The first wave of Hmong in the U.S. arrived as refugees in the mid/late 1970s. Today, the Hmong community consists of refugees, immigrants, and U.S. born citizens, often all represented within the same family. As such, issues of immigration touch the lives of virtually every Hmong family in the U.S.

The nation’s immigration situation is at a crisis, with the current policies failing to reflect the global reality of today. Reform efforts should be comprehensive in nature, balancing the issues of national security, the economic needs of the country, and the protection of particularly vulnerable immigrants and refugees.

Issues of deportation are also of concern to many Southeast Asian communities, particularly Cambodian communities. For the Hmong community, however, there is a lack of awareness or discussion regarding the impact deportation and immigration policies can have on our community. This is an area the community and Hmong leaders must begin paying attention to and openly discussing. The Hmong community needs to have a voice in the immigration debate, as well as in other areas of federal policy-making.