The Trump administration is seeking to deport certain Vietnamese immigrants who've been protected from deportation. The Atlantic first reported news of this effort Thursday and discussions around what this will mean for the Vietnamese population in Minnesota followed.
Sia Her, executive director of the Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans, said an estimated 9,000 Vietnamese refugees, nationwide, would be subject to deportation. Her noted that parents and caretakers who have refugee status could potentially be separated from other family members who are citizens or green card holders.
"Many of these individuals that could be deported are parents," she said. "They have children that they're responsible for, other family members that they're responsible for financially."
The Trump administration is looking to remove Vietnamese refugees who came to the United States before 1995 in the aftermath of the Vietnam war. They've been protected from deportation under a 2008 agreement between the two countries.
The Vietnamese population in Minnesota is the fourth largest Asian population in the state.
Her said certain circumstances after families who arrived and resettled in poverty-stricken neighborhoods may have led to encounters with law enforcement — creating criminal records that make certain refugees eligible for deportation under the proposal.
"Young adults may have felt that the only way to survive in their neighborhoods was to join a gang," she said. "So that's what we mean when we identify circumstances that may have pushed individuals to engage in certain activities."
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