Courtesy: Travers Mackel (WDSU)
The Trump administration has been sent a strong statement from elected leaders in New Orleans.
“We want to urge this administration to back off,” said New Orleans City Councilwoman Cyndi Nguyen, who’s Vietnamese.
Her comments, directed at the Trump administration and the White House, center on reports of controversial immigration issues and the Vietnamese community. In New Orleans East, there’s a thriving community near Village d’Lest made up primarily of Vietnamese business owners.
“Vietnamese contribute to this city a lot,” said Anh Hoang, who runs a grocery store near Village d’Lest.
He’s furious over national reports of a proposed immigration policy that centers on Vietnamese residents.
“I think that is a big mistake by the administration.”
So does Nguyen.
“Our message to this administration is just back off,” said Nguyen.
A national report this week stated how the Trump administration discussed resuming efforts to deport certain protected Vietnamese immigrants with criminal pasts. Some who have lived in the United States for decades — many of them having fled their country during the Vietnam War.
“This is still very vague and we don’t want the holiday to happen and have this slip under out nose,” said Nguyen.
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell also came out against any such policy, saying: “In the face of this ugly effort to target our Vietnamese neighbors, I would like to make it clear that the entire city of New Orleans stands in solidarity with our Vietnamese community, which has contributed so much to our social and cultural fabric.”
The first Vietnamese-American elected to Congress hails from New Orleans. Joseph Cao served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2009-2011.
Now, many in this area are urging leaders in Washington, D.C., to stand down.
“The American economy needs more diversity,” said Hoang.
Nguyen said she plans to meet with Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., next week on this issue.