Saint Paul, Minn — Sen. John Hoffman (DFL-Champlin) released the statement below in response to the recent announcement the Trump administration is in talks with the government of Laos to allow for the deportation of Lao and Hmong residents back to Southeast Asia. Minnesota has the largest urban concentration of Hmong people in the country. About 88,000 people of Hmong ancestry and about 14,000 Laotian Americans live here.
The individuals facing deportation under this policy are legal permanent residents of the United States. They are Americans who sought refuge here with their families as a result of American geopolitics in Southeast Asia; they are members of our refugee groups from Laos – the Lao and Hmong, just to name two of the largest.
“As the Senator representing Senate District 36 here in Minnesota, where so many of my friends and neighbors are of Laotian and Hmong descent, I am dismayed by the news that the Trump administration is considering the deportation and repatriation of longtime U.S. Laotian and Hmong residents back to Southeast Asia. These residents are valuable members of not only the community I call home, but the State of Minnesota at large. They hold jobs, they contribute to our economy, and they give back to our neighborhoods in countless ways. To deport them would not only break the promises made to our refugees and allies, but it sends a message that we do not value and appreciate the contributions of our Hmong and Laotian friends, and those are not the values I know the great state of Minnesota to hold at its core.”
Sia Her of the Council of Asian Pacific Minnesotans (CAPM) is pleased Sen. Hoffman is standing with Minnesota’s Hmong and Laotian communities. “These very groups fought on behalf of the United States during the Secret War. After Laos fell to Communism in 1975, these allies of the United States had no choice but to flee in order to escape persecution,” Her said. “Today, these groups make up over one-quarter of Minnesota’s Asian Pacific community. They should be allowed the opportunity to thrive here with supported pathways, so they can remain with their families.”