MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- Wisconsin’s governor is asking President Donald Trump’s administration to stop talks with Laos that could involve the potential deportation of Lao and Hmong immigrants.
Gov. Tony Evers wrote a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday saying the negotiations are “sowing fear into Hmong communities across Wisconsin.”
The proposal would apply to people who are not U.S. citizens and have standing deportation orders issued against them.
It would reportedly affect more than 4,500 Hmong and Lao immigrants in the country. Evers said it would affect hundreds in Wisconsin and he opposes any agreement that results in any deportation of Hmong people in Wisconsin.
Below is the full letter sent to Pompeo:
Dear Secretary Pompeo,
"I am writing regarding your recent meeting with the Lao People’s Democratic Republic’s Foreign Minister and the Trump Administration’s negotiation of a potential agreement that could result in the deportation of Hmong and Lao U.S. residents.
"Our state has a rich history of opening its doors to people of all backgrounds, experiences, and walks of life. Wisconsin is the proud home to nearly one-fifth of Hmong people living in the U.S. These nearly 50,000 Hmong Wisconsinites are our neighbors, family members, and veterans. They have long been an important part of Wisconsin’s fabric and economy.
"Many Hmong people living in Wisconsin came here as refugees seeking asylum. As you know, Laos has a history of human rights violations. The Trump Administration’s veiled negotiations are sowing fear into Hmong communities across Wisconsin. According to reports, hundreds living in Wisconsin could be affected. The potential deportation of Hmong Wisconsinites is yet another example of your administration’s problematic disposition and policies toward refugee and immigrant populations. I urge you to reconsider and reiterate my opposition to any agreement that results in the deportation of Hmong people living in Wisconsin."
Gov. Tony Evers