New York: The Trump administration is reportedly pushing the government of Vietnam to allow the US to deport certain Vietnamese immigrants who have lived in the US since at least 1995.
The move, first reported by Charles Dunst and Krishnadev Calamur for the Atlantic, applies to Vietnamese immigrants who have already been ordered deported — in most cases, legal immigrant noncitizens who committed serious crimes — or are currently unauthorized. (In practice, given patterns of Vietnamese immigration and the structure of immigration law, any unauthorized immigrant who’s been here since 1995 is probably unauthorized because they committed a crime that made them ineligible for legal status.)
It is likely that fewer than 8,000 people will be immediately vulnerable to deportation because of the change.
This is part of a broader pattern for the Trump administration: Its policies are pushing people who have already put down roots in the US closer to deportation, with no attention to the role the US played in the circumstances that made them come here to begin with. (This is the same approach that Trump has taken in attempting to end Temporary Protected Status for hundreds of thousands of immigrants, and in trying to rescind protections of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program for unauthorized immigrants who came to the US as children.)
But that approach is consistent with the Trump administration’s priorities on immigration enforcement. The administration has made an effort to deport immigrants who’ve come into contact with law enforcement, and people with past deportation orders — even orders issued decades in the past. More broadly, the administration has tried to increase the pool of people who could be deported, and increase their fear that they will be, even if it doesn’t actually have the ability to go after and deport that many of them.