Just when I thought that it had become impossible for the Mainstream Media’s pro-Open Borders bias and Trump Derangement Syndrome to make me genuinely angry, along came The Atlantic‘s article yesterday on Trump administration policy toward refugees from Vietnam – including those who arrived in the Vietnam War’s tragic aftermath.
The piece – loudly advertised as an “exclusive” – clearly sought to convey the impression that the Trump administration has decided to start deporting certain groups within this population simply because it’s determined to rid America of as many foreign-born residents as possible, along with preventing the entry of as many newcomers as possible. In the case of the Vietnamese, of course, this policy would be morally outrageous both because so many refugees aided the U.S. military effort and (along with their descendants) face grim fates if they return; and because the United States inflicted so much damage on the country during its decade-plus of massive armed involvement. (I’m not trumpeting a position on the war – which I opposed – here. Just stating a fact.) When I saw the headline, I was up in arms myself.
Imagine my surprise, then, to discover (in the fourth paragraph) what’s really changing:
“The administration last year began pursuing the deportation of many long-term immigrants from Vietnam, Cambodia, and other countries who the administration alleges are ‘violent criminal aliens.’”
Why is that a change? Because, in the authors’ view, this decision violates
“a unique 2008 agreement [between Washington and Hanoi] that specifically bars the deportation of Vietnamese people who arrived in the United States before July 12, 1995—the date the two former foes reestablished diplomatic relations following the Vietnam War.”
But Trump administration officials have concluded, and told The Atlantic on the record, that the agreement “does not explicitly preclude the removal of pre-1995 cases.”
Which seems eminently reasonable when the article finally makes clear that the U.S. intent now is not indiscriminately to round up Vietnamese-Americans and kick them out of the country in order to advance (circle one or both) nativist or racist goals. Instead, the intent was to treat as exempt from the 2008 deal “people convicted of crimes.”
Indeed, these folks were not only convicted of crimes. According to the Department of Homeland Security’s Katie Waldman, “these are non-citizens who during previous administrations were arrested, convicted, and ultimately ordered removed by a federal immigration judge.”
But how did the Atlantic authors describe a U.S. government effort finally to get rid of convicted criminals who clearly have been using delaying tactics to put off removal orders by the American judicial system? As
>”the latest move in the president’s long record of prioritizing harsh immigration and asylum restrictions….”
>a ”new stance [that] mirrors White House efforts to clamp down on immigration writ large, a frequent complaint of the president’s on the campaign trail and one he links to a litany of ills in the United States.”
>a “shift” that “leaves the fate of a larger number of Vietnamese immigrants in doubt.”
>a betrayal of many “refugees from the Vietnam War. Some are the children of those who once allied with American and South Vietnamese forces, an attribute that renders them undesirable to the current regime in Hanoi, which imputes anti-regime beliefs to the children of those who opposed North Vietnam.”
In fact, if anything, the new Trump policy changes a 2017 administration decision that makes no sense at all for anyone who believes that criminal aliens have no business remaining in the United States one minute longer than necessary: exempting these criminals from deportation if they arrived in the country before 1995. What on earth was that about? And why does The Atlantic, by posting this “scoop” seem to object so strongly – especially since nowhere does this piece challenge the convictions?