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Trump administration reportedly pressures Vietnam to dissolve a 2008 repatriation agreement, which would result in thousands of deportations

  1. Date Announced

    Dec. 17, 2018

    The Trump administration is proposing to dissolve a 2008 repatriation agreement which "barred the deportation of Vietnamese immigrants with final removal orders who arrived in the United States prior to July 12, 1995." The agreement automatically renews every three years unless either country issues an intent not to renew six months before the expiration date. [ID #366]

    View Policy Document
  3. Subsequent Action

    December 13, 2018

    On December 13, 2018, members of Congress sent a letter to the Trump Administration expressing concern about DHS's intention to renegotiate the terms of the 2008 MOU between Vietnam and the U.S.

    Democrats Challenge Trump Over Vietnam Deportations
Status: Reported
Type of Action: Change in Practice
Subject Matter: Interior
Agencies Affected: ICE DOS

Prior Policies

  • A 2008 memorandum of understanding between the US and Vietnam bars the deportation of Vietnamese immigrants with final removal orders who arrived in the United States prior to July 12, 1995 — the date Vietnam and the United States re-established diplomatic relations.

    2008 Memorandum of Understanding with Vietnam

Subsequent Action


The Atlantic: Trump Moves to Deport Vietnam War Refugees

The administration began pursuing the deportation of many long-term immigrants from Vietnam, Cambodia, and other countries who the administration alleges are “violent criminal aliens.” But Washington and Hanoi have a unique 2008 agreement that specifically bars the deportation of Vietnamese people who arrived in the United States before July 12, 1995—the date the two former foes reestablished diplomatic relations following the Vietnam War. The White House unilaterally reinterpreted the agreement in the spring of 2017 to exempt people convicted of crimes from its protections, allowing the administration to send back a small number of pre-1995 Vietnamese immigrants, a policy it retreated from this past August. James Thrower, a spokesperson for the U.S. embassy in Hanoi, said in 2018 that the American government was again reversing course. Washington now believes that the 2008 agreement fails to protect pre-1995 Vietnamese immigrants from deportation, Thrower told The Atlantic.

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NBC: Uncertainty over U.S-Vietnam Repatriation Agreement Leads to Deportation Concerns

DHS spokesperson Katie Waldman said in an email last month that there are 7,000 convicted Vietnamese nationals with final orders of removal.

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Advisory for Advocates: Memorandum of Understanding Regarding Deportation of Pre-1995 Vietnamese

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