President Donald Trump talks to media before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018, for the short trip to Andrews Air Force Base en route to Philadelphia to attend the Army-Navy Football Game. (AP P

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Vietnamese Community Concerned About Trump Stance On War Refugees

December 13, 2018 - 3:31 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The Vietnamese Association of Illinois has been getting phone calls and emails from people concerned about a new Trump administration policy that could mean thousands of deportations.

It was an article in The Atlantic that touched off a lot of this. The piece said the Trump White House is reversing course, and refugees from the Vietnam War -- some of whom have been here for decades -- are subject to deportation if they are undocumented.

That's generated some phone calls to the Vietnamese Association of Illinois.

"Probably just today we've been getting about 15 or so,” said Diana Ly.

"They're asking what is going to happen to us, because their English is not very good. And they typically come to us for information about the community, about any news that we get. 

"And so they're just expressing concern as far as: Are they safe? Is their family going to be deported?"

Ly said they try to reassure them, but she says, for one thing, the Vietnamese Association doesn't have enough lawyers to handle all the potential cases.

Hanan Van Dril, an immigration attorney with the Community Activism Law Alliance of Chicago, said she hasn’t studied every detail of the Trump administration's new stance on Vietnamese immigrants but adds it seems racially motivated.

"I think the Trump administration has made it clear from the get-go, with all of their dog whistles, that they want to make America whiter."