Statement on the Possible Deportation of Vietnam War Refugees

ORANGE COUNTY, CA – Hon. Fred M. Whitaker, Chairman of the Republican Party of Orange County, released the following statement in response to the announcement of possible deportation of Vietnam War refugees:

“Orange County is home to one of the largest communities of Vietnamese Americans in the United States. Like many I was concerned over the news that the Trump administration may move to deport certain refugees of the Vietnam War.

In 1975, when South Vietnam and Cambodia fell to the communist regime, hundreds of thousands of refugees narrowly escaped to the United States. They sought protection, refuge, but most importantly freedom. Republican President Gerald R. Ford welcomed Vietnamese refugees from Communism. Yet that same year, in his first term as Governor, Jerry Brown and the Democrats fought to keep refugees out of California. Many of those refugees now call Orange County their home.

The Vietnamese community has made an incredible contribution to California and to Orange County. Our friends in the community for a long time have entrusted the Republican Party with their support because they recognize that our principles are their principles. Principles of freedom and opportunity in stark contrast to the totalitarian communist ideas they fled. Not only has the Republican Party supported and partnered with the Vietnamese community, but we also worked tirelessly to support Vietnamese American elected officials from former State Senator Janet Nguyen and Assemblymember Tyler Diep to Orange County Supervisor Andrew Do and Orange County Clerk-Recorder Hugh Nguyen.

I am proud to see our Vietnamese American elected officials like Assemblymember Diep, Supervisor Do, and Clerk-Recorder Hugh Nguyen begin immediate outreach to the Trump administration to advocate on behalf of this important community.

As Republicans, we understand that national security comes first, so if someone has broken the trust and privilege of being in the United States by being a violent criminal, then the administration must take action to protect our communities. However, this is not the case with the vast majority of our Vietnamese refugees in Orange County that came before 1995 with the permission of the United States government. As a party we take great pride in our Vietnamese Community. They have embraced the American values of hard work, individualism, and patriotism. We are better as a party and country because of the integration of Vietnamese refugees in America.

We understand the need for tough conversations, as decades old policies are reviewed in today’s context but we also look forward to being an advocate for the Vietnamese refugee community in Orange County and providing the administration with clear perspective from here at home where our communities are most affected by any policy change.”

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