San Jose Mercury News - Thousands of Vietnamese living illegally in U.S. face deportation By Jessie Mangaliman Mercury News Article Launched: 01/22/2008 06:12:57 PM PSTThe other point is that most of these people aren't being deported just for being illegal immigrants—they're really being deported for variuous fairly serious crimes:
In two months, the U.S. government will begin deporting more than 8,000 illegal Vietnamese immigrants as the result of a long-sought repatriation agreement signed Tuesday by Washington and Hanoi.
The pact deals with a once-verboten subject in the emigre community - the forced return of Vietnamese nationals to their communist homeland - and it underscores how close Vietnam and the United States have become.
In addition, the muted reaction Tuesday in San Jose's 100,000-strong Vietnamese community illustrated how much emigre politics have changed in the once rigidly anti-communist community.
Although some worried that the communist regime might retaliate against repatriated emigres, most Vietnamese-Americans interviewed Tuesday seemed to view the agreement as a natural outcome of the growing ties between two former enemies.
"It's normal," said Hoang Co Dinh of San Jose, a member of the Vietnam pro-democracy group Viet Tan.[More]
Most of the illegal immigrants - about 7,300 Vietnamese - have criminal convictions that made them subject to deportation, according to the Department of Homeland Security. Others overstayed visitors visas.