The University of Wisconsin offered support for the Hmong community on campus after recent discussions of deportation arose from the U.S government. 

According to reporting from The Cap Times, in recent reports, the U.S. government has been negotiating on allowing Hmong citizens to be deported to Laos.

With this agreement, the U.S. government could deport around 4,500 non-citizens who may have partaken in crimes in the past or have deportation orders against them, according to a statement from UW News. 

This deportation threat hits close to home since more than 49,000 Hmong citizens live in Wisconsin, many of which are in Madison, according to the news release. UW will offer support and provide resources to the members of the Hmong community who may feel deeply impacted with the U.S. government opening negotiations, the report said. 

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Chancellor Rebecca Blank spoke about supporting the Hmong community in a statement included in the news release.

“We support and value all members of our community, especially our Hmong members during this period,” Blank said.

Students can contact the Dean of Students office or Multicultural Student Center if they need someone to talk in response to this issue. UW is encouraging students to utilize University Health Services if they need crisis support or help. Faculty and staff can contact the Employee Assistance Office if they need someone to talk to in response to this situation. 

In an email to The Badger Herald, University Communications Director Meredith McGlone explained the university’s statement of support to Hmong students.

“We think it’s important to acknowledge those issues and concerns and provide resources that can assist,” McGlone said in her email. 

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Whether Hmong citizens will be deported from the state is uncertain. Feb. 13, Gov. Tony Evers sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo opposing these negotiations and urged the U.S. government to re-examine their actions as well. 

UW said in the news release the university does not provide any information on a student, faculty or staff’s immigration status. Additionally, UWPD does not engage in any immigration actions which are partaken by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers.