US authorities stated that the U.S government has no plan to take the Lao Hmong refugees in Thailand into the pipeline of the current resettlement program at this time. The head of the State Department's Bureau for Population, Refugees, and Migration, Ellen Sauerbrey, made the comment during a recent visit to Thailand.
But she expressed concern over the well-being of the Hmong refugees from Laos being sheltered in Phetchabun province of Thailand, and asked the the Thai government to give them assistance and not to forcibly return them to Laos.
Over 6,000 Hmongs are now living in makeshift
shelters along the road leading to Baan Huay Namkhao. Many of these Hmongs are recent arrivals to Thailand, while others are former residents of Wat Thamkrabok in Thailand's Sarabury province, who had left the temple before the US agreed to accept 15,000 for resettlement in 2005.
A group of some 200 Hmongs from Laos who arrived early this year to join their relatives in Baan Huay Namkhao were arrested and are still being detained by Thai police, who had recently secretly returned some thirty of them to Laos.
Listen to our Laos Today report for details.