Vietnamese Deportation

April 30, 2008

As many of you know, a similar pact (the "MOU" or memoradum of understanding) was negotiated between the U.S. and Cambodia several years ago, resulting in many young Cambodians deported to Cambodia. The stories of some of these folks are well documented in the film "Sentenced Home," which I would highly recommend if you haven't seen it already.

It will give you a good idea of what will probably happen with the Vietnamese community. A lot of people argue that we would just be deporting folks who are "illegal" but that paints a very distorted picture. Many came here legally but may not be citizens, or got caught up in the system as a young person.

There are many possible scenarios as to how someone could get deported, and after doing some reporting on the subject, the government is keeping pretty mum about details of who these potential folks are, where they live, and specifics on why they will be deported. I don't think anyone has been deported under this new agreement, but I imagine they will start soon.

I think it will be a story that will play out in the next few years.

Give it up to the student activists to speak their minds on this important issue that could, and likely will, affect many Asian Americans. 


Momo Chang

Senior Contributing Editor

Momo Chang is the Content Manager at the Center for Asian American Media, and freelances for magazines, online publications, and weeklies. Her writings focus on Asian American communities, communities of color, and youth culture. She is a former staff writer at the Oakland Tribune. Her stories range from uncovering working conditions in nail salons, to stories about “invisible minorities” like Tongan youth and Iu Mien farmers. She has freelances The New York Times, WIRED, and East Bay Express, among other publications.



the whole idea of deporting anyone from the united states who is not proven in a fair court to have committed a serious political crime is an offense against all reason.
The United States brought these refugees here to protect them from prosecution and to give them a better lives. But when they are brought here, it seems as if they are forgotten as they are forced to live in the poorest of the 'projects' and given minimal to no resources of employment or education. And when they are unable to crawl out of the slums that they are put in, the United States sees it to solve the problem by deporting them. What sense does that make? Refugees do not learn to become criminals from their homeland, they learn to become criminals from where they were forced to grow up in, here.
It is imperative that anyone from Vietnam that could be deported because of an outstanding immigration order and/or because they do have criminal convictions after they received their lawful permanent resident card(and they are not yet US citizens), speak with immigration attorneys. Be prepared and know your rights. Speak to several immigration lawyers. Immigration consultations are usually free anyway.