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  5. Home and Citizenship

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FOCUS June 2016 Volume 84

Home and Citizenship


   People sail the sea or travel by land to seek a place where they can build a home. With the passing of time, they build communities and develop strong roots at the place. Despite hardships, the place truly becomes their home; the place where they feel they belong.
   However, this simple migration story has to contend with the necessity of belonging to a country.
   The cases of the Vietnamese communities in Tonle Sap and the Indonesian communities in Mindanao illustrate the challenges facing settled foreign migrants.  They portray the difficult lives of foreign migrants, complicated by the citizenship issue. Due to the manner by which the Vietnamese and the Indonesians migrated and the laws of their own countries, they faced statelessness.  And even with citizenship, migration laws in Cambodia and the Philippines threaten them with deportation to their “own country” and the destruction of “home.”
   The two cases stress the necessity of full cooperation of the governments of the countries where the migrants come from and where they settled to address the issue of maintaining home and citizenship at the same time.