Vietnamese Catholic refugees arrive in U.S. diocese

.- Thanks to Catholic Charities, about 3,600 Christian refugees from Hmong, Vietnam, will be resettled in Wisconsin. Almost 300 of these will be in La Crosse.

These refugees are a Catholic minority from Northern Vietnam, who were persecuted by the Vietnamese government for their faith.

The first of 28 Hmong refugee families, who are expected to resettle in La Cross, arrived Tuesday from Thailand, reported the La Crosse Tribune.

Most of the refugee families have relatives living in La Crosse, which officials believe will ease the process of assimilation. The refugees will be eligible for welfare-to-work services, food stamps and Medicaid. Wisconsin also has made $1 million available to counties, expecting large numbers of Hmong, to help pay for job training.

The refugees were among 15,000 Hmong who have been living in makeshift conditions in a temple compound, north of Bangkok, since the refugee camps there closed several years ago.

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