Vietnamese mother of US veteran denied visa to attend his funeral: report

By Vi Vu   January 13, 2018 | 02:59 pm GMT+7

The father said he was 'fuming mad.'

A Vietnamese mother was denied visa to the U.S. twice and could not attend the funeral of her son, who served in the U.S. Navy, his father told the media.

The 22-year-old veteran died of leukemia last month but his mother missed his burial because her request to visit was turned down by the U.S. Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City, WREG-TV reported.

“That’s what made me fuming mad. Fuming,” the father, Hung Truong, who is of Vietnamese origin, told the Memphis station.

His son served in the Navy for four years before leaving in October and had planned to study graphic design. He died on December 17, shortly after doctors diagnosed him.

The father said his son was inspired by John F. Kennedy’s exhortation: Don’t ask what your country did for you, but ask what you did for your country.

“But he’s already done for this country, but what has this country done for him?” he said, as cited in the report.

Truong, who owns a jewelry store in Blytheville, Arkansas, said he wasn’t given a reason for why his ex-wife was not allowed to come see her son for the last time.

A State Department official said in an email to WREG-TV that visa records are confidential under U.S. law and it is “unable to discuss specific visa cases.”

Many people from Vietnam have gone through long and frustrating struggle to apply for a visa to the U.S., particularly since the start of the Trump presidency.

Last month, a woman in HCMC only received a visa to visit her dying father at her fifth try, after media reports triggered a strong public response in her support.

In September, a Vietnamese woman who needed to undergo a stem cell transplant with her sister in the U.S. to save the latter from cancer was granted a visa after three failed attempts.

In August, another woman was only granted a visa to visit her dying daughter in San Jose after the family started an online petition.

In May, a high school student from the central province of Quang Tri almost missed his chance to attend an international science fair in California after his visa application was rejected twice, even after special requests from the province’s foreign affairs department and Vietnam’s education ministry. The denials were reportedly due to personal reasons.

The U.S. embassy in Hanoi only contacted him for a special interview after various local media outlets covered the issue.

Some people experienced years-long struggle when the affair involves more than a regular visit.

Tom Roche, an American citizen, had to go through a 13-year battle to bring his Vietnamese wife to the U.S. last August. The U.S. officials suspected that his marriage was a sham to skirt immigration laws, the Citizens Voice reported.

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