Are You Good People? The Vietnam War, Refugees, and the Politics of Asylum

Document Type

Short Film

Publication Date

Fall 10-8-2019


Video recording of the panel discussion, "Are You Good People? The Vietnam War, Refugees, and the Politics of Asylum" held at the Plano Campus' Living Legends Conference Center in Fall 2019.

Description of the event:

"In the decades since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, and the fall of the Khmer Rogue’s genocidal regime in Cambodia in 1979, an estimated 1.5 million Vietnamese and Cambodians immigrated to the United States. Many made harrowing escapes in the immediate aftermath of the region’s conflicts. North Central Texas became home for much of the Vietnamese diaspora According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington area had the third-largest Vietnamese population in the country, with about 72,000 residing here.

"Vietnamese immigration, and the story of the local Vietnamese community, will be the focus of a panel discussion, “Are You Good People? The Vietnam War, Refugees, and the Politics of Asylum” on Tuesday, October 8, from 10-11:20, at the Plano Campus’ Living Legends Conference Center.

"The event will capture some of the stories of these Vietnamese immigrants, how they reached American shores, the welcome they received from their American neighbors, the challenges of being an immigrant in the United States, and the politics surrounding refugees and asylum from the 1970s to the present day.

"The panel will include Dr. Walter H. Nguyen, who escaped from Vietnam after the war and now serves as the Executive Director of Mosaic Family Services (an agency that provides mental health and other services to refugees) and Yen Tran, J.D., who fled Vietnam as a child, and is now a pro bono immigration lawyer.

"Joining Nguyen and Tran will be Dr. Betsy Brody, a political scientist, who will share highlights of her recent oral history project on the Vietnamese community in Dallas-Fort Worth. Dr. Michael Phillips, an historian at Collin College, will talk about the legacy of the Vietnam War, the American intervention in Cambodia, and how Americans responded to Vietnamese and Cambodian refugees. Bill Holston the executive director of the Human Rights Initiative, will describe his pro bono legal work with political and religious asylum seekers today."