Thisaphone Sothiphakhak is a man without a country. Born in Thailand , he has resided in the US since the age of two, when our government welcomed his family to the US in recognition of his father's efforts against the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.
Unfortunately, his father apparently never quite completed the citizenship process--a fact Teace was unaware of until three years ago, when he hit a bizarre bureaucratic glitch in the course of securing a promotion at Wells Fargo. He was 30.
Never mind that he'd grown up American, that he has a Social Security number and has always paid his taxes, that he's one of Minneapolis's all-time greatest djs: In the course of a few days, he went from from being a gainfully employed, upwardly mobile worker to an unemployable resident alien subject to ICE lockdowns and threats of deportation to a country that doesn't have any records on him, doesn't recognize his existence, and all but guarantees a dismal future for an an American artist who speaks only English. As matters stand now, he has to call INS every week to see if he has to turn himself in to be held for an undetermined amount of time.
While Thisaphone waits on paperwork that is in almost perpetual review--in part due to a 1997 misdemeanor 5th degree marijuana aiding and abetting charge--a stupid act of a 21 year old, one that he paid the price for. It's the sort of thing that wouldn't normally be of any consequence in any situatio--except for application for citizenship. For the crime of being in a car at the wrong time, be is being denied a right that he had always believed that he had, a right that he has earned every bit as much as his father before him. We are asking for your help in getting this important figure in the Minneapolis arts and music community the help he deserves.