Vietnam Hit by the Immigration Crackdown of Donald Trump

The tribesmen from Montagnard hill who fought side by side with the Green Berets in the Vietnam War are being impacted by the “get tough” approach on immigration of US President Donald Trump.

A boy who is the son of a certain Montagnard veteran was sent back to Vietnam in July this year. The move was considered to be stunning by many people in the refugee community due to their historical background in the war and to the continuous evidence of Montagnards’ political and economic mistreatment in Vietnam.

The operation came as an immediate consequence of the new pressure of the White House on Hanoi to try harder to eliminate the deportation orders backlog for people from Vietnam who were accused in the United States of crimes related to felony.

Immigration issue raised twice

When Mr. Nguyen Xuan Phuc, the Prime Minister of Vietnam, was the head of a delegation of top leaders to Washington in May 2017, the administration raised the issue twice. First, the administration raised the issue directly at the White House and the second time, in another meeting with John Kelly, who was the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security at that time.

An immigration attorney from Charlotte, North Carolina, Tin Thanh Nguyen, who also represents Chuh A, a 31-year-old deportee, claimed that he didn’t know anything about a prior instance involving a refugee from Montagnard who has been sent back to Vietnam.

Nguyen declared: “We have never heard of the Vietnamese government issuing the travel documents, ever”.

According to a U.S. government court filing from the 22nd of June, after a few weeks following the White House meeting that took place on the 31st of May, the necessary documents had arrived from Vietnam. At the same time, a prompt date for departure was set for the 10th of July, even though frenetic requests were made for a second verification of the removal merits.

Brief quickly rejected by immigration authorities

On the 6th of Jul, Nguyen, who was hired late in the process, filed a detailed brief with the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in which he highlighted Chuh’s roots in Montagnard. However, the brief was rejected in the end. The rejection was so quickly, that Nguyn claimed that he found out about the outcome only when Chuh’s wife called to say that Chuh was already on the flight to Vietnam.

The written notice from ICE that rejected the stay arrived a few days later and was postmarked with the 14th of July. By that time, Chuh had already arrived to the city of Ho Chi Minh, dealt with a costly cash transaction with customs for his travel documents and went to the province of Kon Tum to his old village.

Chuh’s case brings together all of the US’s immigration system twists and turns, combined with the White House’s pressure to obtain quick results. The results show a noteworthy blindness towards history, even though no one comes up looking all good or all bad.

Nothing reveals this aspect in a better way than the exchanges between the judge and the defendant in a brief immigration court proceeding in June last year, when Chuh received his first deportation order.


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