Talk:Vietnamese boat people

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Australian Contribution[edit]

This article has very little to do with Vietnamese boat people who actually arrived in Australia and the social and political impacts of this on Australia, particularly with regard to the impact of non anglo-saxon refugees. This page seems to be about the US only.

Israeli vessel[edit]

An Israeli cargo ship discovered, rather than "crossed paths" with a Vietnamese boat. Was the boat "full of 66 Vietnamese", or was it a boat with 66 Vietnamese? They were out of food and water, OK. But were they "extremely lost and scared"? Sounds rather colloquial.203.184.41.226 (talk) 00:23, 13 February 2013 (UTC)

I love David Levy's "Let them do as we have. May they lend a hand to save women and children who are in the heart of the sea without a homeland, and lead them to safe shores." The jews took in a few more than 300, the countries listed took in many thousands each. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.185.217.10 (talk) 21:33, 19 October 2013 (UTC)

Deletion of unreferenced material[edit]

There's some interesting stuff in the final section of this article titled "Vietnamese refugees resettled in Western countries," but it is not referenced -- and I can't confirm the validity of the material from the books and articles I have on hand. Unless somebody can reference this material, I propose to delete this entire section to be replaced by two shorter sections called "Resettlement" and "Repatriation" which I will write and reference. Comments? Smallchief (talk 15:48, 29 January 2014 (UTC)

Well for the vast majority of things in that section, verified with my personal knowledge (I'm Vietnamese and former Boat People refugee), they're correct and pretty much accurate. However there are a few minor things I question:
  • Canada accepting only ~137, 000 Viet refugees - I believe the number is higher than that (~200,000)
  • Of the remaining refugees in the 1990s and 2000s, none "volunteered" to return to Vietnam, they were forcibly repatriated, to the point some refugees physically resisted being put on planes going to back to Vietnam, or committed suicide. Many of the repatriated refugees were imprisoned by the Vietnamese regime afterwards.
Concerning the contents with the citation needed tags:
  • In the late 1980s & 1990s, Western Europe, the US, Canada and Australia did increase difficulty for refugees to obtain citizenship under the designation of political refugee, because at this point, political conditions improved slightly and social conditions improved, with the regime instituting the "Doi Moi" reforms, as such, the number of true political refugees decreased, and the majority of people fleeing were only economic refugees fleeing poverty and hoping to get easy foreign citizenship under the banner of "Boat People [political] refugees". Doi Moi aimed to improve economic conditions, and slightly relax the fanatic control over its citizens, in attempts to avert popular revolt and regime collapse like in Eastern Europe at that same time, 1989.
  • Yes, many Vietnamese who were either professionals, educated, skilled (business people back in pre-1975 South Vietnam etc), young people, and persecuted peoples were already recruited by immigration officials and became citizens overseas by the mid-80s, approved rather promptly from the time they arrived in the camps (eg 1/2 - 3 yrs waittime max from time of arrival to time of relocating in the West). However, criminals, delinquents, suspected "fake" refugees, people with sketchy/suspicious past histories (eg. discovered after being interviewed by immigration officials...) etc, these people were left behind.
  • Idea of taking HK citizenship was generally disliked. Refugees didn't approve of the high cost of living there, the overcrowding, nor the stressful, hectic 14-hour work days there. However, some Cantonese-speaking Chinese Vietnamese (Hoa people), many of Haiphong North Vietnamese origin, married HK men in hopes of elevated living and socioeconomic conditions lol. Nguyễn Quốc Việt (talk) 07:05, 30 January 2014 (UTC)
I've made a couple of additional changes which hopefully will meet your approval. One was to revise the resettlement statistics to include only boat people resettled abroad rather than all Vietnamese resettled and to use official UNHCR statistics. Secondly, I eliminated the material on Israel. First, the link referencing this material was dead and secondly, Israel was a minor player in the boat people crisis and does not deserve so much prominence. I don't have any objection if Israel's contribution is acknowledged in a sentence or two and appropriately referenced.
It seems to me there is a fundamental problem with this article in that "Vietnamese boat people" describes less than one-half of the total migration of Vietnamese leaving their country in the 1975-1990s period. Best in my view would be for this article to be retitled "Vietnamese refugees and migration" and describe in more detail the Vietnamese land refugees to Thailand and China, the Orderly Departure Program, the Comprehensive plan of Action, the Hoa, etc. It is too easy for the reader to be confused or to think that "Vietnamese Boat People" tells the whole story -- which it does not. To attempt to deal partially with this problem I wrote the article Indochina refugee crisis as an overview of the whole Indochinese refugee subject.
Arguing against changing the title of the article is the fact that "Vietnamese boat people" is a recognizable and well-known phrase and the article probably gets more readership as a result.Smallchief (talk 12:59, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
I would like to strongly disagree with the assumption that the majority of Vietnamese settled in the west were of professional status. At least in Australia, it was well documented that a large number of boat people from Vietnam came to Australia from refugee camps in Malaysia, and within these camps in Malaysia, delinquency and criminal behaviour was all the more present. There were all sorts of documents released by the Australian Department of Immigration many years after these events which sighted such concerns. Furthermore, of the Vietnamese which arrived in Australia, a large number settled within Cabramatta, New South Wales; eventually the express train to Cabramatta was widely known in the Australian media as the "Junkie Express", because it was the definite place to go to purchase heroin. Vietnamese youths formed violent gangs, and became involved in the drug trade; approximately 80% of all of Sydney's drug trade came from Cabramatta during the 1990s. Australia's only case of political assassination occurred in 1994 when New South Wales state MP John Paul Newman was murdered by Phuong Ngo; this is the only documented case of political murder ever in Australian history. A few years ago, these events surrounding Cabramatta were documented by SBS Australia, and was the subject of a number of books written by Australian Vietnamese in the 2000s. --benlisquareTCE 10:54, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
I don't have any problem with you or others putting in adequately referenced material about the negative impacts of resettlement of boat prople -- nor problems with people putting in the postive aspects of resettlement. In the United States the Vietnamese refugees are generally seen as a asset rather than a liability.
Regarding the composition of the Vietnamese refugees, on the average they came from a higher social-economic strata than the average Vietnamese. However, there are certainly lots of instances of bar girls, criminals, and others finding their way into the refugee exodus. I wouldn't assume, however, that the problems Australia had with Vientamese came from these lower-status folks. White collar criminals are certainly not rare -- and many of the most unsavory characters among the refugees were former businessmen, high officials, and generals from the South Vietnamese government. Smallchief (talk 12:33, 4 February 2014 (UTC)