#Fix96: Communities Organizing Against Deportation

Featured Image: Fix ‘96 campaign poster created by the Immigrant Justice Network. Text: “Will the next president stand with immigrants? Fix ‘96: End Mass Criminalization. “Fix ’96: End the Mass Criminalization of Immigrants.” Digital image. Immigrant Justice Network: Fairness and Justice for Immigrants. Updated June 24, 2016. Accessed December 7, 2016. http://immigrantjusticenetwork.org/resources/fix96/ 

The 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) targets criminal aliens, a racialized, punitive term for immigrants with a criminal record. As of 2016, over 43,000 criminal aliens have been deported from the U.S.

1Love Movement, a Southeast Asian organization, built cross-racial coalitions with Latinx and Black immigrant rights groups to organize a Philadelphia City Council meeting in June 2016.

This meeting, part of the national campaign to #Fix96 and reverse the 1996 IIRIRA, brought parents of deportees to testify and Skyped in Cambodian deportees from Phnomh Penh, building intergenerational and transnational solidarity against the IIRIRA.

These testimonies, emerging across racial lines, generations, and physical borders, educated others on deportation and the violent division of communities. Testimonies humanized immigrants beyond their criminalization, calling for solidarity against the IIRIRA. These multi-leveled strategies ultimately convinced councilmembers to issue a Congressional referendum against the IIRIRA.

1Love Movement made a six minute film of testimonies from their #Fix96 Philadelphia City Council meeting to educate and call others to act against unjust deportations.

In “Deportation”, filmed by the Southeast Asian Freedom Network, Cambodian/Americans offer a history of the IIRIRA and tell personal stories of deportation’s violent impact on families, 

Further Reading

Organizations represented in the video:

Other organizations to connect to:


Newnham, Nicole. 2002. Sentenced Home. PBS. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdw-cO97wvM.

Sugano, Masahiro. 2014. Cambodian Son. Studio Revolt. http://cambodianson.com/.
Dao, Loan. “Refugee Representations: Southeast Asian American Youth, Hip Hop, and Immigrant Rights.” Amerasia Journal 40, no. 2 (2014): 88-109.

Kwon, Soo Ah. 2012. “Deporting Cambodian Refugees: Youth Activism, State Reform, and Imperial Statecraft.” Positions 20 (3): 737–62.

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