MADISON – On February 10th, news outlets reported that the Trump Administration has been engaged in discussions of deportation and repatriation with the Lao People’s Democratic Republic to allow for the deportation of longtime Hmong and Lao U.S. residents to Southeast Asia. Representative Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) released the following statement in support of Wisconsin’s Hmong community:
“Any discussion with the Lao Government on reintegration and deportation is deeply concerning. To engage in discussions with the Laotian administration which has a track record of human rights violations against the Hmong community is inexcusable,” Rep. Hintz stated. “Tens of thousands of Hmong families live and work in Wisconsin, and to consider separating them would have a devastating effect on communities in every corner of the state. These policies put our refugee and immigrant communities in harm’s way.”
“Today, I am calling on our Congressional delegation to stand with the Hmong community in opposing the Trump Administration’s reckless policy to ensure that no families are separated.”
Wisconsin is home to the third largest Hmong community in the United States, with an estimated 50,000 Hmong refugees settling in Wisconsin during the last 40 years. Oshkosh enjoys a large, vibrant Hmong population. The Hmong Service Center was created in Oshkosh in 1984 and has served over 4,000 Hmong in Winnebago County area with youth services, education, and numerous other programs that have benefitted not only the Hmong, but our community as a whole.
“The Hmong community has been integral to Oshkosh and the state of Wisconsin for more than four decades. Their rich culture and traditions make our state a better place. I have been honored by the friendship and support I have received from the Hmong community throughout the years,” Hintz concluded.