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FRIDAY FORUM: IAN BAIRD – CANCELED
March 27, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Sponsored by the Center for Southeast Asian Studies,
the Hmong Studies Consortium, and the Asian American Studies Program
Considering Present-Day Concerns about the
Possible Deportation of Ethnic Hmong
and Lao People from the U.S. to Laos
Center for Southeast Asian Studies
University of Wisconsin-Madison
INGRAHAM HALL, ROOM 206
NOON – 1:30PM
Recently there has been considerable concern regarding efforts by the US government (the Trump Administration) to pressure the government of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic to accept ethnic Hmong and Lao deportees from the United States. The US is proposing to permanently deport those who came to the United States as political refugees decades ago—mainly as young children—and were later convicted as US permanent residents of felonies in the United States. In the past, the Lao PDR government has refused to accept these potential deportees, but the US government appears to be stepping up efforts to coerce the Lao government into doing so. If the Lao government agrees to the US proposal, this could lead to large numbers deportations, tearing families apart and leaving those deported in precarious circumstances in a country that they do not know. In this presentation, I consider the circumstances surrounding present-day community concerns about possible future deportations to Laos. I also reflect on the impacts of past deportations of ethnic Khmer people from the US to Cambodia based on similar circumstances. I argue that such deportations should not take place, and that they would violate fundamental human rights.