Hmong & Lao Americans Face Deportation
February 8, 2020 9:57 AM   Subscribe

 
This is horrible and I have no idea what to do.
posted by dinty_moore at 10:31 AM on February 8 [11 favorites]


I'm so sick of "The cruelty is the point." I hope karma is real because all these fuckers need to come back as dung beetles.
posted by valkane at 11:24 AM on February 8 [17 favorites]


I wanted to post a link to PrYSM, which is a grassroots group that is working on this issue in Providence, which has a large Cambodian and Laotian population-- they often post updates on cases and opportunities to help with the legal funds for those facing deportation/resettlement support for those deported.
posted by geegollygosh at 11:40 AM on February 8 [13 favorites]


Racism is the point. Turning the US into a White ethnostate dreamed up by the poisonous imagination of Steven Miller and the rest of the white supremacist house is the point. That's also why destroying democracy is like cruelty - a means to an end. The end is a white America loyal to the concept which is weirdly embodied by a crude reality TV show host who studied under Rush Limbaugh and Roger Aisles.
posted by zenzenobia at 12:20 PM on February 8 [13 favorites]


Also worth a brief reminder that "committed crimes" often includes charges that are just not that serious.
posted by gimonca at 12:25 PM on February 8 [7 favorites]


Had anyone come across the list of included crimes? I found an older article that mentioned drug and robbery offenses but I’d like to see the full list for the current plan. I’m in Minnesota so this affects friends and neighbors.
posted by misterpatrick at 12:46 PM on February 8 [3 favorites]


Viciously evil.
posted by odinsdream at 1:02 PM on February 8 [5 favorites]


A guy I've known since grade school is up for deportation*. He's been here since 1980 or so, and this fascist bunch of racists wants to deport him. His children and grandson were born here and I assume they're on some list to be deported to a country that they've never seen or have any idea of culturally, and they sure don't speak the language.

It can't be stated enough just how fucking evil these people are, and the fact that they're doing this under the cloud of "Christianity" is just the cherry on the top of the shit sundae. I always sort of knew that this countries history of religion was steeped in racism and segregation, but they seem to be saying the quiet parts out loud.

*Whatever this means, I haven't really questioned him about it very much. The wound is still too fresh.
posted by Sphinx at 1:27 PM on February 8 [25 favorites]


Every one of these stories has a special level of cruelty. One level in this case is that tens of thousands of Hmong people died while serving for/with US forces in the Secret War. Many are veterans, without legal veteran status or the benefits it could confer. And, in part because of their role in the war, they were subject to violence and deportation within Laos once the peace treaty was signed; Laos was not a safe place.

A CIA staffer said: I still remember that I and, perhaps, other Americans who are representatives of the United States government, have promised you, the Hmong People, that if you fight for us, if we win, things will be fine. But if we lose, we will take care of you.

Here are two sources for more information: The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, a nonfiction account of clash between a family and the US medical system (which includes tons of historical and cultural context); and a timeline from a museum in Minnesota.
posted by rockyraccoon at 1:37 PM on February 8 [31 favorites]


How terrible.
posted by greenhornet at 1:49 PM on February 8 [2 favorites]


His children and grandson were born here and I assume they're on some list to be deported to a country that they've never seen or have any idea of culturally, and they sure don't speak the language.
I feel for your friend, but I would caution that your assumption assumes birthright citizenship (which is written into the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution) has been revoked. I know that the Trump administration is looking into revoking it, and that effort must be opposed, but to assume that it’s a fight that has already been lost is another bit of false despair and alarm that we don’t need right now.

Which is also to say, I would be curious to know if you can support your friend’s kids or grandkids in being able to use their citizenship to petition for him to stay.
posted by bl1nk at 2:11 PM on February 8 [14 favorites]


these fuckers need to come back as dung beetles.
I think dung beetles are rad. They need to come back as like, maggots or like underwater sea squirts or sth
posted by erattacorrige at 2:57 PM on February 8 [3 favorites]


The GOP has introduced bills to revoke birthright citizenship every Congress since 1990. Of course, nearly all the Japanese-Americans who were interned during WW2 -- by executive order-- were also citizens by birthright, so... while Sphinx's friend's kids and grandson may not be at risk of deportation (yet) that doesn't stop official policy from disrupting their lives by fiat. Friendly reminder that American fascism isn't new, just newly in power.

Also, am I right in reading that these are people who are legal residents? Who have already served prison sentences for whatever crimes they've committed? Dear ICE employees who watch musical theatre(probably a small overlap in that Venn diagram): Javert is the VILLAIN.
posted by basalganglia at 3:14 PM on February 8 [16 favorites]


Thanks for the PrYSM info, geegollygosh. Here's a non-Facebork link. The fear and desperation in this Community Alert are real and heartbreaking. I added them (small amount) as a monthly donation on ActBlue. Seems the least I could do. When I was in my MA program at UMASS/Boston we read a lot about the local Hmong and Lao communities in New England and I wound up visiting Cambodia and Laos and working on teacher training there a bit. Resettlement in Cambodia is terribly difficult and in Laos can be dangerous.

I remember those changes that Ideefixe linked. It wound up causing huge problems for older people in public housing near Chinatown in Boston. "Get those little old Asian ladies out of those apartments." Even then, the cruelty was the point. This isn't new; it's just weaponized to a greater extent.
posted by Gotanda at 5:36 PM on February 8 [13 favorites]


Nothing you can do but organize. If we have a shot to stop the descent, it is this November. Register voters, and then work to get those people out to vote. Make it clear to the people that we elect that they were elected in part to protect these communities, and they damn well better act to protect them or we will find new people to take their place.
posted by rockindata at 6:24 PM on February 8 [11 favorites]


Someone get Henry Kissinger outta of the back seat. My god, alot of these folks fought for us and they and their children are...what the fuck is going in on this country.

I suggest reading 'Imagining America' by Paul Thai.

I talked to him years ago as part of university studies. When I read this, I was going to get ahold of him but I imagine how he feels.
posted by clavdivs at 8:14 PM on February 8 [4 favorites]


I've met several US-deportees to Cambodia and people working with the returnees. It's a fucking nightmare because they're given almost no resources, have no preparation and that the reasons behind their paperwork not being Absolutely Perfect almost always boils down to refugees, abusive/neglectful parents and racism.

It's not US-only. There are quite a few countries - Singapore included - where children are punished for the paperwork confusion of their parents. Thanks to a NZ-citizenship loophole, I can't automatically pass citizenship to my kids either.

But yes, Henry Kissinger can burn in hell.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 2:22 AM on February 9 [10 favorites]


I have known someone who was deported under similar circumstances several years ago. Brought to the US as a small child, raised here, no memory of ever having lived anywhere else. For many years, not being a citizen was just an odd technicality for him, and I had no idea that that was his status until I heard he was gone.

Original offense, if I'm remembering this correctly: some sort of assault charge based on a fight outside a bar when he was in his early twenties. Second encounter with the law was being pulled over for a DWI roughly fifteen years later. No problems during the time between those two events.

On the second event, someone in the bureaucracy decided that that should trigger a deportation. That was eight or nine years ago. Person was returned to Central America, to a country he didn't know, and where he didn't really speak the language.

Should he have gone to court for DWI? Yes. Did he deserve to be deported? Absolutely not. His personal history matched that of tens of thousands of other people in the area. Lack of citizenship was used as a way of targeting him, frankly.

I've heard he's surviving where he is now. Haven't heard more in a few years.

The articles linked from the post describe the current situation correctly: it's an "acceleration". The current administration is increasing this sort of activity, maybe by a very concerning amount. But it was always there in the background.
posted by gimonca at 2:42 AM on February 9 [9 favorites]


I live in Betty’s district. The extent to which this would devastate our community is unimaginable. This. Is. Not. Who. We. Are. These are friends I grew up with. My neighbors. I mean, everything this admin does is evil but this dumps the evil practically in my home. It’s on you pieces of garbage.
posted by Bacon Bit at 12:55 PM on February 9 [11 favorites]


The cynic in me points out that it takes out potential voters. The Midwest has some razor edge margins. The Hmong and Lao have an interesting relationship to certain segments of Wisconsin and goodness, who benefits or derives pleasure from this. Sorry, I am shocked and rambling. This is FUD for a whole community come election time.
posted by jadepearl at 2:57 PM on February 9 [5 favorites]


The cynic in me points out that it takes out potential voters. The Midwest has some razor edge margins.
In order to (legally) vote you must be a citizen. It's not that easy to deport a citizen -- first you must show proof that their citizenship was obtained improperly and then take steps to revoke it. Only then can you use the force of law to remove them from the country and prevent them from returning.

It's much, much easier to revoke the legal residency status of a non-citizen and then deport them, which I believe is what is happening here.

To the extent that this has an effect on who can vote it should be relatively small.

It may, however, have a larger effect on who will vote: the question is whether this emboldens and energizes those who harbor racist sentiments more than it motivates naturalized and/or natural-born members of the affected communities and/or allies and supporters of immigration and diversity among the general population.
posted by Nerd of the North at 7:12 PM on February 13 [1 favorite]


the question is whether this emboldens and energizes those who harbor racist sentiments more than it motivates naturalized and/or natural-born members of the affected communities and/or allies and supporters of immigration and diversity among the general population.

There also may be concern among citizens in these ethnic groups that any political activism on their part (or even registering to vote) could attract attention to non-citizen family and community members and make those people more likely to be deported.
posted by hydropsyche at 12:32 PM on February 14 [4 favorites]


California governor Jerry Brown pardoned a permanent resident with a criminal record to thwart his ICE deportation a couple of years ago. Maybe the states with Democratic governors, like Minnesota, could protect these people the same way. Tens of thousands of coordinated pardons would make this cruelty front-page news.
posted by mississippi at 2:37 AM on February 17 [4 favorites]


I remember some of the first South East Asian refugees in Vancouver WA. I lived in an apartment complex with them. It was interesting. There were Lao, Cambodians and Hmong. They seemed to be really good people for the most part. They were trying to work and learn how to live here. It sometimes was hard. A lot of bigotry toward them on the part of my White neighbors. I remember asking these neighbors what they thought of the Vietnam war. Mostly they’d been in support. So I said ‘These refugees are YOUR fault!’ And explained how each group helped the US and in fairly graphic terms what would happen to them if they went home. One really racist neighbor said to me If never thought I’d hate anyone worse than I hate N ____s! I could not believe the hate and ignorance. It sucked trying to talk sense into those people.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 12:06 PM on February 18 [1 favorite]


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