Fresno's Hmong community protests plan to deport over 4,000 refugees

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Leaders of the Hmong community gathered in Downtown Fresno on Thursday to protest against new immigration policies by the Trump administration.

The administration is said to be targeting more than 4,000 Hmong and Lao refugees who have broken laws for possible deportation back to Communist Laos.

Many in the Hmong community say they are confused and feel betrayed by the US government.

They're now calling on local and state leaders to stand up against the Trump administration

The Hmong fought as U.S. allies in the Vietnam War.

Following the conflict, tens of thousands of them came to America as refugees.

And now 300,000 currently live in this country, including more than 30,000 in the Central Valley.

Hmong have previously been protected from deportation but that could soon change.

"They fought under a promise, handshake, a look in the eye and now today that promise is being broken and our elders are heartbroken knowing their children could be sent back to a place they worked so hard to flee," said Bobby Bliatout.

Bliatout, the son of Hmong refugees and current candidate for Congress, is calling on elected officials to stand up against federal deportation and pass a resolution supporting Hmong and Lao communities.

"California is host to the largest population of Hmong people, Fresno is the second-largest city with Hmong folks. Our city council, our board of supervisors should be able to speak up and they should be able to stand with us."

Since no agreement has been reached between the US and Laos, there is no timeline for deportations to begin.
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