MAYOR CANTRELL ISSUES STATEMENT ON TRUMP ADMINISTRATION EFFORTS TO DEPORT VIETNAMESE IMMIGRANTS
NEW ORLEANS – Mayor LaToya Cantrell today released the following statement on the Trump Administration’s recent efforts to deport Vietnamese immigrants legally residing in the United States, many of whom have lived in the United States for decades:
“In the face of this ugly effort to target our Vietnamese neighbors--- I would like to make it clear that the entire City of New Orleans stands in solidarity with our Vietnamese community, which has contributed so much to our social and cultural fabric,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “I would also strongly encourage all naturalized residents who are eligible to apply for citizenship, to do so now.”
Under Mayor Cantrell’s administration, the City joined Cities for Citizenship, an organization that encourages naturalized residents to apply for U.S. citizenship.
“I am very disappointed with the direction of the Trump Administration on immigration laws. Our country is made of immigrants of every ethnicity. I want to encourage the administration to carefully evaluate the immigration policy and focus on the people. It should be a fair policy that the United States can sustain," said City Councilmember Cyndi Nguyen of District E.
According to media reports, the Trump Administration in 2017 initially sought to deport a number of many long-term immigrants from Vietnam, Cambodia, and other countries deemed by the Administration to be “violent criminal aliens.” This early approach was complicated by a 2008 agreement between the U.S. and Vietnam that prevents deportation of Vietnamese people who came to our country before July 12, 1995. (This marked the resumption of diplomatic relationship between the countries decades after the conclusion of the Vietnam War. The Administration’s more recent approach now operates on its belief that the 2008 agreement does not apply to pre-1995 Vietnamese immigrants. This interpretation would affect migrants who are either undocumented or have committed crimes. It would not concern migrants who have become naturalized U.S. citizens.
The Human Relations Commission, which is the City’s human rights commission, is partnering with VAYLA, a community-based organization in New Orleans that empowers youth and families through supportive services and organizing for cultural enrichment and positive social change. VAYLA currently has a program in place to assist eligible residents to apply for citizenship.
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