Houston, TX (Law Firm Newswire) June 15, 2018 – The Trump administration has been vocal on immigration in the United States. With ever changing policies there is much to keep up with in immigration policy. Consider the case of close to 8,600 Vietnamese immigrants now subject to final orders of deportation.
A large number of these individuals came to the United States at the end of the Vietnam War in 1975. They became green card holders. Despite the fact that they hold green cards, they may face deportation or detention in the United States indefinitely. Although 7,821 of these immigrants have criminal convictions, the offences are minor or misdemeanors.
The offence classification is important due to the fact that President Clinton signed a law making green card holders “automatically deportable if convicted of an aggravated felony under immigration law.” At the time this bill became law, the crimes were to apply retroactively. However under the current Trump administration, this old law is being enforced aggressively. Under U.S. immigration law an aggravated felony does not mean the crime was aggravated or a felony is any jurisdiction. However, aggravated felony became a catchall term Congress decided to use for non-violent misdemeanors. That translates into automatic deportation without the chance to explain potentially mitigating circumstances.
Currently, the United States and Vietnam are discussing accepting the deportees, but as time passes, more people are detained in U.S. government facilities. The main issue is that they have no country to return to, as most of them came to the United States from South Vietnam, which no longer exists. What exists now is the Communist regime of Vietnam (once North Vietnam).
The Vietnamese government and the United States signed a repatriation agreement in 2008 agreeing that Vietnamese citizens are not subject to return to Vietnam if they arrived in the States prior to July 12, 1995. Right now, Vietnam refuses to take immigrants who fall under the four corners of that agreement which means those under a final deportation order and are in custody are in limbo. Litigation director with Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta, Phi Nguyen says, “Immigration and Customs Enforcement is acting in complete disregard for the law. The only thing that has changed is that our administration wants the Vietnamese government to completely abandon the  repatriation agreement.”
Under the current administration, it is hard to know what will happen to the Vietnamese detainees. “If you are in a difficult situation within the immigration system, it is good advice to seek the experienced counsel of a knowledgeable immigration attorney,” said Annie Banerjee, a respected Houston immigration lawyer.
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Law Offices of Annie Banerjee
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