WESTMINSTER (CBSLA) — The White House may have another deportation battle on its hands.
The Trump Administration is reportedly planning to end protections that allow some Vietnam War refugees to stay in the U.S.
Garden Grove’s Tung Nguyen is fighting for Vietnamese deportees like himself who have committed serious crimes but who have done their time.
The deportations would be for several thousand immigrants who arrived in the US before 1995. It’s estimated this could affect 8,500 people living in the U.S. who came as refugees and, in many of the cases, made bad decisions as teenagers.
Nguyen says he was affiliated with a gang. He was present during a murder and robbery and served nearly two decades in prison. He’s reformed, he says, and has no family or support system in Vietnam.
“I’m always going to be a criminal. It’s something I have to live with. What I’m saying is that see me for who I am today,” said Nguyen.
Alexandra Le is an attorney and activist.
“They were considered undesirables in Vietnam. And to deport them back to the country in which they were also undesirables is inhumane,” said Le.
Nearly two dozen Democratic members of the House are challenging the deportations. Orange County Congressman-elect Harley Rouda tweeted, “I think the Trump Administration’s plan to jeopardize the safety and security of Vietnamese war refugees in the United States is just flat out wrong.”
The US Department of Homeland Security released a statement saying in part, “…these are non-citizens who during previous administrations were arrested, convicted, and ultimately ordered removed by a federal immigration judge. It’s a priority of this administration to remove criminal aliens to their home country.”