An Open Letter to Vice-President / Presumptive Democratic Nominee Joe Biden
Dear Mr. Vice-President:
I have been both a Republican and a Democrat. I’m now an independent voter in a state you’re not likely to flip so I’m not sure there’s any value in responding to me. None the less I wanted to write this letter. I would like to vote for you. But I find it hard to.
As the mythology goes, in September 1974 I was born in Saigon, Vietnam and left at an orphanage. I was very sick but none the less airlifted out. I was one of the sickest of the orphans airlifted out of Vietnam and upon entry in to the US I was hospitalized and care was administered to me. My survival chances were not good. I would have most likely died had it not been for the sacrifices made by the US Military in Vietnam up to that point and the medical care I received upon entry to the United States.
It’s my understanding that prior to the evacuation; you were against bringing over Vietnamese refugees. Put simply, had you succeeded in influencing the President; I would likely have died during the fall of Saigon. The medical care in Saigon just wasn’t there to keep me alive. But because I was able to come to the United States, my life was saved.
‘As South Vietnam collapsed at the end of the Vietnam War in the spring of 1975, President Gerald Ford and the U.S. government undertook to evacuate thousands of South Vietnamese families who had assisted the U.S. throughout the war. The leading voice in the Senate opposing this rescue effort was then-Sen. Joe Biden…
…But Biden objected and called for a meeting between the president and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to voice his objections to Ford’s funding request for these efforts. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who led the meeting, told the senators that “the total list of the people endangered in Vietnam is over a million” and that “the irreducible list is 174,000.”’
(Dunleavy, 2019, “The US has no obligation: Biden fought to keep Vietnamese refugees out of the US”)
As I evaluate presidential candidates, I would like to vote for you truly. But I’d also like to know if you were presented with this scenario today what your vote would be, or even if you have any remorse, or are sorry for trying to deny me and thousands of Vietnamese refugees into the United States during the fall of Saigon in 1975.
Had President Gerald Ford not evacuated me I’d likely not be here to write this letter. Once again I’m not from a swing state. I’m from a state that wouldn’t flip blue if the red side were completely burning hotter than the California or Australian wildfires so there’s no real reason to expect a response. But I wanted to ask anyway.