CAPAC Members Demand End to Detention, Deportation of Southeast Asian Refugees

WASHINGTON — Rep. Judy Chu (D-Pasadena), chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), CAPAC Immigration Task Force chair, on Dec. 19 led 53 members of Congress in sending a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen demanding an end to the detention and deportation of Southeast Asian refugees and families.

“We are concerned that the recent retaliatory visa sanctions from the Trump Administration pressuring Cambodia and Laos to accept deported people have propelled these mass detentions and deportations. Additionally, we are also concerned that the administration’s reinterpretation of the 2008 bilateral agreement between the United States and Vietnam will also lead to increased detentions and deportations of Vietnamese Americans,” said the members.

“It is troubling to see Southeast Asian American families being targeted at unprecedented levels. We urge you to reexamine policies on the arbitrary detention and deportation of Southeast Asian Americans who prove no threat to public safety, are interwoven into our communities, and support U.S. citizen families. We urge you to use prosecutorial discretion to ensure that our finite resources are not being wasted to tear families apart and deport individuals who have transformed their lives after serving their sentences.”

The members requested a briefing with Nielsen no later than Dec. 27.

The full letter: