We often see children as innocents who need love, support, and stability. But not all young people are nurtured this way. Too often youth from marginalized communities of color are not seen as needing protection — they are treated as the ones we need protection from. We see this in this episode with Phal Sok, who was once a kid in Long Beach forced to grow up too soon. This episode is part two of our series on Cambodian refugees who get caught up in the criminal justice system at a young age.
In today’s political climate, there’s a prominent narrative of “bad” immigrants who don’t deserve to be here. This isn’t new — it’s a part of a much longer history of criminalizing immigrants and refugees in the United States. This episode is the first of two that explore the experiences of Cambodian refugees who get caught up in the criminal justice system at a young age. Billy Taing shares his story of fleeing the Khmer Rouge and resettling in America with his family, only to continue facing hardship.