscape around immigration policy. Mia-lia will talk about the families that One Love Movement has been working with and the impact that these deportations have had on the community.

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