Commentary: Hmong refugees deserve our support

The Fresno BeeMarch 18, 2010 

More than two months have passed since Thailand forcibly returned 4,500 Hmong refugees who had fled from Laos.

For Hmong in the San Joaquin Valley and elsewhere in the United States who have family there, the plight of these refugees has been excruciating, and frustrating.

The U.S. government protested the forced repatriation and some members of Congress made noises about "reviewing" U.S. military aid to Thailand, but the evictions took place nonetheless.

A U.S. Embassy official in Laos on Feb. 26 finally was allowed to visit the Laotian village where the Hmong have been housed since their expulsion from Thailand -- but scripted events with Laotian officials ever-present are unlikely to produce a true picture of conditions.

"You have the State Department saying the Hmong are fine, then you have the Hmong community hearing from their families in Laos about mistreatment," says Nancy Ly of Sacramento, a member of the Hmong Leadership Steering Committee, a collaboration of 12 groups in five states.

To read the complete editorial, visit

McClatchy Washington Bureau is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service