Brooklyn Park Council Passes Objection to Hmong Deportations
The Brooklyn Park city council passed a resolution Monday night voicing the city’s objection to federal deportations of Hmong and Lao refugees. That resolution voices the position that many Hmong and Lao non-citizens came here after the Vietnam War, having fought on behalf of the United States. Because of that, should they be deported, they may face persecution up to and including execution in their native countries.
The move comes in response to the Trump administration’s negotiations with Laos to allow the deportation of thousands of Hmong with criminal records. Council members in favor of the resolution pointed out that most of those with criminal records have already served their sentences. They say those people shouldn’t be automatically deported because of crimes that may have been committed many years ago.
New Resolution Draws More Support
A previous draft of the resolution drew more opposition because it didn’t include language that would base deportation objections on a case-by-case basis. Tuesday night’s version, which asks the government to examine the individuals up for deportation rather than instituting a blanket deportation program, drew broad support from the council.
“We have a blood debt. By that I mean people who fought and bled with us, with my dad, with my uncles, with my friends,” said Mayor Jeffrey Lunde of Hmong residents. “If they spilled blood or put their lives at risk with us, I believe we owe them the benefit of the doubt.”
The lone no-vote came from Mark Mata, who says a council member isn’t a judge and jury on these cases.
“A case by case basis isn’t good enough for me,” said Mata. “There’s the ones who rape people, there’s the ones who killed people, there’s the ones who sold drugs and maybe that drug killed somebody else’s kid.”
The city will send copies of the resolution to the governor, the state’s congressional delegation, and the Secretary of Homeland Security.
You can view the council meeting here.
Brandon Bankston, Reporting