Vietnamese Refugees Under Attack By the Trump Administration

Dy Nguyen, who is being held in Stewart detention center in Georgia, is unable to hold his infant daughter.  His five-month-old, Chari Nguyen, can only see her father through a plexiglass window.

Tammy Nguyen, Chari’s mother, says, “She wants him to hold her, and all they can do is touch each other through the glass…I keep trying to put Chari’s hand to where his hand was so he could feel connected to her.”

Dy is a Vietnamese American, and like thousands of others, is in danger of deportation due to the Trump Administration’s targeting of immigrant communities that used to be safe.

Asian Americans Advancing Justice represent Dy and have filed a class-action lawsuit against the government.  The suit challenges the detention of Vietnamese refugees that came to America due to political persecution, fleeing communist “re-education camps” and other horrific forms of violence.

Around a year ago, ICE reversed a practice that was based on an agreement between the US and Vietnam that protected Vietnamese refugees and now the population is being subjected to detention and are at risk of deportation.

According to Phi Nguyen, the litigation director at Advancing Justice-Atlanta, “The change in policy has been so abrupt and has really pulled the rug out from under a lot of these communities…These are people who really left everything behind, really risked their lives to come over here.  They did it because they wanted freedom, and they wanted to be treated right by their government.”

The class-action lawsuit focuses on al Vietnamese nationals who came to the United States before 1995 and are facing deportation and have been detained by ICE for over ninety days.  So far, attorneys have 40 refugees that fit that category.  Half of the forty refugees were detained for not just the three-month minimum to fit the category, but over six months.

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