I think I remember what I was doing in 1989. Some of it is probably best forgotten. ;) But for a group of 2,000 Vietnamese ‘boat people’ — refugees who fled Viet Nam on boats — 1989 marked the beginning of a legal limbo in the Philippines that finally reached resolution last week as they were welcomed at LAX, sixteen years later, thirty years after the fall of Saigon.
Last year, after lobbying by refugee advocates, U.S. and Philippine officials hammered out a plan to resettle the refugees.
“It was past time to find a humanitarian resolution,” said Bill Strassberger, a spokesman for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a division of Homeland Security.
Among the arrivals are children of the refugees who were born without a country, as well as 200 ‘Ameriasians’ — children of US servicemen — waylaid by visa issues during the 1990s.