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Behind the Headlines: APA News Blog

Academic Version: Applying my personal experiences and academic research as a professor of Sociology and Asian American Studies to provide a more complete understanding of political, economic, and cultural issues and current events related to American race relations, and Asia/Asian America in particular.

Plain English: Trying to put my Ph.D. to good use.

March 1, 2007

Written by C.N.

Hmong Refugees Labeled as Terrorists

During the Viet Nam War, the U.S. military and CIA recruited several thousand members of the ethnic Hmong minority to help them fight the communists. Eventually, Congress recognized the contributions that the Hmong made and granted them refugee status that enable tens of thousands to immigrate to the U.S. But as the Associated Press reports, since 9/11, provisions of the Patriot Act have labeled Hmong as terrorists and have therefore prevented more from obtaining refugee status and coming to the U.S.:

Under provisions of the USA Patriot Act and the Real ID Act, the Hmong who fought alongside the Americans in the “secret war” against communists in Laos are considered terrorists and are therefore ineligible for asylum or green cards. These are laws from the same Congress that in 2000 passed a law easing the citizenship requirements for the Hmong in recognition of their Vietnam era efforts.

The anti-terror restrictions, which have ensnared other groups as well, also bar people who provided “material support” to terrorist organizations. Last month the Bush administration announced it was granting waivers of that restriction to eight groups, but the Hmong was not among them. . . .

Last year, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. and Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., unsuccessfully tried to get an appropriations bill amended to change the restrictions. Coleman said he would continue to seek a legislative fix. “Hmong refugees, who dedicated their service to America during the Vietnam War, have looked to the U.S. as a place of hope and a sanctuary from persecution,” he said in a statement.

I suppose this is typical of the current administration’s ‘war on terrorism’ — enacting overly sweeping powers and draconian regulations that ultimately lead to more harm than good. In this case, it’s preventing thousands of Hmong refugees from immigrating to the U.S. as they deserve to do. Isn’t this the same kind of “shoot first, ask questions later” mentality that is responsible for why so many people loathe and despise the U.S. all around the world?

Author Citation

Copyright © 2001- by C.N. Le. Some rights reserved. Creative Commons License

Suggested reference: Le, C.N. . "Hmong Refugees Labeled as Terrorists" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. <> ().

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