US Members of Congress: Support Vietnam Advocacy Day in Congress - June 4, 2013
In early June some 500 Vietnamese American advocates from across the country will gather in the national capital for our second annual Vietnam Advocacy Day. We expect a constructive discussion with our Representatives and Senators about domestic issues that impact our lives in America and about foreign policies that affect our loved ones in Vietnam.
With Burma’s recent political reforms, Vietnam has become the worst violator of human rights and worst enemy of democracy in Southeast Asia. Our own State Department’s human rights report, released recently, confirms the steady deterioration in human rights conditions in Vietnam.
The Vietnamese government has increasingly cracked down on religions, persecuted human rights advocates, and imprisoned political dissidents. Torture and police brutality have become widespread. The government continues to expropriate ancestral lands of indigenous peoples and confiscate church properties. It has systematically stolen the properties of US citizens, possibly exceeding a hundred billion US dollars in worth, over the past three decades with impunity and without compensations.
On June 3 a large contingent of Vietnamese Americans will attend a meeting at the White House to raise our concerns. On the following day, they will be joined by hundreds more on Capitol Hill. The House Majority Leadership has agreed to a series of plenary and break-out meetings with the 500-strong Vietnamese-American delegation.
We would like to reach out to you and all members of Congress regardless of party affiliation to ensure that U.S. foreign policy engages and promotes Vietnam’s human rights champions, religious leaders, and pro-democracy advocates – they are the ones who share our American values and our belief in liberty and human dignity.
We ask that you meet with the delegation of Vietnamese American advocates. They will present our views and recommendations about U.S. foreign and trade policies towards Vietnam, immigration reforms, economic recovery through small business development, and the engagement of our community members, especially our youth, in civic activities.
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