US-Viet Pact OKs Forced Deportations

Vietnamese illegals to be repatriated, human rights groups cry foul
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 23, 2008 3:17 AM CST
An Nguyen (L) and her husband Hoa Dang Nguyen (2nd L) stand on a Vietnamese flag to protest a Vietnamese art show in Santa Ana, California. The Vietnamese community objected, to the display of paintings...   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – The US and Vietnam have signed a pact that could see thousands of Vietnamese living in America forcibly returned to their homeland, reports the Orange Country Register. Under the agreement, undocumented Vietnamese immigrants facing court deportation orders can now be repatriated. Some 8,000 people will be affected and the deportations could begin in two months.

The pact is a sign of warming relations between Washington and Hanoi, but many immigrant rights advocates voiced concern. "People who will be returned can expect to face very harsh treatment from the Communists," said one Washington lawmaker.  "The people who escape from Cuba—we don't send them to Castro. This is insane."