The California State Senate stood in bi-partisan support of an effort to discourage the Trump Administration from any reinterpretation of the 2008 United States-Vietnam Repatriation Agreement. Senator Tom Umberg (D-Santa Ana) presented Assembly Joint Resolution 1, authored by Assemblymember Tom Daly (D-Anaheim) and with principal coauthor Assemblymember Tyler Diep (R-Westminster), to urge the upholding of the agreement – a landmark effort to prohibit the deportation of Vietnamese-Americans who arrived in the U.S. as refugees prior to 1995.
“Actions currently being debated by President Trump and his staff could dramatically increase the number of Vietnamese-Americans deported back to Vietnam,” said Senator Tom Umberg. “Many survivors of communist atrocities live in my district and their personal safety would likely be at risk if they are forced to return.”
Senator Umberg added, “This past weekend, my staff and I were able to participate in the annual Tet Parade in Little Saigon. The ceaseless patriotism from the Vietnamese community is something that makes both our State and Country stronger. In passing this resolution today, we have demonstrated that California stands in solidarity with Vietnamese-Americans, thousands of whom fought on our side during the Vietnam War, before fleeing communism in search of freedom and democracy.”
“AJR 1 respectfully urges the Federal Government to refrain from reinterpreting the agreement in order to dramatically increase the number of Vietnamese immigrants deported back to Vietnam,” Assemblymember Daly said. “Increased deportations would not only go against the spirit of the 2008 agreement, but they could also tear apart families who have, for decades, called the U.S. their home.”
“While I recognize national security comes first,” said Diep, “I support this resolution because Vietnam War refugees will be blacklisted and denied basic human rights, if they are sent back to Vietnam. Vietnamese refugees who have paid their debt to society and remade their lives as productive members of the community deserve a second chance. We respectfully ask the President to honor the 2008 United States – Vietnam Repatriation Agreement.”
AJR 1 passed the Floor of the California State Senate today by a unanimous vote of 37 to 0. Last month, it received the support of 68 members of the California State Assembly. It will now be forwarded to Congress and President Trump’s Administration for consideration.
This article was released by the Office of Senator Tom Umberg.