Four immigrants of Vietnamese descent have filed a class action lawsuit against U.S. officials, alleging that the federal government is illegally detaining dozens of Vietnamese immigrants for indefinite periods of time. It is estimated that 8,000 to 10,000 of the 1.3 million Vietnamese immigrants living in the U.S. are currently subject to final deportation orders. However, a large percentage of those individuals arrived in the U.S. as refugees from the communist Vietnamese regime before 1995, making them subject to a repatriation agreement that bars their return to Vietnam, even if they are detained by U.S. immigration authorities.
The lawsuit alleges that at least 40 pre-1995 Vietnamese immigrants have been detained for longer than 90 days, and are in an apparently indefinite state of limbo. Lawyers representing the plaintiffs believe that the crackdown on the Vietnamese immigrant community is part of a strategy by the Trump administration to undermine the repatriation agreement and force Vietnam to accept the return of the detainees. The administration carried out similar enforcement actions against the Cambodian immigrant community last fall.
Vietnamese immigrants are stuck in limbo, detained indefinitely, lawsuit says, The Washington Post (March 1, 2018)
Complaint & Docket: Hoang Trinh et al v. Thomas D. Homan et al
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