» Action Items, Events, News


Join the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC) and Asian Prisoner Support Commitee (APSC) to discuss this groundbreaking film and mark the anniversary of harmful immigration laws that eliminated second chances for people like Eddy Zheng. The 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) resulted in the rise of mass deportations that have separated millions of families.

SEARAC will release a report, “Prosecutorial Discretion in the Southeast Asian American Community,” to highlight the issue of unjust deportations. This event will be in conjunction with their annual “Leadership, Empowerment, and Advocacy Fellowship” (LEAF) Training. Panelists will talk about their personal stories and highlight the local work they are doing to support AAPI prisoner reentry. The event is hosted by the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC).

Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27)
Rep. Barbara Lee (CA-13)

Formerly Incarcerated Panel:
Eddy Zheng, Asian Prisoner Support Committee (APSC), Oakland, CA
Kristopher Larsen, Formerly Incarcerated Group Healing Together (FIGHT), Seattle, WA
Tung Nguyen, Santa Ana, CA

Date/Time: Wednesday, September 28, 4:30-7:00pm
Location: Rayburn House Office Building, Judiciary Hearing Room 2226

For the Facebook invite, click here.
To register for the event, click here.

» News, Photos

Being sworn in by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Smiley as the Juvenile Justice Delinquent Prevention Commissioner. #schoolsnotprisons#AsianPrisonerSC #servetheyouth


» Engagements, Media

Colorlines writer Channing Kennedy and illustrator & comic artist Minnie Phan constructed a reported comic on CAAMFest 2016, which includes Director Ben Wang’s film Breathin’: The Eddy Zheng Story.

See below for their reported comic for the film.

To see more of their reported comic for CAAMFest 2016, click here.

Thanks, Channing and Minnie!

caam-comic-3c-edit-2 caam-comic-3d


» Media, News

Happy new breath!12039741_10208012629047437_6085360533197092204_n

I’m excited to share that Breathin’: The Eddy Zheng Story won the CAAMFest Audience Award! Thank you to all those who watched the screenings and voted.

When I see you, I see me. Without you, there is no me. Thank you.


» Events, Media, Photos, Reflections

Happy new breath! Feeling so honored to premiere Breathin’ with so much community support at CAAMFest 2016.

Photos from CAAMFest 2016 at the Alamo Drafthouse at New Mission


Eddy Zheng and Director Ben Wang before the screening


Composer Scott “Chops” Jung signing the Breathin’ poster during our pre-screening meet-up/dinner


Cast and crew during Q&A


Eddy during Q&A post-premiere



Eddy poses with filmmaker Ben Wang, SF Police Commissioner Victor Hwang, SF Public Defender Jeff Adachi, and fellow activist Harrison Suega.


Breathin’ is given an Honorable Mention by CAAMFEST’s esteemed doc jury

» Action Items, Events, Media

CAAMFest Press Conference 2016 at Alamo Drafthouse San Francisco

CAAMFest Press Conference 2016 at Alamo Drafthouse San Francisco


Arrested at 16 and tried as an adult for kidnapping and robbery, Eddy Zheng served over 20 years in state prison. Ben Wang’s BREATHIN’: THE EDDY ZHENG STORY paints an intimate portrait of Eddy — the prisoner, the immigrant, the son, the activist — on his journey to freedom, rehabilitation and redemption.

BREATHIN’ moves with a deep, critical love, unafraid in confronting the hard truths of Eddy’s crime, the harsh realities of mass incarceration and the intertwined emotional hardships experienced by all involved. The film finds Eddy at many crossroads — in and out of parole hearings, organizing in the community, othered and at risk of deportation — his resilience and astounding compassion resounding throughout. In chronicling Eddy’s decades-long struggle for freedom, the film interrogates the complexities and hypocrisies of crime and punishment in the United States, raising the greater question: For whom are prisons for?

— Andrew Yeung

Co-presented by: Chinese for Affirmative Action & Asian Prisoner Support Committee


Director: Ben Wang
Producer: Christine Kwon, Ben Wang
Executive Producer: Deann Borshay Liem
Cinematographer: R.J. Lozada
Editor: Ken Schneider and Tina Nguyen

To purchase tickets, click here.

Dates & Times
March 11, 2016 6:30 pm at Alamo Drafthouse
March 19, 2016 8:10 pm at New Parkway Theater

» Articles, Events, Photos

My second trip of the year takes me to receive the Justice, Peace and Freedom Award from the 2016 AFL-CIO Martin Luther King Jr. Civil and Human Rights Conference. ‪#‎1uMLK‬ I feel humble and honor to sharing the stage with Dorsey Nunn, Rachel Bryan and the ‪#‎BlackLivesMatter‬ Co-Founders Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi, Patrisse Marie Cullors-Brignac and different labor leaders. I couldn’t have be in this space without my Asian Prisoner Support Committee family and ‪#‎AAPIsBeyondBars‬ Coalition. Thank you for your leadership and support.


Eddy with Co-Founder of #BlackLivesMatter, Alicia Garza


Eddy, Executive Director of All of Us or None Dorsey Nunn, Community Liaison and International Representative of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Rachel Bryan and Executive Board Member and President of Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) Johanna Hester



Membership & Chapter Coordinator/Policy Analyst of APALA William Chiang, Eddy, Johanna Hester, and Executive Director of APALA Gregory Cendana


Eddy with Dorsey Nunn and Executive Vice President of AFL-CIO Teferi Gebre


Eddy with APALA crew

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Eddy and William Chiang


Eddy and Johanna Hester

» Events, Reflections


Breathin’ to show in San Francisco and Oakland in March 2016

Thirty year ago today, at the age of sixteen, I played judge and sentenced a family of four to a life sentence of trauma and suffering. As a result, the judge sentenced me to life in prison as an adult. I spent twenty-one years in prison, while my parents did twenty-one years with me in the “free world.” At the same time, I contributed to the violent statistics in the community.

We are never separated from the self, family and community.

I want to apologize to the family that I had harmed. I am sorry for the trauma I had inflicted on you. I had no rights to do so. I am forever grateful for the mother of the family for accepting the written apologies from me, my parents and community members.

It is timely that the film “Breathin’ – The Eddy Zheng Story” is completed as the country is focusing on criminal justice reform and de-carceration. Ben Wang and many people have created this space to highlight that transformation, redemption, and restorative justice are possible. My story is not just about me. It is about the narratives of many “Others” that do not have a voice to articulate the detrimental impact of the migration to the school-to prison-and-deportation pipeline.

I look forward to watching the film and engaging in dialogue with people on investing in solutions to mass criminalization, incarceration, deportation and dispelling the model minority myth.

In the meantime, I will continue to pay forward until the day I inhale my last breath.

» Engagements, News


Eddy speaking at congressional briefing “Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders Behind Bars: Exposing the School to Prison to Deportation Pipeline”

Congresswoman Judy Chu with Eddy Zheng

Congresswoman Judy Chu with Eddy Zheng

AAPI Behind Bars Panel

AAPI Behind Bars Panel

Congresswoman Barbara Lee with Eddy

Congresswoman Barbara Lee with Eddy

Press Release

» Engagements, Events

Feeling honor and excited about sharing my thoughts with the leadership of Alameda Labor Council on the impact of mass incarceration and the importance of labor’s role in dismantling the prison industrial Complex through mass employment and investing in education.


» Legal Updates, News

Happy new breath. Happy new beginnings. Happy life. I’m grateful that Governor Brown granted me an unconditional pardon. It validates my transformation and rehabilitation, but it does not minimize the wrongs that I had done at age 16 and the trauma I had inflicted on my victims. I couldn’t have become who I am today and be in this special space without the continued support from my family, friends and community. Please continue to hold me accountable and inspire me to do better. On behalf of my family, my heart bows to you. –Eddy

» Events

On Wednesday, November 2, 2011 in Los Angeles, formerly-incarcerated and convicted people, and our allies, from all over the United States will convene to discuss and ratify a National Agenda to restore our civil and human rights. We believe that unity of purpose will allow us to build political power. Many of us are already working on similar campaigns, to achieve the same demands. After November 2, we hope to organize and mobilize other people who have suffered at the hands of the criminal justice system to stand up for our rights around the country. After November 2, we plan to mount unified national campaigns to register voters, to end all forms of discrimination based on arrest or conviction records, to support the human rights of people locked up in cages, and to serve our families and communities.

PLEASE REGISTER NOW to attend the November 2 conference in Los Angeles.

There is no registration fee and no deadline for registering, but please register now so we can plan for food and reserve housing in advance.

Our conference will begin with breakfast at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, November 2, and the convening starting at 9 a.m. in Freedom Hall at the Watts Labor Community Action Center (WLAC) in South Central Los Angeles (10850 South Central Avenue).

TRAVEL and HOUSING: The November 2 convening is 100% self-financed. We have received no grant money so far to organize this event, so we hope everyone will be able to fund-raise for expenses, which we are trying to keep low. Unfortunately, there are no scholarships available for travel or housing for the November 2 convening. If you’re coming from out of town, please plan to travel the day before (November 1). Housing for the night of November 1 will be available near WLCAC at rates of $59-$69 for a double room. Rooms for that night will also be available at the the Westin Bonaventure, in downtown Los Angeles at DPA conference rates — $140 per room for double occupancy rooms.

» Engagements

APIs Behind Bars – Incarceration and Immigration Detention

Date: Thursday, October 27th
Time: 2:30pm-4:00pm
Place: Spring B
Workshop Track: Civil & Human Rights

Immigrants are the fastest growing population of prisoners in today’s prison system. Sixty-five percent of API prisoners in California are immigrants and refugees. The growth of the prison industrial complex has paralleled a surge in deportations and immigration detention resulting in a disastrous impact on API communities. The Obama administration has prioritized deporting immigrants with criminal convictions. Since 1996, Congress has stripped away the rights of immigrants with criminal convictions by eliminating certain discretionary waivers, subjecting individuals to indefinite detention, expanded the definition of an “aggravated felony,” and removed judicial review and discretion from Judges.

Programs like Secured Communities aimed at attrition through enforcement result in more immigrants in jail while racially profiling anyone who appears to be undocumented.

How does the immigrant detention issue reshape how we think about the prison system and racial profiling of people of color?

How will the overcrowding crisis in California’s prison system affect the immigration detention system?

What is the impact on the API community as the Obama administration deports a record number of immigrants?

Advancing Justice Conference flyer

» Engagements

October 1-7 is National Ethnic Studies Week and the School of Social Transformation invites the ASU community to a lecture on October 3 and a teach-in/panel discussion on October 6 to mark the occasion.

ASU Be the Change Within 2011

Activist, community organizer, and former prisoner Eddy Zheng will speak about his experiences and perspectives concerning youth, education, immigration, and the prison industrial complex, as well as coming into political consciousness while reading ethnic studies texts behind bars.

Eddy Zheng is a Chinese immigrant who spent 21 years of his life in prison for crimes he committed at the age of 16. Since his return to the free world, Eddy has dedicated his life to serving the youth and communities of the greater Bay Area. Currently Eddy is a Project Manager with the Community Youth Center of San Francisco. He is a Mayor Appointee of the San Francisco Reentry Council, a member of the board of directors for the San Francisco’s Neighborhood Vision Project, a national advisory board member of the Asian American Law Journal, a member of the Community Police Advisory Board, and the co-chair of Asian Prisoners Support Committee, based in Oakland. Eddy led a book project that culminated in the publication of Other: An Asian and Pacific Islander Prisoners’ Anthology and is the subject of a forthcoming documentary, “Breathin’: The Eddy Zheng Story.” He hopes to use his experiences to inspire and motivate young people to invest in their education, raise awareness about the detrimental impact that the prison industrial complex has on the Asian and Pacific Islander population, and promote racial harmony among people of color.

The talk will be introduced by Jeffrey Ow, lecturer in Asian Pacific American Studies in the School of Social Transformation.

Organized by Jeffrey Ow and Wendy Cheng

For more information, contact Professor Wendy Cheng.

Event Details

Monday, October 3, 2011
3:30 – 5:00 p.m.
Arizona State University
Tempe Campus
West Hall 135
Tempe, AZ 

» Action Items

Announcing the release of a live concert CD
by Eddy Zheng, Martin Dosh, and Paul Dosh:


An Evening of Spoken Word, Music, and Inspiration with Eddy Zheng

In 2010, Paul and Martin Dosh hosted activist Eddy Zheng’s first visit to Minnesota.  The three of them performed at Macalester College, introducing the Twin Cities community to the extraordinary story of Eddy’s two decades in prison and his ongoing fight against deportation to China.While still in prison, Eddy began fundraising to support neighborhood activists in the shantytowns of Peru.  Eddy continues this activism today by selling the CD/book as a fundraiser for the non-profit Building Dignity.  Building Dignity promotes education, leadership, and development among Peru’s poorest neighborhoods.  Make a donation (in any amount) and you’ll receive a copy.

The CD includes seven spoken word poems, four original Dosh tunes, Eddy’s presentation, and Q&A highlights.  The tracks range from the sobering “Autobiography @33” to the hilarious “Dating Etiquette.”  The accompanying chapbook includes text of the poems and information on Eddy Zheng and his struggle.  Tracks include:

Listen at:

Two Ways To Order a Copy

  1. Donate online ($10 suggested donation) at and we’ll mail you a copy.
  2. Or send a check made out to “Building Dignity” to
    Building Dignity/Zheng CD
    1622 Hague Ave.
    St. Paul MN 55104

Note: CD production/postage have been donated, so 100% of your donation goes to Building Dignity, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.  Donations in excess of $10 are tax-deductible.

Thank you!
Eddy, Martin, and Paul

» Power to the Community

Sometimes we must surrender in order for us to become victorious.

» Power to the Community, Reflections

The 5 Core Demands

  1. End “group punishment” where an individual prisoner breaks a rule and prison officials punish a whole group of prisoners of the same race.
  2. Abolish “debriefing” and modify active/inactive gang status criteria. False and/or highly questionable “evidence” is used to accuse prisoners of being active/inactive members of prison gangs who are then sent to the SHU where they are subjected to long-term isolation and torturous conditions. One of the only ways these prisoners can get out the SHU is if they “debrief”—that is, give prison officials information on gang activity.
  3. Comply with recommendations from a 2006 U.S. commission to “make segregation a last resort” and “end conditions of isolation.”
  4. Provide Adequate Food. Prisoners report unsanitary conditions and small quantities of food. They want adequate food, wholesome nutritional meals including special diet meals and an end to the use of food as a way to punish prisoners in the SHU.
  5. Expand and provide constructive programs and privileges for indefinite SHU inmates—including the opportunity to “engage in self-help treatment, education, religious and other productive activities…” which are routinely denied. Demands include one phone call per week, one photo per year, 2 packages a year, more visiting time, permission to have wall calendars, and sweat suits and watch caps (warm clothing is often denied even though cells and the exercise cage can be bitterly cold).


Today I was out of my cell the longest since I’ve been in here. I didn’t even get a chance to take a nap as I normally would. It was chili and overcast this morning. I was out on the yard for about 4 hours. I walked, played ball, and did some crunches. It was too cold. This is the first time we got yard consistently. Time goes by faster that way.

Then I went to the law library for 2 ½ hours. I was able to make some copies and did some research. I need to get ready to file a return to the AG’s return. I’ll have to go back on Thursday. I found out the library schedule is very chaotic. Rico didn’t make it cause he didn’t turn in any request form. We’ll be going on Thursday if all is smooth.

I received my Harper magazine. I have way too much to read. I will share with others of course. I wrote CC an update letter. I hope I’m not being a pest. I wrote N a letter and told him my concerns. I asked him to write me back. G came by to say hi. He’s been doing a lot of climbing of stairs. I asked him to get me a bday card from the chapel.

After dinner, I worked on my autobiography poem. I’m not writing the natural way. I brainstorm and write down things that came to my mind. I’ll organize them later. I started to brainstorm on another poem. Hopefully I can have two first draft poems written. I have to make it happen. I need to write an article on my current situation.

My pain has lessened. I should be ready to workout again on Thursday. It’s been a good day. It’s time to relax and read today’s USA paper. I got some 3 cent stamps It’ll hold me for awhile.

» Engagements

Juvenile Hall Literacy

I will be speaking to approximately 25 youth and young adults who are locked up in the Juvenile Justice Center.

current favorite book:
How It All Began
One Man’s Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal
by Conor Grennan

2011 Alex Awards Committee
2500 Fairmont Drive
San Leandro, CA 94578
510.667.4347 (office)

Write 2 Read – Juvenile Justice Center is an Alameda County Library program in partnership with the Alameda County Office of Education and the Alameda County Probation Department

» Events

I am honored to Co-Chair the campaign to support San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee.  Please join us at the grand opening of our campaign office on Saturday, June 25, 2011!


SF Mayor Ed Lee for Re-Election

A Message from Our Co-Chairs

We are excited by the outpouring of support that our Run, Ed, Run campaign has received in its first week!  And we have much more planned to get the word out and to spread the message:  We want Mayor Ed Lee to run in November!
This weekend, we will hold a grand opening of our campaign office.  And we would like you to attend:

Run, Ed, Run Campaign Office Opening

Saturday, June 25th
1565 Mission Street (at S. Van Ness)

We hope to see you there!
Co-Chairs Supporting Ed Lee

Ed Head PrideGear Up for PRIDE

Next Sunday, join your fellow Ed Heads at Gay Pride! We’ll be mobilizing teams of volunteers to pass out Run, Ed, Run stickers and materials during the Pride parade and festival.

Come get your PRIDE on, and show that ‘Ed Head‘ spirit!!!

Meet us at the Run, Ed, Run office at 9:30am (corner of Mission and South Van Ness)!
We’ll have some food and drinks (coffee!) in the morning before we head out.

How Do You Want To Get Involved?

There are so many ways to help out and get involved–that are just a click away…

Run Ed, Run!

Sign Our Petition

Go to now to sign our petition and send a message to Ed!

Get A House Sign

Show us your support in the most colorful way. Put up a Run Ed Run sign in your home! Click here to request a sign or give us a call at (415) 483-5659.

Smile For Our Photobooth

We love to show off our beautiful Ed Head supporters! Want to be featured in our Mustache Revolution Gallery? Set up a time with our Photobooth volunteers.  We’ll come to you!


Donations small and large are accepted to keep our movement going. Ed needs to see how much support he has in the community. Make a contribution online today or mail in a check to:

Progress for All
110 Pacific Ave #334
San Francisco, CA 94111

Checks should be payable to Progress for All. State law requires that we use our best efforts to collect and report the name, address, occupation and employer for each individual whose contribution exceeds $100 in a calendar year. Also, please indicate if you are retired, homemaker, student, self-employed or unemployed.

» Legal Updates

From my lawyer:

“Exciting news! On May 6, 2011, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled in a published precedent decision that Xiao Fei (“Eddy”) Zheng deserves a second chance to stay legally in the United States. The Court was reviewing the prior decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) which had found he should be deported to China because of his conviction for kidnapping at age 16 for which he received a life sentence with possibility of parole. The Ninth Circuit determined that the BIA decision against Eddy was incorrect and incomplete, because it failed to consider one of the most important factors in Eddy’s case – his value to the community, which has been outstanding.

The Ninth Circuit decision favoring Eddy quoted many community leaders, including Jake McGoldrick, then a Member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, and Jane Kim, then a Youth Program Director, who had spoken or written on Eddy’s behalf in support of his request for a waiver of deportation (called the § 212(c) waiver).

With the overturning of the BIA decision, Eddy’s case will now return to the BIA for a new decision. Given the passage of time, including Eddy’ release from immigration custody, it is likely that within a few months, the BIA will order a new hearing before the Immigration Court, so that the Court can have an updated evidentiary record on which to make the new decision. Eddy’s increased value to the community now that he has been a part of that community for several years will again play a prominent role in his presentation of the evidence and, hopefully, in the new decision from the Courts about whether he is allowed to continue to live and work in the United States.

The Court rejected Eddy’s appeal regarding his application for protection under the Convention Against Torture. The Ninth Circuit decision was published as a precedent which means it can also be applied to others in the Ninth Circuit as well.

» News

Thank you for visiting the new site — please have a look and tell us what you think of the fresh new look.

(The old site is being archived, and will be available for viewing here.)

Snapshot of (v1)

Snapshot of (v1)


» Engagements, Events

Isolation Units within US Prisons


  • Alexis Agathocleous, Staff Attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights
  • Zahra Billoo, Executive Director, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) – San Francisco Bay Area
  • Dr. Terry Kupers, M.D.
  • Keramet Reiter, JD, PhD Candidate Berkeley Law; and,
  • Eddy Zheng, Prisoner Rights Advocate.

Moderated by: Sara Norman, Attorney, Prison Law Office.

Event Details

Tuesday, April 5, 2011
6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
The Women’s Building
Audre Lorde Room

3543 18th Street #8
San Francisco, CA

Co-Sponsored by:

  • Civil Liberties Defense Center
  • Solitary Watch
  • Freedom Archives
  • Arab Resource and Organizing Center
  • National Lawyers Guild – San Francisco Chapter
  • National Lawyers Guild – Boalt Hall Chapter
  • California Prison Focus
  • Animal Legal Defense Fund-Stanford University
  • Chapter and California Coalition for Women Prisoners
  • Anti-Racism Committee of the National Lawyers Guild-San Francisco Chapter
  • Legal Services for Prisoners with Children and Hastings Prisoner Outreach
  • Stanford Criminal Law Society
  • ACLU of Northern California
  • Prison Legal News
  • All of Us or None
  • Green is the New Red

» Engagements, Reflections

As part of my way of appreciating the legacy of Dr. King’s dream, I participated in the Know Your Rights event that was organized by the Bay Area Youth Commission and sponsored by Lick-Wilmerding High School’s Center for Civil Engagement.

I had the privilege of kick starting the event with a poem and got approximately 250 people chanting “Peace, Love and Community”. However, I was inspired by the young poet Chinaka Hodge, who let her words flow like a series of soothing melodies. Then I was able to conduct a workshop on the importance of knowing your rights. When it was time for the participants to choose which workshop to go to, mine was the less popular. I’m sure me being an ex-con definitely had something to do with it. Fortunately, the twelve of so people in my workshop appreciated my sharing.

It’s good to see so many young people who are doing their part to live up to Dr. King’s dream of equality for all. Many of them will definitely be leaders who will lead this country.

» Engagements, Reflections

St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, San Francisco, CA

I was invited by the San Francisco Interfaith Council’s (SFIC) Executive Director Michael Pappas as a guest speaker with Reentry Policy Director Jessica Flintoff at its monthly breakfast.

About 80 people from different faith based groups were present at the St. Mark’s Lutheran Church Heritage Hall. I shared my poem “Autobiography @ 33” with them as an introduction. I spoke briefly about the importance of all communities coming together to help those who are incarcerated. I drew the parallel on how the prisoners are being treated like lepers in the leper colony of Prison Industrial Complex. Many of the community members reached out to me when I was in prison just as Jesus reach out to the lepers in the leper colony. Without the compassion demonstrated by people from the community, I would not have become who I am.

Members of SFIC are doing many great things helping people who are in need in our community. I want to encourage the interfaith council to play an active role in changing the policy that can steer California away from being number 1 in incarceration and number 50 in education.

» Action Items

Pardon Eddy Zheng!


Eddy is an asset to the community. His teenage years in Oakland, and his incarceration experience have enabled him to conduct effective outreach and intervention strategies for youth, many of whom who are at-risk for entering the criminal justice system.

After serving over 20 years behind bars for a robbery he committed at age 16, Chinese American community leader Eddy Zheng now faces deportation to China, a huge loss to the Bay Area community. Released from prison in 2007, Eddy has dedicated his life to preventing youth violence and delinquency through his work at the Community Youth Center, Community Response Network, and many other SF Bay Area programs and organizations. Flawed immigration laws make Eddy deportable to China, although Eddy has already served his sentence and was found suitable to re-enter society by Governor Schwarzenegger himself.


» Engagements

San Quentin, CA
Spoke on the the need to raise awareness for restorative justice, and motivate both the incarcerated and broader community to get involved, during National Restorative Justice Week.

» Engagements

University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA
Presented at Dr. Siri Brown’s Ethnic Studies class on “Other: an Asian Pacific Islander Prisoners’ Anthology” and prison life, to approximately 150 students.

» Engagements

San Francisco, CA
Presented at Professor Grace Yoo’s Asian American Studies class, “Asian American communities: Changes and Development”, on the Prison Industrial Complex and reentry to approximately 60 students.

» Engagements

San Francisco, CA
Presented at Professor Russell Jeung’s “Asian Americans and Public Policy” class, on deportation issues, to approximately 60 students.

» Engagements

Civic Center Plaza, San Francisco, CA

Spoke about acknowledging the violence plaguing our community and the necessity to build a movement to stop it.

» Engagements

“Invest In Your Community”

California State Building
Milton Marks Conference Center
San Francisco, CA.

Moderated and presented the workshop, “Keeping It Real: Image vs. Reality”, to over 250 youth.
About the event:

3rd Annual API Youth Summit

Presented by State Senator Mark Leno, CYC & AYAN

A day-long conference to empower Asian and Pacific Islander youth (age 14-20) through
workshops and presentations on topics including self-esteem, identity, conflict mediation,
violence prevention and building coalition.

» Engagements

Bay Area, CA
Presented on transformation, leadership and the Prison Industrial Complex, for a group of 12 youth leaders

» Engagements

Gordon J. Lau Elementary School, San Francisco, CA
Spoke about communication and violence prevention, to approximately 70 parents.

» Engagements

Oakland, CA
Presented at Professor Roger Chung’s “Asian-American Communities” class, on the Prison Industrial Complex and the work of Asian Prisoners’ Support Committee (APSC), to approximately 60 students.

» Engagements

University of California, Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA

Presented on “Other: an Asian Pacific Islander Prisoners Anthology” and the Prison Industrial Complex, to approximately 20 people.

» Engagements

Los Angeles, CA
Presented on “Other: an Asian Pacific Islander Prisoners Anthology” and the Prison Industrial Complex, to approximately 15 people.

» Engagements

San Francisco, CA
Spoke about racial tension and ending the cycle of violence, to approximately 150 people.

Eddy Zheng | Stop the Violence, Start the Healing

About the event:

Community Vigil to Address Violence and Racial Tension in Southeast San Francisco and Honor Life of Huan Chen

Chinese for Affirmative Action announced details of a Thursday, April 8, 6:30 p.m., community vigil to honor the life of Huan Chen, who passed away on March 19, and to raise awareness about the need to address violence and racial tension in Southeast San Francisco. Chen was attacked on March 22 on a light rail platform.

The vigil is being organized by a group of community members – Sally Chan, Allison Chen, Linda Chu, Calvin Hom, Edward Hom, Sharon Hom, Norman Fong, Joe Huang, Michael Leung, Vincent Pan, Roger Tan, Michael Yip, Emily Yuen, Eddy Zheng – who met at the offices of Chinese for Affirmative Action to discuss the recent violence along the Third Street light rail in Southeast San Francisco on April 4th .

The theme of the vigil is “Stop the Violence, Start the Healing” and will begin at 6:30 p.m. at 3rd Street and Palou Avenue. The organizers are inviting all members of all communities to participate. The organizers see the vigil as an important step in the community’s healing process and a way to demand that the recent violence stop.

Edward Hom, one of the active organizers, said “The point of the vigil is to show that we are united against violence. There will be more actions to come because these are long-term problems, but for right now, we want the community to come together to start the process.”

Joe Huang, who lives in the Bayview, said “All of us who live in this neighborhood and this City are safer and stronger if we support one another. Coming to the vigil is just one way of doing that.”

Allison Chen, a resident in Southeast San Francisco, said, “Those of us who live in this area know that there are many problems that are difficult to talk about and difficult to address. But if we don’t start now, when will we ever?”

Vincent Pan, executive director of Chinese for Affirmative Action, expressed, “Our organization is doing what we can to support these new leaders — we believe that tremendous untapped power and potential is in the community and with the people.”

» Engagements

San Francisco, CA
Presented at Professor Donna Willmott’s class on the Prison Industrial Complex and reentry, to approximately 25 students.

» Events

An Evening of Spoken Word and Music

with Eddy Zheng and DOSH

Breathin' Event Poster

Breathin' Macalester College Event Poster

7:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Friday Feb 26, 2010
Smail Gallery, Olin-Rice Science Center
Macalester College, St. Paul, MN

About the Event

Facing deportation after 21 years behind bars, Eddy Zheng is grateful just to be breathin’. With music by DOSH and poetry by Paul Dosh, this artistic collaboration brings Eddy Zheng to the stage to tell the remarkable story of the movement he created that freed him from prison and now fights for the rights of Asian prisoners in California. A national advisory board member of the Asian American Law Journal, Eddy Zheng is the recipient of the Asian Law Students Outstanding Leadership Award and the Chinese World Journal Community Hero Award, the editor of Other: An Asian and Pacific Islander Prisoners’ Anthology, and now works for the San Francisco Community Youth Center.

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St. Paul, MN
Presented at Professor Pablo Dosh’s Comparative Social Movements class, to approximately 15 students.

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St. Paul, MN
Presented at Professor Karin Aguilar-San Juan’s Asian American Community and Identity class, to approximately 12 students.

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San Francisco, CA
Spoke on the importance of education, respect and accountability, to approximately 15 youth.

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San Francisco, CA
Conducted a de-escalation training for 11 OMI Beacon staff.

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Oakland, CA
Spoke with Professor Roger Chung’s Asian American class of approximately 30 students

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Oakland, CA
Spoke with Dr. Darby Price’s Asian American class, “Asian American History from 1945 to the Present”, of approximately 20 students

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San Francisco, CA
Spoke with the senior class, approximately 25 students

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Milpitas, CA
Spoke with approximately 150 students and 50 adults

About the Organization

Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation is a non-profit, non-governmental, humanitarian organization with four major missions: charity, medicine, education, and humanistic culture. The foundation also engages in international disaster relief, bone marrow donation, community volunteerism, and environmental protection. “Tzu Chi” means “compassion and relief.”

The goal of Tzu Chi is to help the poor and sick with “love, compassion, joy, and giving”. The spirit of Tzu Chi is “sincerity, integrity, trust and honesty” and all members invite everyone to come and cultivate Tzu Chi’s field of blessings and together create a world where ten thousand lotus hearts of compassion create the world of Tzu Chi.

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University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA
Presented at Dr. Siri Brown’s Ethnic Studies class of approximately 75 students

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San Francisco, CA
Spoke with Professor Donna Willmott’s class of approximately 20 students

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San Francisco, CA
Spoke about deportation and the experience of API prisoners, at Professor Russell Jeung’s classes “Chinese American Personality”, “Social Class and Low Income Chinese Americans” and “Asian American Public Policy”, to a total of approximately 150 students

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Oakland, CA
Emceed a benefit for the PRLF, with approximately 45 community members present

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San Francisco, CA
Presented for ACT, APILO’s youth program, on the importance of the individual, family and community, to 10 people

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Santa Clara, CA
Led an IMPACT training on team building, three tier philosophy, and single mindedness of purpose, for approximately 110 NFL players and coaches

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San Francisco, CA
Spoke about community safety

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San Francisco, CA
Presented to approximately 60 students

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San Francisco, CA
Spoke for Community Youth Center San Francisco, at the Parenting Summit, to approximately 60 community members

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Oakland, CA
Presented to approximately 40 students

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University of California, Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz, CA
Spoke at UC Santa Cruz’s 15th Annual Motivation Conference, to approximately 80 folks

Motivation Conference (MC)

Motivation Conference (MC) is a 2 1/2-day non-yield outreach program that targets underprivileged Asian American / Pacific Islander (AAPI) high school students from under resourced and under represented communities. A non-yield outreach program is a program that outreaches to students who have not been accepted in the university. MC targets AAPI high school students who have not thought about higher education as an option, or do not feel that higher education is a space for them. For 2 1/2 days MC allows these students to experience ways to express themselves, learn about more their identity, and see higher education as a realistic and obtainable goal. The Asian Pacific Islander Student Alliance (APISA) as well as many volunteers organize and plan the conference.

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University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA
Spoke about prison and parole policy with Professor Jonathan Simon, to approximately 15 students

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San Francisco, CA
Presented at Donna Willmott’s Health class, “Promoting Wellness for the Formerly Incarcerated” for 12 students

Course Description

Students will gain an understanding of prison culture and the specific challenges an incarcerated person faces when re-entering society. Ethical considerations along with identifying systemic barriers and rights retained by this population will be explored.

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San Francisco, CA
Invited by the Filipino Community Center volunteers, to speak with approximately 24 students

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University of Berkeley,
Berkeley, CA
Spoke at theSoutheast Asian Student Coalition‘s Annual benefit concert, on transforming the criminal justice system, to approximately 100 people

“Breaking the Chain”

The significance of the theme is a bold statement to break the chain of rising statistics in criminalization and police brutality in our communities. It is to break the silence of unjust acts and to promote social change in the criminal justice system. We addressed issues of rising statistics in criminalization and police brutality, hoping to promote social change in the criminal justice system.

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San Francisco, CA
Spoke at Professor Russell Jeung’s “Chinese American Personality” and “Asian American Communities: Development and Change” classes, of approximately 150 students

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San Francisco, CA
Presented in English and Cantonese, at Brotherhood and Sisterhood Assembly workshops, to approximately two classes of 50 students

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Spoke at the “Preventing Youth Delinquency” Youth Lecture and Conference, with Guest Speaker Honorable Judge Lillian Sing, to approximately 250 people

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San Francisco, CA
Spoke about the impact of incarceration on the health of individuals, families and the community, at Professor Donna Willmott’s “Health Impacts of Incarceration” Health Education class.

Course Description

Students will gain an understanding of prison culture and the specific challenges an incarcerated person faces when re-entering society. Ethical considerations along with identifying systemic barriers and rights retained by this population will be explored.

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University of California, Davis
Davis, CA
Spoke about the connections between personal life, the Prison Industrial Complex and the overall system of oppression, to Professor Sunaina Maira’s “Politics and Social Movements: Asian American Activism and Social Movement” class, of approximately 40 students.

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Oakland, CA
Led a workshop for approximately 35 Asian and Pacific Islander youth.


Asian and Pacific Islander Youth Promoting Advocacy & Leadership
AYPAL is a community organizing project dedicated to building the grassroots leadership and power of low-income Asian Pacific Islander youth in Oakland. Our mission is to transform school and neighborhood inequities so that all youth can be healthy, safe and thriving members of their communities.

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University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA
Spoke about the Prison Industrial Complex and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, at Professor Alan Ross’s Political Science class, to approximately 385 people.

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San Francisco, CA
Spoke about the importance of community service, the API prison population, and struggles in the Prison Industrial Complex, to approximately 200 freshman students

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University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, CA
Spoke about U.S. immigration policy, to Professor Bill On Hing’s class of approximately 85 people.

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San Francisco, CA
Spoke about the Community Response Network, to approximately 30 broadcasting students.

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University of California, San Francisco
San Francisco, CA
Spoke about the health impacts of incarceration, to approximately 40 future doctors, dentists, community health workers.

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San Leandro, CA
Spoke at one of Alameda County’s juvenile facilities, on the importance of education, respect and accountability, to approximately 100 youth.
Sponsored by National Council on Crime and Delinquency.

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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,

Eddy Zheng

happy new breath

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January 15, 2008
presentation on gangs at Francisco Middle School, spoke to approximately 45 youth in Cantonese

January 17, 2008
guest speaker at Jame Deman Middle School for the Silence to Violence week, spoke to approximately 120 youth

January 25, 2008
spoke at the press conference with Chinese media to sponsor Senator Leland Yee’s SB1199, which allow youth who were sentenced to life without parole a chance to apply for parole after serving 25 years

February 3, 2008
tabling at the Oakland museum with East Wind book store for the Lunar festival book presenter to promote the book “Other, an Asian & Pacific Islander Prisoners’ anthology.”

February 7, 2008
spoke at the public hearing on violence prevention at 101 Gough

February 20, 2008
gave a presentation to Professor Dao’s class at San Francisco State University Burk Hall, approximately 40 students were presented

February 23, 2008
Keynote speaker and panelist for Bay Area Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, received Outstanding Leadership Award of 2008, spoke to approximately a hundred people

February 26, 2008
gave presentation at Longfellow Middle school of Berkeley, California to approximately a hundred students

February 26, 2008
hosted a 26 members Chinese delegation from People’s Republic of China and presented a talk on public safety

February 29, 2008
gave a presentation at Youth Chance High to six students

March 5, 2008
gave presentation in Professor Dariotis’ class at San Francisco State University to approximately 40 students

March 5, 2008
attended Community Youth Center’s gala and performed original slam poem “Ahh Imagine”

March 12, 2008
gave presentation at Professor Russell Jeung’s class at SFSU to approximately 40 students

March 15, 2008
panelist and presentation at the Challenging the Myth symposium at SFSU, approximately 200 people were presented

March 19, 2008
gave presentation at Professor Eric Mar’s class at SFSU to approximately 40 students

April 4, 2008
gave presentation at Chinatown YMCA to approximately 15 youth

April 8, 2008
Keynote speaker at the 7th Annual Ethnic Studies Conference at UC Berkeley, there were approximately 500 people presented

April 17, 2008
gave presentation at Mission College at Santa Clara on “Other: an Asian & Pacific Islander Prisoners’ Anthology” to approximately 80 people

April 28, 2008
gave presentation at Roosevelt Middle school in Oakland to approximately 100 people

April 29, 2008
gave presentation at Skyline High school’s Asian Youth Society to approximately 15 students

May 5, 2008
written and performed the poem “Pass it On” at the 30th annual Asian Pacific American Heritage Month celebration in the Hearst Theatre to approximately 200 people

May 6, 2008
book reading and presentation at John Adams campus of City College of San Francisco to approximately 25 people

May 8, 2008
gave speeches at Skyline High school’s Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Assembly to approximately 1,400 students

May 13, 2008
East Meets West author talk and book signing at downtown campus of City College of San Francisco to approximately 65 people

May 20, 2008
gave presentation at Havenscourt Middle School from 8am to 3pm to approximately 150 students

May 22, 2008
Master of Ceremony for Asian and Pacific Islander Youth Promoting Advocacy and Leadership’s 10th anniversary celebration

May 27, 2008
presentation at Oakland’s Lincoln Square playground to approximately 25 youth

May 30, 2008
bully presentation at Galileo High school from 9am to 4pm to approximately 150 students

June 3, 2008
presentation at Palo Alto High from 7:50am to 3:15pm to approximately 300 students

June 3, 2008
presentation at Camp Sweeney, Alameda county to approximately 150 youth

July 9, 2008
TV interview with CYC’s Executive Director Sarah Wan at TV-36

July 15, 2008
presentation at Alameda Probation Center to approximately 60 youth and adults

July 22, 2008
presentation at De Anza college with Yuri Kochiyama, Marlo, and Loan Dao to Asian Pacific American Leadership Institute to approximately 70 students and faculty

July 24, 2008
presentation at James Denman Middle School to approximately 60 students and adults

July 30, 2008
presentation at Petaluma Kamp to approximately 50 CYC’s summer program middle and high school students

August 22, 2008
moderator for the first CYC/AYAN and Assemblyman Mark Leno’s Asian Pacific Islander youth summit at the State building

September 27, 2008
conducted a workshop at the Critical Resistance 10 conference on Voices of Asian Prisoners to approximately 35 people

October 21, 2008
gave a presentation at CYC to six supreme court judges from Beijing, China accompanied by San Francisco juvenile Judge Sing and staff from DuiHa

October 28, 2008
presentation at East Bay Hayward college to approximately 45 freshmen students on the Prison Industrial Complex

October 29, 2008
presentation at Galileo High’s Chinese class to approximately 30 students on Asian gang and the importance of education

October 29, 2008
presentation at Balboa High’s Scare Stiff program to approximately 15 students on the importance of education and self respect

November 15, 2008
presentation at the Alternative to Violence Project (AVP) conference in San Francisco to approximately 30 people on my transformation and experience as a facilitator in prison

November 17, 2008
presentation at Galileo High school on Asian gang issues to approximately 15 staff

November 18, 2008
presentation at UC Berkeley Ethnic Studies freshmen class on the Prison Industrial Complex to approximately 30 students

November 20, 2008
presentation at the California Wellness Foundation sponsored Violence Prevention Conference on the Community Response Network to reduce violence in the city of San Francisco to approximately 50 people

December 11, 2008
presentation at Laney college, Oakland with the Asian Prisoners’ Support Committee to approximately 35 students on the Prison Industrial Complex and issues involved the API population in prison

December 12, 2008
presentation at Galileo High’s college and career senior class on the importance of education and career choices to approximately 30 students

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Over 200 youth, families, youth agencies and community partners convened at the San Francisco Public Library to listen to expert panelists discuss violence intervention and prevention in schools, gang activity among youth, and the impact of the San Francisco gang injunctions on young people.

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Spoke on anti-violence and gangs, to approximately 50 kids.
10:45am – 3pm.

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Addressed morning assembly and three workshops
8:30 to 1:30 pm.
Spoke to approximately 200 students

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Panelist at the Film screening of Sentenced Home at San Francisco’s Koret Public Library, with Sin Yen Ling, Angie Junck, Keo, and Carol.

Sentenced Home

Sentenced Home

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Spoke at Civic Auditorium, with approximately 45 people.

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Guest speaker at Longfellow Middle School, to about 150 kids, on: Respect, Education, Responsibility, making right choices.

9am to 3pm.

6 periods.

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Guest speaker at UC Berkeley Boalt Hall law school for discussion on Restorative Justice.  With: Eric Yamamoto, Professor Mary Louise Frampton, Jane Kim, Lee, Maria, Seth, Mika, Willoughby, Elan, John, Phillip, Sandra Kim, Susan Sarrano, Nakisha

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with Helen Zia, Victor Huang, and Ivy Lee, to 23 students.

» Legal Updates

Eddy Zheng has been released! Unfortunately, he may still be deported.

This only means that he is no longer being held in immigration detention, while the government attempts to carry out his deportation order.

Eddy is challenging his deportation order in federal court.

If the government is able to carry out the deportation order before the court overturns it, he will be sent to China.

Although this final hurdle remains, his release is a HUGE victory — the first time Eddy has been on the outside in 21 years.

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The Board of Immigration Appeals rejected Eddy’s appeal of his deportation order. The BIA is a very conservative and unsympathetic board; Eddy and his lawyers will appeal this decision to the 9th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals. Eddy is also challenging his ongoing detention at the Yuba County Jail and hopefully will be released from custody during the appeals process.

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The immigration judge ruled against Eddy Zheng and decided that he should be deported. In making his decision, the judge applied criteria that would be essentially impossible to meet. He explained that he would only stop Eddy’s deportation if it were a matter of national security, regardless of Eddy’s own rehabilitaton and community support.

Eddy and his lawyers believe that the judge incorrectly interpreted the criteria that should have been used to decide Eddy’s case. An appeal has been filed with the Board of Immigration Appeals, which usually gives its decision within 6 months. During this time, Eddy will remain in custody as an immigrant detainee at Yuba County Jail.

Eddy’s visitation hours at Yuba County Jail are now Sundays 7:45-8:45pm and Wednesdays 7-9pm.

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At the final hearing in Eddy Zheng’s deportation proceedings, the judge heard testimony to clarify specific questions he had about certain aspects of the argument Eddy Zheng presented against his deportation.

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In this hearing, the immigration judge heard testimony about the conditions Eddy Zheng would face in China if he were deported there.

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Eddy Zheng has first hearing in his deportation proceedings in San Francisco. Nearly 60 supporters pack the court room, and Judge Michael Yamaguchi recuses himself from the case.

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Instead of being released, Eddy is transferred from Solano State Prison to the custody of Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE). He is moved to Yuba County Jail in northern California.

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Governor approves Eddy Zheng’s parole after serving 19+ years of a 7-to-life sentence.