The City of Eau Claire denounces President Trump’s deportation proposal

Marin Munos

Taken by Julian Emerson of Up North News
Residents of Eau Claire gathered at city hall to protest the Trump Administration’s proposal to deport Lao and Hmong U.S. residents.

Eau Claire, Wisconsin has a population of 69,000. Four percent of that population is Asian. On March 9, 2020, the Eau Claire City Council held a meeting regarding President Trump’s call for the deportation of Hmong and Laos residents, who are not citizens. As of April 29, 2020, the council remains on the anti-deportation side of Trump’s proposal.

The council resolved to condemn the deportation of Hmong and Lao Americans. A WQOW reporter asked Kong Pheng Pha, an assistant professor of critical Hmong studies at UW-Eau Claire, what the deportation order means. “Deportation involves the separation of families, and it involves the breaking up of communities,” said Pha.

The U.S. legal system has been at a standstill due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this national crisis, Trump’s deportation scheme has continued to expand. According to the New York Times, deportation rates are up nearly 60 percent from this time last year.

Trump’s proposal could potentially affect more the 4,500 Hmong and Lao U.S. residents, who sought refuge in America. As of April 1, negotiations are ongoing with Laos to sign a reparation agreement. Laos has been resistant to signing this reparation, but a country does not need to sign the formal agreement to accept deportees back into the country.

On April 30, 2020, Trump proposed that states devastated by COVID-19, like New York and Washington, will not receive federal bailout money unless they end sanctuary, immigration practices. According to the New York Times, this proposition is in direct opposition to his previous statement of full-throated financial support for all states.