The Families of Vietnamese Political Prisoners Association Collection contains 63 linear-feet of immigration applications, correspondence, and general office documents. The collection consists of Orderly Departure Program (ODP) Application Files, which document evidence of eligibility for immigration to the U.S. and other countries through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ (UNHCR) ODP, correspondence sent to and from the FVPPA, planning documents for reunions and celebrations, and general office documents. These records include: ODP application forms; sponsor letters; prisoner release documents; personal letters; photos; civilian identification papers; passports; birth, marriage, and death records; educational certificates; military records; minutes; agendas; legal documents; and other relevant documents.
The Families of Vietnamese Political Prisoners Association (FVPPA) campaigned for the release of re-education camp prisoners in Vietnam. The association’s records
document the individual stories of approximately 3,702 applicants for the ODP. In its work on behalf of political prisoners and refugees, the FVPPA undertook a public awareness campaign, an outreach program, and also acted as an information center for Vietnamese immigrants.
Provenance of the collection
In March of 2012 Mrs. Khuc Minh Tho, President and co-founder of the FVPPA, donated to Texas Tech University’s Vietnam Archive 63 linear-feet of documents created and collected by the FVPPA.
ODP Application Files Introduction
The application files are not in alphabetical order. The files are arranged in the order in which they were found in the original donation.
The applications contain individual documents that date from 1905 to 2001. The documents include: ODP applications; letters of introduction (LOI) from applicants and/or their sponsors; Vietnamese political prisoners’ Certificate of Release from re- education camp; personal letters; letters from family members; letters from sponsors; photos of applicants and their family members; copies of passports; copies of exit visas; copies of Vietnamese identification cards; residency and household records from an applicant’s local Vietnamese police department; marriage, birth, and death records; educational certificates; military training certificates; military awards; professional training certificates; letters of recommendation for employment; humanitarian operation (HO) papers; copies of alien resident cards; copies of Social Security cards; and medical records. When necessary, documents with personal information such as Social Security numbers and/or medical information have been removed and replaced with sanitized copies of documents.
Notes about Vietnamese names
The names of the applicants are written in the Vietnamese order: last name/surname, middle name, first name. If the applicant had a known alias it is noted on the file.
The name of the principal applicant is the name given on the file. The names of family members will also be listed. If the widow of a deceased principal applicant applied, the file is listed with her name first, followed by that of her deceased husband. If the children of a principal applicant were orphans when they applied, the file is listed under their names. Dates will be given in day-month-year order.
The files range from 1985-1999. The majority of application forms are from 1989- 1994. Another large group of applications are from 1996-1999 after the McCain Amendment (Section 595 H.R. 3540) was enacted in July of 1996, the majority of which are found in boxes 24-26. Most Amerasian applicants are found in boxes 24- 26.
An application form contains: the applicant’s name and date of birth, IV and VEWL numbers, their Vietnamese address, their sponsor’s name and date of birth and contact information; the relationship between the sponsor and the applicant; the
contact information of the closest relative(s) or acquaintance(s) of the applicant in the
U.S. and Vietnam; the military rank or U.S. employee position of the applicant; the names, addresses, and dates of birth of family members the applicant wished to have emigrate with them; and the dates and names of the re-education camp(s) in which the applicant was incarcerated.
Correspondence Files Introduction
The Correspondence series consists of 6 linear feet of letters, faxes, and emails sent from and to the FVPPA from 1974 to 2011.
The Correspondence series is organized into Incoming Correspondence and Outgoing Correspondence. The files within the series are arranged alphabetically by last name.
Vietnamese names have been put in order of first name, middle name, and surname to prevent confusion when viewed alongside English names.
Events, Interviews, and Speeches Files Introduction
The Events, Interviews, and Speeches series consists of 7 linear feet of documents from 1984 to 2012. The documents include planning documents and correspondence for events held or sponsored by the FVPPA, interviews of Khuc Minh Tho, and speeches given at the various events. The bulk of the collection pertains to the American Appreciation Day held in Houston, Texas in July, 1999, the Vietnamese Political Prisoners Reunion held in Dallas, Texas in October, 2008, and the Remember Our Heroic Father’s Day held in Washington, D.C., in June 2009.
The Events, Interviews, and Speeches series is organized by event, followed by speeches and then interviews. The events are arranged by the date of the event while the speeches and interviews are arranged by date if given.
Office Files Introduction
The Office series consists of 12 linear feet of documents from 1984 to 2010. The documents include minutes of meetings, agendas, FVPPA Board of Directors Election meetings, financial documents, reference and research material, template documents, contact lists, and general office documents. Important subjects include the McCain Amendment, Vietnamese refugees in the Philippines, Thailand, and Cambodia, resettlement to Canada, and the Amerasian Homecoming Act.
The Office series is arranged by the subseries mentioned above with each subseries in date order.