Franken Visits Laos To Check On Returned Hmong

Monday, August 2, 2010

Sen. Al Franken is talking about his recent trip to Laos and what it could mean for Minnesotans.

He went there to investigate the Lao Government's treatment of more than 4,500 Hmong who were forcibly returned to Laos from Thailand last December.

Sunday afternoon in St. Paul, Franken talked about what he learned on the trip and the U.S. diplomatic actions since his return.

Franken said he is frustrated that the Lao government didn't allow him more access to the returnees.

"We do have cell phones of some of the people in the village. Just because I've expressed my concern about not getting full access, there's no reason to believe at all that there's been mistreatment. But we wanted the Laos government to know we have our eye on them, and we're not going to take our eye off," he said.

Minnesota has the second largest Hmong-American population in the United States.


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