WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 14, 2015) — U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Al Franken (D-Minn.) on Thursday made the following statements marking Hmong-American Day in Minnesota, which celebrates the rich cultural heritage of the state’s vibrant Hmong-American community.
Governor Tim Pawlenty issued a proclamation declaring May as Hmong American Minnesota Day.
“I’m proud to represent the state with the second largest Hmong population in the United States and the largest urban Hmong population in the world,” Sen. Klobuchar said. “The more than 77,000 Hmong people who call Minnesota home have made extraordinary contributions to our state, while also preserving the culture and traditions of their homeland, and I will continue working in partnership with Minnesota’s Hmong to keep this community strong.”
“It’s a great privilege to work on behalf of Minnesota’s vibrant Hmong-American community,” said Sen. Franken. “Over the past 40 years, this important community has provided both economic and cultural contributions to our state, and I deeply value the partnership that we’ve built together. I’m fighting for Minnesota’s Hmong-Americans every day in the Senate, and I look forward to continuing my advocacy on behalf of the community.”
Minnesota is home to one of the largest Hmong-American populations in the country. Sens. Klobuchar and Franken both marked Hmong-American day—which is recognized in Minnesota—and said they believe that the Hmong have not received the recognition they deserve for their actions to save countless American lives during the Vietnam War.
Sen. Klobuchar previously passed a bipartisan resolution, cosponsored by Sen. Franken, to honor the Khmer and Lao/Hmong Freedom Fighters for their brave support of the United States during the Vietnam War. The resolution recognizes the Freedom Fighters for their heroic efforts to support and defend the United States during the conflict in Southeast Asia. Sen. Klobuchar also introduced a resolution calling for a National Lao-Hmong Recognition Day.
Sen. Franken helped write a Senate resolution on Thursday, cosponsored by Sen. Klobuchar, to recognize May 2015 as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and to honor the 40th anniversary of the Hmong community’s forced exit from Laos following the U.S withdrawal from Vietnam.