In April of 2004 the US Govt. pressured the Thai government to deport an American Akha activist from Thailand. Matthew McDaniel had complained of US Drug War policy that led to the brutal extra-judicial murders of many Akha people by Thai Security Forces. The US DEA called the drug war a "success".
US Embassy officials knew that he was being seperated from his small children and Akha wife who lived in a remote Akha village in Thailand. His wife was pregnant at the time and had to take care to the new baby on her own. Most of his possesions were either sold or looted. Matthew McDaniel lived in Thailand helping the Akha for more than 13 years.
Chief players in the deportation and aftermath were Eric S. Rubin, the US Consul in Chiangmai, John F. Aloia, Emily Fisher and Ambassador Daryl Johnson.
"Emily Fisher lied to me and my wife and children in Bangkok at the US Embassy. She came to the Jail. She said the US Embassy 'had no idea of the deportation'. She said I was being repatriated to the USA as quickly as possible, but on arrival, we noticed that she had conceived a plot to separate me from my children. It did not work, luckily, but she did her best to ruin a happy and successful family. The embassy hurt us, and did nothing to help us. Emily Fisher is an evil and vicious person. US Immigration is used to punish people who oppose US Policy that hurts the lives of people in other countries. So we get no visa for my wife, even though we have legal right to it."
Application for a visa for his wife was delayed without explanation for more than seven months and then denied, saying that they weren't "married" even though they had witness statements and have numerous children together.
As a result of the family strain, in July, 2005 he left the US and his wife and family left Thailand, meeting up after more than one year seperation and traveling in exile outside both of their home countries.
Without a visa, the family can not return to the US or to Thailand. The children are forced to be seperated from their relatives on both sides of the family or would have to live without one or the other of their parents. The youngest son is now one year old. They travel from place to place, doing their best to continue to assist the traditional Akha people.
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