Vietnamese refugees left Philippines for resettlement in U.S. after 16-year wait

Sixteen years of waiting for a new home finally ended Monday for 229 Vietnamese refugees who left Manila on a chartered flight for Los Angeles to join relatives resettled in the United States.

Most of the Vietnamese left their homeland after the communists defeated the South Vietnamese government in 1975. Others were allowed to leave Vietnam in the 1980s under a U.S.-sponsored program for Vietnamese whose fathers were believed to be American servicemen, and their relatives.

Last year, the United States and the Philippines announced a joint plan to offer resettlement to 1,855 Vietnamese asylum seekers living in the Philippines since 1989

Patrick Corcoran, a representative of the International Organization for Migration, which helped facilitate the transfer, said interviews by U.S. immigration officials were still continuing, but a total of 1,600 refugees were expected to be approved, reports the AP.

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