In what critics described as a "consciously racist" and immensely cruel move that has the fingerprints of White House senior adviser Stephen Miller all over it, the Trump administration is reportedly working to make Vietnam War refugees who have lived in the United States for decades eligible for deportation.
"Donald Trump's cruelty knows no bounds."
—Rep. Mark PocanFirst reported by The Atlantic on Wednesday, the White House plan seeks to reinterpret a long-standing agreement with Hanoi that protects from deportation all Vietnamese people who arrived in the U.S. before July 12, 1995—the date the two nations officially reestablished diplomatic relations after the Vietnam War, in which the U.S. killed millions of people and inflicted damage that lives on to this day.
"In essence, the administration has now decided that Vietnamese immigrants who arrived in the country before the establishment of diplomatic ties between the United States and Vietnam are subject to standard immigration law—meaning they are all eligible for deportation," The Atlantic noted.
Winnie Wong, progressive organizer and founder of People for Bernie, offered a succinct translation of the proposed policy change: "Trump wants to deport Vietnamese grannies who have been living here for more than 40 years."
Let me translate this for you: Trump wants to deport Vietnamese grannies who have been living here for more than 40years.https://t.co/TVXulB6gGQ
— Winifred (@WaywardWinifred) December 12, 2018
"Donald Trump's cruelty knows no bounds," declared Congressional Progressive Caucus chair Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.).
"Considering the deportation of people who have lived in this country for decades, and who are largely here because of the U.S.'s involvement, is an utter disgrace."
—Ryan Mac, Buzzfeed
In addition to the sheer Trumpian cruelty of the policy shift, several commentators were quick to note that the plan also bears all the signs of Miller's pernicious influence.
"Let's see here. This is 1) Unnecessary 2) Cruel 3) Trolls the Libs 4) Secures the existence of our people and a future for white children," author Mike Duncan wrote on Twitter. "Yes, we see you Stephen Miller."
The Week's Ryan Cooper also argued that Miller is clearly a key force behind the "despicable" proposal.
"If there is a hell Stephen Miller will be fed magma-hot ethnic food for eternity," Cooper added.
there is not even a constituency of bad people for this. it is just deliberate, consciously racist cruelty. absolutely fucking despicable. if there is a hell Stephen Miller will be fed magma-hot ethnic food for eternity
— ryan cooper (@ryanlcooper) December 12, 2018
"You don't need need to be the child of Vietnamese immigrants, like me, to find this shameful," concluded Buzzfeed reporter Ryan Mac. "Considering the deportation of people who have lived in this country for decades, and who are largely here because of the U.S.'s involvement, is an utter disgrace."