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McCollum: Deporting Hmong and Lao 'direct attack' on my constituents

The congresswoman is slamming a Trump Admin proposal.

One of Minnesota's congressional delegates is blasting a Trump Administration proposal to deport thousands of Hmong and Lao immigrants.

Rep. Betty McCollum (D), who represents Minnesota 4th District, has released a statement that the administration is currently negotiating a deportation agreement with Laos, which she says would "tear families apart" and endanger people who have only known America as their home:

As MPR notes, the deportations would impact non-citizens "who have committed crimes and have deportation orders issued against them."

But McCollum argues that the order would put those people at risk in "a country that has never been their home," and that human rights conditions in Laos are "substandard," raising "serious questions" about the safety and wellbeing of the deportees.

Her statement, directed to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, says it would be "unconscionable to deport individuals to any country in which the U.S. knowingly puts them at physical risk."

McCollum also says any such move "will be viewed as a direct attack on my constituents and their family members."

According to the Star Tribune, the repatriation order would impact some 700 Hmong and Lao in Minnesota, and in total, as many as 4,500.

Minnesota is home to the United States' second-largest Hmong population, with upwards of 66,000 residing here. Meanwhile, the Twin Cities area is home to about 15,000 Lao. 

Both groups came to the U.S. in the 1970s as a result of the Vietnam War. 

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