The Amerasian son of a Vietnamese mother and an American father who served in the Vietnam War is now facing deportation because of a crime he committed more than 25 years ago.
Hung Le arrived in the United States as a child and was given citizenship under the Amerasian Homecoming Act that saw thousands of children of US soldiers enter the country. He has lived in the state of Philadelphia for more than 25 years but is now facing deportation for a mistake he committed when he was young.
In 1992, Le’s employer lured him into helping with a robbery. At 22 years of age Le was arrested and pleaded guilty to charges of theft, assault and conspiracy. For that, he served eight years’ probation.
With the Trump administration keen on deporting immigrants with a criminal history, Le now joins about 7,000 Vietnamese immigrants who are being threatened with deportation.
Currently running a nail salon in Mount Pocono, Philadelphia, he said he and other immigrants facing the same problem deserved to be given a second chance for past mistakes.
Le, who has a child attending Pennsylvania State University, said he would understand the plans if he regularly crossed the line. But he reiterates that he only ever made one mistake, more than 25 years ago, and that means he could now be sent back to Vietnam where he may be persecuted.
The Trump administration argues that the agreement signed between the US and Vietnam in 2008 does not prohibit the US government to deport Vietnamese citizens who arrived before 1995 with a criminal record. Should Vietnam agree to receive the citizens, more than 7,000 Vietnamese immigrants could be forced to leave the United States.