Thursday, December 2, 2021


Michiganders mourn the loss of four students after this week's school shooting at Oxford High School, and SCOTUS Justices signal willingness to back a Mississippi abortion prohibition law.


The Supreme Court debates abortion rights; Stacey Abrams will again run to be Georgia's governor; and Congress scrambles to avoid a shutdown.


Seniors in non-urban areas struggle with hunger disproportionately; rural communities make a push for federal money; and Planned Parenthood takes a case to the Montana Supreme Court.

Afghan Refugee Effort Prompts Reminders of Hmong Experience


Wednesday, September 22, 2021   

MADISON, Wis. - A Wisconsin military base remains the temporary home of nearly 8,000 Afghan refugees, and it isn't the first time the state has seen an influx of evacuees trying to carve out a new life.

Prominent Hmong leaders have said their people have made significant contributions after arriving in Wisconsin under similar circumstances. In the decades after the Vietnam War, Wisconsin's Hmong population rose to become the third-highest in the nation. The leaders have noted that, when given the opportunity, they found ways to assimilate and make contributions.

Pao Lor, a professor at the University of Wisconsin Green Bay who chairs its Professional Program in Education, said it became pretty clear over time.

"Particularly in the 90s, Hmong American families started buying homes, and getting better jobs," he said, "and basically, the life in northeast Wisconsin almost transformed, you could say, overnight."

While there were challenges along the way, those who stepped into larger roles served as culture brokers, giving Hmong communities a bigger voice. Today, there are calls for giving Afghan refugees the chance to set a similar path, with support and aid. Some GOP members of Wisconsin's congressional delegation have raised safety concerns, but advocates have said these refugees have been vetted, and many worked for the U.S. during the war in Afghanistan.

Mai Zong Vue, an administrator at the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families, said Hmong families have set down roots in many cities, including Milwaukee, Wausau and Eau Claire. She added that contributions will continue to come from future generations who were born here.

"Our future American taxpayers can only be as productive as what we seek for them in knowledge, in experience, in opportunities," she said.

Vue, who also is board president of Wisconsin's Hmong Institute, said preserving cultural heritage is a key part of shaping these descendents' futures, which can help give them a sense of identity. Both Vue and Lor expressed their thoughts at a recent panel discussion led by the Wisconsin Historical Society.

get more stories like this via email
Civil rights groups are pushing Baltimore County to create a second majority Black council district to better represent its diverse population. (Flickr)

Social Issues

BALTIMORE, Md. -- Maryland civil rights groups are proposing a lawsuit against Baltimore County if it adopts its current redistricting plan, claiming …

Social Issues

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Nearly seven in ten Americans say billionaires are not paying their fair share in taxes, according to a new survey. Among likely …

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. -- Over the coming weeks, North Dakotans will be clicking the "purchase" button as they order holiday gifts online, and fraud experts …

Front-line pandemic workers in Minnesota feel the state is failing them in recognizing them for their work during the crisis, as they were not allowed to work remotely. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

MINNEAPOLIS -- Several regional labor groups rallied in Minneapolis on Wednesday, demanding state leaders take action to reflect the sacrifices made …


GREENE, Iowa -- The proposed Build Back Better bill is getting attention for a host of funding possibilities, including one area flying under the …

The Republican-created legislative and congressional maps, passed by the Wisconsin Legislature in November, were quickly vetoed by Gov. Tony Evers, teeing up a legal battle. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

MADISON, Wis. -- In a four-three decision this week, the Wisconsin Supreme Court backed a "least-change" approach to redistricting in the state…

Social Issues

OXFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- Michiganders are mourning the loss of four students after this week's school shooting at Oxford High School, and advocates …

Social Issues

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- Labor protests and strikes are on the upswing this fall, compared with 2020 when everyone hunkered as the pandemic closed …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021