–For Immediate Release—
Statement by Congressional candidate Bobby Bliatout on Hmong deportation
Fresno, CA- I have learned that the Trump administration and Lao People’s Democratic Republic are negotiating an agreement that would potentially deport legal Hmong and Lao residents of the United States. As the son of two Hmong refugees from Laos, this is personal.
After the Secret Wars of Laos, America welcomed the Hmong people as refugees fleeing persecution in their homeland. The journey to America came only after spending time in refugee camps in Thailand and many were born in those camps. For the latter, they are citizens of no country; being born with no documentation from America, Thailand or Laos.
The Hmong people have made America their home whether they were born in Laos, Thailand, or here in the USA. Thanks to my parents, I’ve been given a unique insight into how immigrant families integrate themselves into the fabric of American life and what these deportations would do to our community.
If these negotiations are completed, and thousands of Hmong residents are deported, we would be ripping apart families and destroying the lives Hmong people, like my parents, have built here in America.
These residents have families, businesses, and deep connections to their communities after decades of living in America.
It is unconscionable to deport individuals to a country in which they can be expected to be persecuted, imprisoned, or killed. Human right conditions in Laos are not conducive to the safety of any returning Hmong resident. The same State Department working to deport these individuals has made the dangers clear in their annual Human Rights Report.
I strongly oppose this action and hope that the Trump administration will reconsider their course of action and remember the sacrifices and contributions the Hmong people have made for America.