After the Vietnam War, many young Vietnamese who arrived in the United States without their parents were easy prey for gang recruiters. Bullied for being outsiders, many young Vietnamese refugees sought protection from street gangs, only to learn later in life that the crimes committed in their youth could lead to their deportation. Under immigration law, immigrants may be deported if they are convicted of either a “crime of moral turpitude” or an “aggravated felony." According to a 2015 report, Southeast Asian immigrants are three to four times more likely than other immigrants to be deported for old convictions. Additionally, the Trump administration has broadened what constitutes a deportable offense, a policy that has affected 8,000 Vietnamese immigrants eligible for deportations as of November 2018.
Citation: 30 S. Cal. Rev. of L. & Soc. Just. 415