More on: year end reflections
Jan 02, 2011
Happy beginning of 2011 my dearest family, friends and supporters!
The year of 2010 definitely ended with a bang for me. I received much media attention in my effort to petition for a pardon from Governor Schwarzenegger before he leaves office. Bay Area mainstream KTVU channel 2 news did an interview with me. People’s station KPFA’s Hard Knock Radio, APEX Express, and Letters to Washington had me on their shows. The Chinese World Journal newspaper did two articles on me. KQED online news blogged about my deportation case. Many bloggers and websites across the nation helped spread the word of my online petition. Change.org hosted my online petition. Facebook was extremely useful in reaching out to people to support my cause. We had over 2,500 people signed the online pardon petition. None of it could have been possible without the support from friends and the community.
Jan 02, 2010
Dearest family, friends and supporters:
Happy new breath! Happy New Year! Happy new decade!
I remember standing in the 49er’s Linebacker room sharing a message with about twenty NFL football players, “You’re one bad decision away from being locked up in prison or six feet under.” We all have to be accountable to our actions. There is no exception.
I remember an immigrant youth lying on a gurney in the hospital emergency room pleading with me, “Can I leave the hospital? I don’t want to be here. My family doesn’t have money.” He didn’t think of that when he decided to engage in a group fight. There is a consequence to every action.
I remember the day an African American man robbed and dragged my 74 year old mother on the concrete ground in board daylight. As she lies in the emergency room in the hospital, I reasoned with myself, “Here I am advocating for the rights of the African Americans, Latinos and APIs in the community, why does it has to be an African American who hurts my Mom? Then again, I did not think about my victims’ feelings when I committed my crime. Who am I to judge others?” There’re many reasons why people do what they do. It’s what I am going to do, that matters. Forgiveness is not easy, but it is necessary.
I remember standing on the stage in the Laney College auditorium with my poet friend SKIM performing our collaboration of “Breath is Life” to celebrate my birthday with friends and community members. I’m reminded that community is how we include and embrace each other. (more…)
Jan 02, 2009
The year of 2008 breezed by like a sparrow riding with the wind of a tornado. Sometimes I don’t even remember all the things that have had happened in my life.
I’ve been in the “Free World” for 22 months. However, I feel like I’ve been here all along. Who would’ve thought that I am still in the United States? My immigration status remains the same – deported. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is still waiting to secure my travel document from the Chinese government so it can process my deportation. I’m still under ICE’s Intensive Supervision Appearance Program. I have to check in with ICE three times a month. My appeal in the ninth circuit court of appeal has been pending for over two years. I have no idea when the court will issue a decision.
Therefore, my status in the US is still uncertain. Fortunately, with the support and dedication of my friend Ben Wang, we were able to secure the commitment from Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Congressman Mike Honda to express their support to sponsor a private bill on my behalf to stop my deportation in the 2009 congress. With Obama as the president, hopefully my chance of getting the private bill passed increases. Only time will tell.
In the meantime, I continued to work full time in the Community Youth Center (CYC) of San Francisco. Since my 20 months of employment in CYC, I was promoted three times. Currently, I’m the Senior Project Coordinator responsible for two components that work on decreasing the violence in the schools and the community – the Community Response Network – Asian Pacific Islander (CRN-API) and Intervention.
The stigma of being a formerly incarcerated person has worked for me and against me. There are those who will continue to doubt me. That’s fine. As the saying goes, “You can lead a cow to water, but you cannot force it to drink.” One thing remains unchanged for me is my dedication to service the youth and community to the best of my ability. I find it extremely rewarding to be able to utilize my experiences to provide services to the often under-funded and under-served API population. Therefore, it is humbling to be accepted and validated by most of my peers and community for what I do. Because when you give me a chance, you give thousands of other an opportunity to change their lives.
I have attached a chronology of some of the things that I’ve done this year. They are the direct results of your support and faith in me.
In my reflection of this year, I realize that sometimes I’m disconnected with society. There’re so many things that I did not learn or understand as a result of my incarceration. Therefore, sometimes I unknowingly hurt the people I care about, myself included. At times, I find myself thinking that being in prison is better than being in the so called “Free World.” I feel like I am living in a lie and that my life is one big lie.
I know that I have much to reflect on and take direct actions to make changes. That’s why I ask all of you to keep me humble and continue to guide me in this finite journey of life.
Thank you for being there for me and being my mentors. Your presence in my life reminds me of how rich and lucky I am.
As we embrace the year of 2009, let’s continue to be kind and loving to ourselves so we can pass the same loving kindness to others.
May you and your families be happy and healthy.
My heart bows to you,
Your humble servant,
Jan 02, 2008
Happy new year!
It’s a blessing to be able to type this message to you. Where as in the past, I have to rely on others to do so.
It’s been ten months since my release from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Life is good.
After being in prison for 21 years, one would think that my transition to society would be a difficult one. But not so in my case. Since the day I returned to the free world, I just keep on moving forward.
As you can imagine, everything is new to me. I’ve experienced many first times. That’s why every day of my life is full of excitement.
However, what I find most rewarding and satisfying is doing work that I love. I’m working full time for the Community Youth Center (CYC) of San Francisco as a Project Coordinator for the Community Response Network – Asian Pacific Islander(CRN-API). I get to service the youth, family and community of San Francisco. Also, I’m privileged to be given opportunities to share my experiences in schools, colleges and community based organizations. It is like a dream come true.
As for my immigration status, not much has changed. My deportation order is still active. I do have an appeal in the ninth circuit appeal court. I don’t know what’s going to happen. What I do know is I am not going to worry about the things that I have no control of. I am just going with the flow and stay busy.
I have attached a chronology of some of the things that I’ve done since my release in February. Please take the time to read it because you’ve played an important part in all my accomplishments.
As always, I can never accomplish any of these without the continual support from all of you and the community. I am grateful for your presence in my life.
Please continue to keep me humble because you sustain me, because without you there is no me and because you are beautiful.
2008 is going to be another awesome year. Let’s keep on shining… living… loving…