Journalist’s Book Explains Severe Barriers Cambodian Refugees Face In California

Most immigrants, including refugees fleeing violence, are demonized these days by President Donald Trump and his administration.

Trump famously launched his campaign by labeling immigrants from Mexico as rapists. There is the Muslim ban. Trump has claimed, without providing evidence, that many of the Central Americans seeking asylum at our border are criminals.

Some politicians and their followers in Europe offer similar characterizations of those fleeing violence in Syria and elsewhere.

A new book delves into the complicated picture of what can happen to refugees after arriving in America: “Exiled: From the Killing Fields of Cambodia to California and Back.” It’s by California author, and former San Diego journalist, Katya Cengel

The book focuses on four refugee families who fled unimaginable horrors in the infamous Killing Fields of Cambodia in the 1970s under the Pol Pot Regime. Now, decades later, many of them face deportation. But their stories, among those of 158,000 Cambodians who settled in the U.S., represent universal immigration issues.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder commonly affects not only refugees, Cengel writes, but also their descendants. Cengel talks about his new book Wednesday on Midday Edition. KPBS NEWS

Listen to an interview with the author:

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