UCLA'S ASIAN PACIFIC ISLANDER AMERICAN NEWSMAGAZINE

Newsprint: Hmong Activists Urge Obama to Help Refugees

In NEWSPRINT, Politics on March 5, 2009 at 1:58 am

As Hmong refugees in Thailand face deportation back to the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Hmong activists in the U.S. are seeking help from President Obama to prevent what would be involuntary deportations. President Obama has stated in an earlier letter before taking office that as president, he would bring back American commitment to international human rights.

The Hmong helped U.S. troops and the Central Intelligence Agency during the Vietnam War. But when the U.S. pulled out from Southeast Asia, the Hmong were left on their own to suffer the hostile reaction from the Laotian government. Many Hmong left Laos for refuge in Thailand, but now 5,000 refugees are facing deportation despite the abuse they could receive from the Laotian government.

Hmong groups like the Green Bay’s Lao Human Rights Council are working to counter these deportations. The Lao Veterans of America Institute is looking to the new administration for improvement in human rights conditions in Laos and to the United Nations for oversight of refugee camps in Thailand. The group aims to ensure that refugees be given asylum in other nations.

– written by Elizabeth Park

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