Marta Diaz, Esq.
For Now, Many Vietnamese Deportees are Safe from Deportation
Usually when someone is ordered removed (deported), they are returned to their own country. In some cases however, their home country will not take them back. In the past, these countries have been known as “recalcitrant countries”. The previous administration had attempted to convince some of these countries to take their deportees back by issuing visa sanctions against them, preventing them from seeking entry into the U.S. through any visa program. Such counties included: Burma, Laos, Eritrea, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Cambodia.
In the case of Vietnam, a bilateral agreement had been in place since 2008 addressing this issue, after Vietnam had refused to take back deportees for many years. Since 2008, both the U.S. and the Vietnamese government had interpreted the language of this bilateral treaty to mean that Vietnamese deportees who had entered the U.S. prior to 1995 would not be sent back to Vietnam. These people were viewed by the Vietnamese government as being potential destabilizing influences to its government.
The Trump administration more recently tried to reinterpret the treaty. Per the reinterpretation, the administration was initially able to move forward with a few deportations, but ultimately, the Vietnamese government resisted and the issue quietly died down.
The Trump administration had also tried to limit these people’s ability to work. People who are ordered deported but cannot be sent back to their country are often in a state of limbo. Generally immigration will put them on an order of supervision and will issue them a work authorization document, which can be renewed annually. In November 2020, a proposed rule was implemented that would severely limit the ability of a deportee under an order of supervision to get a work authorization document. The proposed rule was open for comments for 30 days until the end of December. In January 2021, the administration started reviewing proposed comments. But shortly after that the Biden administration took office. Since then, there has been no news on whether the rule will be finalized and it is very likely that it will NOT be finalized.
For more information about this matter or to book a consultation with our immigration attorney, please call Blaszkow Legal, PLLC at (703) 879-5910.