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April 23, 2020

Merry Grande, Minnesota Public Health

(612) 963-3243

 The Minnesota Public Health Association Releases Statement Opposing the Deportation of Legal, Permanent Residents of the United States of America

The organization commends Governor Tim Walz for his Feb. 18 letter opposing the deportation of 700 Hmong and Lao Minnesota residents

Minneapolis, Minn. – The Minnesota Public Health Association (MPHA) released a statement today expressing opposition to a plan stemming from deportation negotiations within the Trump Administration that would deport an estimated 700 Minnesota residents of Hmong and Laos descent. The statement echoes the sentiments of a letter sent by Governor Tim Walz to Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo on Feb. 18.

In their statement, the MPHA reiterated that Minnesota is home to 82,000 Hmong residents and 17,800 Lao residents, and these residents contribute greatly to the state’s economy, culture and leadership.


The statement also established that most of the Southeast Asian Americans who would be affected by these deportation orders have never been to Laos and have no ties there. In his letter, Governor Walz noted that “the thought of Minnesota’s Hmong and Laos families being torn apart due to deportation has spread fear and panic throughout Minnesota.”

The MPHA Health Equity and Global Health Committees decided to issue this statement because unjust deportation policies create a climate of fear and paralysis in communities. This drives immigrants/refugees away from seeking health services and is harmful to residents’ mental health. Uprooting this community is unjust, immoral, and a betrayal of our country's patriotic duty to these refugees who fought on behalf of the United States in the Vietnam war.

MPHA annually releases policy positions on key public health issues at both the state and federal level. The 2020 legislative priorities include issues related to gun violence, mental health, environmental health, affordable healthcare and more.

MPHA represents over 350 public health professionals from a range of organizations across the state including government, non-profit and for-profit businesses. For more information on MPHA, please visit the Minnesota Public Health Association website.


About the Minnesota Public Health Association

The Minnesota Public Health Association (MPHA) represents over 350 public health professionals across the state of Minnesota who champion the health of our people and communities. The mission of the MPHA is to create a healthier Minnesota through effective public health practice and engaged citizens. For more information, visit 

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