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How Seattle’s Vietnamese community is helping Afghan refugees

October 4, 2021

Summary

The swift fall of the Afghan government to the Taliban and the refugee crisis in the conflict-torn nation is a painful reminder to many Vietnamese-Americans, many of whom were forced to leave their nation after Saigon fell in 1975. Special Correspondent Mike Cerre reports on how the Vietnamese community in Seattle is reaching out to help Afghan refugees. 

Five Facts

  • Who is the focus of this piece, and why?
  • What are the similarities between the experience of Vietnamese refugees in the U.S. and Afghan refugees in the U.S.?
  • Where are some places that refugees have made a home for themselves in the U.S.?
  • When and Why did Afghan refugees begin arriving in the U.S.?
  • How can refugee communities and U.S. citizens help other new arrivals in the U.S.?

Focus Questions

  • What do you think might be some of the most difficult challenges facing refugees fleeing to the United States? What are some ways those challenges could be made easier?
  • What do you think Uyen Nguyen, interviewed in this piece, means when she says, “humanity is a common denominator”? Do you think there are hopes and goals that bind most people together, and if so, what are they?

Media literacy: What aspects of U.S. immigration or refugee policy are you left with questions about after seeing this piece? How do you think you could find answers to your questions?

For More

  • See this lesson for more on the difficulties many Afghan refugees have faced in getting to the United States.
  • You may also be interested in this story of thousands of migrants from Haiti arriving at the U.S–Mexico border. Though many among these Haitian migrants sought to claim asylum in the U.S., most were flown back to Haiti or turned away, most under a public health order denying migrant entry into the U.S. during the COVID epidemic.

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