Current ICE trends for deportation of Vietnamese Nationals

There are important updates on the likelihood of deportation for Vietnamese immigrants who came to the United States before July 12, 1995.

Trinh v. Albence was a class action lawsuit filed in February 2018 after ICE abruptly began detaining pre-1995 Vietnamese immigrants for long periods of time. Trinh argued that ICE should not hold pre-1995 Vietnamese immigrants past the 90-day removal period since ICE has historically been unable to effectuate their removals under the United States’ 2008 repatriation agreement with Vietnam. ICE countered that the Vietnamese government verbally committed to consider travel document requests for pre-1995 Vietnamese immigrants, even without a formal agreement between the two countries.

In the months that followed, ICE released most Trinh class members and, in the fall of 2018, conceded that it was generally unlikely to be able to remove pre-1995 Vietnamese immigrants. It then implemented a policy of generally releasing pre-1995 Vietnamese immigrants within 90 days of their orders of removal. At the same time, however, the United States has continued to pressure Vietnam to accept pre-1995 Vietnamese immigrants for deportation, notwithstanding the 2008 repatriation agreement, which remains in effect.

It is noteworthy to point out that from January 2017 to February 2020, Vietnam issued 18 travel documents to pre-1995 Vietnamese immigrants in response to 251 travel document requests. This means Vietnam appears to be issuing travel documents without requiring an interview. Most importantly, ICE has confirmed that it has removed 30 Vietnamese immigrants to Vietnam on a charter flight, including 12 pre-1995 Vietnamese immigrants. Obviously, this takes away the safety net for pre-1995 Vietnamese immigrants with criminal convictions or prior removal orders.

If you are currently under an Order of Supervision with ICE due to an outstanding removal order, you need to speak to an Immigration attorney in order to assess your risk of deportation. Call our office today and schedule an appointment.