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Immigration Law

Habeas Petition Challenges Trump's Violation of Repatriation Agreement with Vietnam (Trinh v. Homan)

Samantha Schmidt, Washington Post, Mar. 1, 2018 - "Hoang Trinh’s family arrived in the United States when he was 4 years old, fleeing postwar communist Vietnam in 1980. Trinh became a legal U.S. resident, married and raised two American children in California’s Orange County. But he has spent the past seven months detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. After serving one year in prison for a drug charge in 2015, he was arrested for possessing marijuana in 2017, and was ordered removed from the country, according to a lawsuit filed last week. But Vietnam can’t take him back. Because of an existing repatriation agreement between the two countries, Vietnamese citizens cannot be sent back to Vietnam if they arrived in the U.S. before July 12, 1995, when the two governments reestablished diplomatic relations. This means that detained Vietnamese refugees like Trinh are now stuck in an indefinite limbo. Unable to deport these immigrants, ICE has been keeping them in detention for prolonged periods of time, some as long as 11 months, immigration lawyers say. A group of Vietnamese immigrants has filed a lawsuit against U.S. officials, alleging the government is violating federal law by indefinitely detaining dozens of Vietnamese immigrants living in the United States."