FILE – In this May 25, 2010 file photo, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent walks down the aisle among shackled Mexican immigrants a boarded a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement charter jet for deportation in the air between Chicago, Il. and Harlingen, Texas. A Homeland Security Department internal watchdog says U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement could have saved millions of dollars on charter flights carrying deported immigrants to their home countries by not leaving seats empty. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)
Probably no administration since the last Republican administration has been subject to as many deliberate smears by news outlets that pretend to respectability as has the Trump administration. You can take virtually any action undertaken by this administration, like the so-called “travel ban,” and you will find it wildly mis-reported and mischaracterized with the false reports being so numerous that it is impossible to write them off to the routine incompetence and stupidity that we’ve come to expect of reporters. Instead, they have the hallmarks of a deliberate propaganda campaign aimed at creating a Democrat-friendly political narrative.
The newest one is this from The Atlantic: Trump Moves to Deport Vietnam War Refugees.
The Trump administration is resuming its efforts to deport certain protected Vietnamese immigrants who have lived in the United States for decades—many of them having fled the country during the Vietnam War.
This is the latest move in the president’s long record of prioritizing harsh immigration and asylum restrictions, and one that’s sure to raise eyebrows—the White House had hesitantly backed off the plan in August before reversing course. In essence, the administration has now decided that Vietnamese immigrants who arrived in the country before the establishment of diplomatic ties between the United States and Vietnam are subject to standard immigration law—meaning they are all eligible for deportation.
The new stance mirrors White House efforts to clamp down on immigration writ large, a frequent complaint of the president’s on the campaign trail and one he links to a litany of ills in the United States.
Predictably, there was not a clean, sweet-smelling set of drawers remaining on Twitter’s left-o-verse.
The Trump admin is resuming its efforts to deport certain protected Vietnamese immigrants who have lived in the United States for decades—many of them having fled the country during the Vietnam War, The Atlantic reports. https://t.co/MM4RxtvlaK
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) December 12, 2018
You don't need need to be the child of Vietnamese immigrants, like me, to find this shameful. Considering the deportation of people who have lived in this country for decades, and who are largely here because of the US's involvement, is an utter disgrace. https://t.co/TWeSTR78xO
— Ryan Mac 🙃 (@RMac18) December 12, 2018
Holy shit. Trump wants to deport refugees from the VIETNAM WAR.https://t.co/tb65fzw4JZ
— #TestAndTrace Smith 🐇 (@Noahpinion) December 12, 2018
Today's unilateral decision by the Trump administration to target Vietnamese Americans for deportation is wrong and unacceptable.
Vietnamese Americans are an important and integral part of the #CA48 community. In Congress I will work to oppose this decision.
— Harley Rouda (@HarleyRouda) December 13, 2018
The truth of the matter is a lot more prosaic than the anti- and never-Trump types would have you believe.
“We have 7,000 convicted criminal aliens from Vietnam with final orders of removal—these are non-citizens who during previous administrations were arrested, convicted, and ultimately ordered removed by a federal immigration judge,” Katie Waldman, DHS spokesperson, said in a written statement to Morning Shift. A small number have already been sent back, Reuters’ James Pearson reported earlier this year.
A couple of thoughts on this. First off, if someone is a Vietnam War refugee and is not yet a US citizen some 50 years after the fact that speaks to a conscious decision on their part to decline that privilege. It that results in them getting screwed, hard, I am hard-pressed to give a f***. Secondly, if you are criminal alien with a final deportation order, you worked hard for that distinction and no one should be allowed to deprive you of it. You should have thought through the ramifications of the whole “criminal” thing before becoming one.
What The Atlantic is trying to do is make a scandal out of a mundane administrative decision that the Trump administration had every right to make and was correct to make:
The administration last year began pursuing the deportation of many long-term immigrants from Vietnam, Cambodia, and other countries who the administration alleges are “violent criminal aliens.” But Washington and Hanoi have a unique 2008 agreement that specifically bars the deportation of Vietnamese people who arrived in the United States before July 12, 1995—the date the two former foes reestablished diplomatic relations following the Vietnam War.
The White House unilaterally reinterpreted the agreement in the spring of 2017 to exempt people convicted of crimes from its protections, allowing the administration to send back a small number of pre-1995 Vietnamese immigrants, a policy it retreated from this past August. Last week, however, James Thrower, a spokesperson for the U.S. embassy in Hanoi, said the American government was again reversing course.
Washington now believes that the 2008 agreement fails to protect pre-1995 Vietnamese immigrants from deportation, Thrower told The Atlantic. This would apply to such migrants who are either undocumented or have committed crimes, and this interpretation would not apply to those who have become American citizens.
“Forty-three years ago, a lot of the Southeast Asian communities and Vietnamese communities fled their countries and their homeland due to the war, which the U.S. was involved in, fleeing for their safety and the safety of their families,” said Kevin Lam, the organizing director of the Asian American Resource Workshop, an advocacy group. “The U.S. would do well to remember that.”
We haven’t forgotten it and neither should we forget that these 7 or so thousand people were not arbitrarily snatched off the street nor are they the victims of some administrative foul-up. They are people to never became US citizens and decided, instead, to become criminals dumb enough to get caught.
No one should we whimpering and sobbing over this and, truth be told, I don’t think anyone is. It is dishonest and nearly everyone involved knows that. This is simply being used as a cudgel on the administration because it has set immigration enforcement as a priority.
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