Friday, August 7, 2020

Denounce the Deportation of Vietnamese Americans

From Southeast Asia Resource Action Center:

Southeast Asian Organizations Denounce Deportation of 30 Vietnamese Americans
 
Washington DC - On August 4, 2020 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) removed 30 Vietnamese community members to Vietnam, including people previously thought to be protected under a 2008 bilateral agreement. The agreement between the United States and Vietnam had previously been interpreted to provide broad deportation protections for Vietnamese refugees who arrived in the United States prior to July 12, 1995. The forced removal of Vietnamese refugees signals a shift in whom the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is prioritizing for removal. To date, over 2,000 Southeast Asian Americans have been deported from the United States.
 
ICE deportations have been linked to the global spread of COVID-19, with 11 different countries reporting COVID-19 among individuals removed. Like in federal prisons and county jails, the unsanitary conditions and inhumane living situations in ICE and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) detention facilities have greatly increased COVID-19 positive rates among detained individuals. Despite the over 3,000 positive cases in ICE detention facilities, the agency has not taken concrete steps to properly test and treat detained individuals, increase social distancing through the usage of supervised release, nor curb their deportation efforts. 
 
It is cruel and wrong to deport Vietnamese refugees. Deportations of Southeast Asian Americans is an abdication of the commitment that the United States made to the people of Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam in the aftermath of the Vietnam War. Our people escaped political persecution and genocide that were the direct results of American intervention. The Vietnamese American community cannot assume that some of us will be protected from removal when the Trump Administration has demonstrated that they will make every effort to remove as many immigrants and refugees as they can, regardless of circumstance. We reject DHS' efforts to tear our families apart and remain committed to preventing the removal of all immigrants and refugees and creating a pathway for our deported loved ones to return home.
 
As a nation, while we are facing the worse health and economic crisis of our time - when our loved ones are dying, sick, losing their jobs, facing an uncertain future - instead of addressing this crisis, the federal government is prioritizing breaking families apart, detaining and deporting community members who have long served their debt to society. It is imperative that our country focus our limited resources on containing and treating COVID-19 instead of actively working to further harm minority communities.
 
ICE has shown that it does not care about the health and wellbeing of our communities. Despite a global pandemic, their agents continue to arrest our community members and detain them without taking proper steps to keep immigrants and refugees safe from the coronavirus. They tear our families apart and further force our communities into poverty and housing insecurity during an economic, health, housing crisis. We have seen our loved ones detained and then abruptly transferred to another facility across the country, further preventing them from accessing their family or legal support. Without any real efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in their facilities, ICE is knowingly letting vulnerable detained immigrants and refugees die and intentionally spreading this virus the worldover. We cannot continue to fund such a fundamentally corrupt, dangerous, and immoral entity.
 
This summer, around the country, thousands upon thousands have marched in cities and small towns to denounce racist anti-Black violence at the hands of the police. Anti-Black violence in the form of policing, incarceration, and premature death have had widespread impacts on Southeast Asian refugees who have arrived and resettled in the United State's era of mass incarceration. State violence in the form of police, correctional officers, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents, and ICE officers have been a continuous response to communities who live in concentrated poverty. For too long, the priorities of this country have been about locking up, throwing away, and deporting our community members. We call on our community members to join our national call on Wednesday, August 12th at 7pm EST to discuss how we can support each other, and how we can fight back.
 
Elaine Sanchez Wilson
Communications Director
Southeast Asia Resource Action Center
(202) 601-2970
elaine@searac.org
James Woo
Marketing & IT Manager
Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta
(404) 585-8446 Ext. 104
jwoo@advancingjustice-atlanta.org

Kevin Lam
Organizing Director at AARW
Vietnamese Anti-Deportation Network
(617) 942-8178
kevin@aarw.org

Nate Tan
Co-Director
Asian Prisoner Support Committee 
(510)589-7199
nate@asianprisonersupport.org

Sarath Suong
National Director
Southeast Asian Freedom Network 
(781) 534-1580

sarath@seafn.net

bh

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/immigration/2020/08/denounce-the-deportation-of-vietnamese-americans.html

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Comments

good article, thanks.

Posted by: Ger | Aug 10, 2020 8:12:12 PM

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