Trump Administration Targets Vietnamese Refugees
The Trump administration has set its sights on deporting more than 8,000 permanent residents from Vietnam -- most of whom had fled the war and had been protected from removal despite their crimes. Refugees fleeing the Communist government in Vietnam have been treated differently from those refugees from most other countries for the past four decades. If they committed felonies, they would not be deported. Why? Because they came to the U.S. after American forces fought a devastating war in their home country. The exception recognized that America owed a measure of compassion to those who lost their homeland. But that changed when Trump took office. Vietnam and the U.S. signed an agreement in 2008 that Vietnamese who had arrived before July 12, 1995 -- the date the formerly warring countries re-established diplomatic relations -- could not be deported. But the Trump administration decided to reinterpret the agreement, saying that people convicted of crimes were not protected, according to American officials. The president’s efforts drew sharp criticism from his own Ambassador to Vietnam, Ted Osius, who was removed from his post and eventually resigned from the State Department in protest. Last month, the Trump administration was forced to temporarily back away from its plans to deport thousands more in response to a class-action lawsuit and resistance from the Vietnamese government. But now the administration is using long-term detention as a means of punishing those it cannot immediately remove. And though the Trump administration has stopped deporting pre-1995 arrivals, it continues to argue that ICE has the right to detain them indefinitely and repeatedly. More here.