APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) Hmong leaders state and local politicians gathered to provide answers for a community with many questions about the issue of deportation.
Bee Yang, Advisor to Hmong American Partnership says, “There’s a lot of fear in the community, many believe that as long as they don’t have their citizenship that they’re going to get deported if they do anything wrong.”
Members in the audience shared stories of family members who fought during the Vietnam war and others shared the pain of possibly having a family member sent back to Laos.
The department of state wants to send back Hmong who pose a threat to the community and those with final orders of removal, but community leaders say exceptions need to be made.
Yang says, “just because we made some mistakes or we did something wrong and deport children of men who have died for this country, who have already served their time, paid their dues to society, They’re living a good life. The sentiment in the community, the Hmong community is that we really aren’t just another class of immigrants. We were allies to America. We fought a war in a neutral country that the U.S. couldn’t be in so they used us.”
Hmong community leaders plan to support all their members, regardless of brushes with the law,
Chai Moua, Community Power Coalition Director, Freeedom Inc. says, “We’ve seen that history in the United States we’ve seen how we pitted people against each other and we don’t want this to be an issue where folks are pitted against each other fighting for their own survival.”
Minnesota Congresswoman Betty McCollum has introduced a bill to stop deportation for 72 months for individuals with final orders for removal.
This would allow time to have their immigration case reviewed.