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Resolution opposing Hmong and Lao deportations passes unanimously

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WAOW) -- A resolution "supporting our Hmong/Lao communities and opposing federal deportation of Hmong/Lao residents to Laos" was passed unanimously by the Wausau City Council on Tuesday.

District 10 Alderperson Mary Thao is one of the people who brought the resolution to the board.

"These Lao, Hmong residents are some of our neighbors and live in our communities," Thao said. "And just to provide a little bit more detail these are allies of ours, those that fought in the Vietnam war with us."

The conversation about deportation was ignited when a Minnesota congresswoman sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. That letter said "any deportation of Hmong and Lao refugees residing in the U.S. to Laos will tear families apart while putting those individual at risk in a country that has never been their home."

Last week, political leaders and candidates held a rally in Wausau about the potential deportations.

Thao said there are currently five people that she knows of in Marathon County with final deportation orders.

"Let's not contribute to the fear that some these conversation that being had at the national level bring that fear to the local level here," Thao said.

Thao said she hopes the passing of this resolution gives courage to those face deportation orders to seek out resources. One of the resources she mentioned is Freedom, Inc.

Sarah McGrew

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