The Associated Press
April 1, 2008 Tuesday 11:52 AM GMT
Immigration officials: US has started deporting thousands of illegal Vietnamese immigrants
Washington has started deportation proceedings against thousands of Vietnamese living illegally in the United States under a pact between the two countries, a top U.S. immigration official said Tuesday.
...those who have lived in the U.S. for more than 13 years would not be deported.
The repatriation pact applies to Vietnamese who entered the U.S. illegally after the former foes normalized relations in 1995. Some critics had expressed concern the agreement could include others who entered the U.S. in the 70s and 80s.
"We're just going to begin the process of returning individuals back to Vietnam," Myers said in an interview with The Associated Press during a visit to Singapore. "The Vietnamese government has been very cooperative and helpful in this process as we've identified particular cases to move forward on."
The agreement was completed in late January but took 60 days to go into effect, Myers said....many immigrants have been living with deportation orders for years, even decades...