In the decades following the Vietnam War, hundreds of thousands of Hmong refugees have settled in the United States. The Hmong, an ethnic minority, were recruited during the war to fight in the CIA’s secret campaign against communist forces in Laos. But while the war officially ended in 1975, the terror was just beginning for many Hmong families. Facing brutal persecution at the hands of the Laotian government, the Hmong fled their villages for refugee camps in Thailand. Over half of the Hmong refugees who came to the U.S. eventually re-settled in Midwestern states, including Michigan.
Current State talks with Martha Bloomfield, a Michigan historian who set out to collect the stories of Hmong people living in Michigan for her book “Hmong Americans in Michigan”, and Luke Xiong, an investment advisor in Fenton, Michigan who came to the United States during a wave of Hmong immigration in the 1980s.