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Rep. Waters: Trump’s Attacks on Southeast Asians Must Not Be Overlooked

November 14, 2019
Press Release

Rep. Waters: Trump’s Attacks on Southeast Asians Must Not Be Overlooked

Delivers Remarks at CAPAC Congressional Forum on the Rise of Southeast Asian Deportation

WASHINGTON—Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), a longstanding member of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), joined with her colleagues and immigration advocates at the CAPAC Congressional Forum on the Rise of Southeast Asian Deportation in order to raise awareness of their efforts in the fight to protect Southeast Asian immigrants—particularly those from Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia—who have been subjected to racially-motivated targeting, detainment, and deportation by the Trump Administration.

In early 2017, Donald Trump’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers detained over 200 Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Laotian permanent residents across the country, causing widespread fear for many Southeast Asian communities. Since then, the number of Vietnamese immigrants who have been deported has tripled, and there has been a 279% increase in deportations within the Cambodian community.

The Congressional forum was organized by CAPAC Chairwoman Judy Chu (CA-27) and followed 2017 and 2018 letters from CAPAC Members demanding answers from the Trump Administration regarding the unprecedented increase in the detention and deportation of Southeast Asians. The forum also featured witness testimonies from Phi Nguyen (Asian Americans Advancing Justice); Tung Nguyen (advocate); Phal Sok (Youth Justice Coalition); and Quyen Dinh (Southeast Asia Resource Action Center).

During her remarks, Congresswoman Waters underscored the need for strong advocacy on behalf of Southeast Asians in her District and across the country, and committed to continuing her strong leadership in the effort to protect the civil rights of the Asian Pacific Islander community.

“The terrors that have befallen so many Southeast Asian immigrants as a result of Donald Trump’s racist and anti-immigrant agenda should shock the core of every patriotic American. For more than two years, this administration has conducted raids targeted toward Southeast Asians – many of whom are lawful permanent residents – and as a result hundreds of Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Laotian immigrants have been detained, and, in some cases deported. As the proud representative of a dynamic Asian Pacific Islander community, I have a profound understanding of the way in which Trump’s unconscionable policies are undermining the safety, security, and well-being of hardworking families in my District. As my Democratic colleagues and I continue to lead the effort for comprehensive immigration reform, we must be vocal and unwavering in our fight to ensure that harm being done to Southeast Asians is not overlooked. Their plight is our plight, and their fight is our fight,said Congresswoman Maxine Waters.