Vietnamese Refugee Opens Up About His American Life - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Vietnamese Refugee Opens Up About His American Life

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KENNEWICK, WA- After the terrorist attacks that occurred in Paris last week, there has been a lot of talk about refugees.Governor Jay Inslee has plans for Washington to embrace compassion and continue to welcome those seeking refuge from persecution.

On Monday, in his statement, Inslee referred back to the term of Republican Governor Dan Evans in the 1970's, back to a time when we were in a global crisis were welcoming Vietnamese refugees into the United States. On Friday, we talked with a Vietnamese refugee who came to America in 1975. 

At the age of 18, Si Van Chung came to America as a refugee. He has been in Kennewick for 40 years but told us about his first few days in America, "our community is so nice, so lovely people". 

When he first got here, he was sponsored by families from the First Lutheran Church, "they loved me a lot and anywhere they go with their kid, they take me with them". Si came to America alone and he's now the owner of Golden Dragon, a popular Asian grocery store, a husband and he's a father. He said he didn't get to where he is today alone, "friends and lot of people helping me, i don't feel alone to do anything". 

Si spoke on behalf of refugees saying, "they don't have that much freedom, they try to get out and have better life, any country that want to help them is good for them". 

He says he continues to worry for fellow refugees now, "you have about a thousand here, one bad, makes the rest of them look bad". 

Friday afternoon, Governor Jay Inslee responded to Senators in a letter detailing the refugee screening process. To read the letter click this link. 

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