Deportation fears strike Vietnamese community in San Jose

SAN JOSE,Calif. (KGO) -- Over the past month, the Asian Law Alliance in San Jose has been hearing from Vietnamese families who say immigration agents have taken away a loved one.

Executive Director Richard Konda said it's happening when families go to immigration officials for their annual check-in.

"Some have been detained and then whisked away to some far off place," said Konda.

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He said there is fear in the community.

Vietnam and Cambodia have historically refused to take back people deported by the United States.

But, a source told ABC7 News there are new negotiations underway that could change that.

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Immigration and Customs Enforcement released a statement on the issue, it reads: "International law obligates each country to accept the return of its nationals ordered removed from the United States. The United States itself routinely cooperates with foreign governments in documenting and accepting its citizens when asked, as do the majority of countries in the world."

Sources also tell ABC7 News the only Vietnamese and Cambodian immigrants facing deportation, about 100 across the country so far, are people who have been convicted of a crime.

Konda said even if an immigrant or refugee has a criminal conviction... each case needs to be looked at individually... it should not mean immediate deportation.

The Law Alliance is working to make sure immigrants know their rights.

They've created "red cards" in English and Vietnamese that spell out a person's constitutional rights-should an ICE agent knock on their door.
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