While many Vietnamese immigrants in the U.S. have expressed concerns about socials issues and the image of America, others are holding out hope for new economic opportunities ahead of Friday’s presidential inauguration of Donald Trump.
James Huynh, 23, from California told VnExpress: “What I fear most is more violence towards ethnic minorities, for example, the Muslims, due to discrimination under the new president.”
Huynh added that Trump’s plan to replace most aspects of Obama’s health care law will also threaten millions of Americans who are being provided medical coverage under the so-called Obamacare. If he carries out tax reforms by reducing taxes for the rich, the wealth gap will continue to grow.
Nguyen Hoang Thang in Washington shared the same opinion, saying: “Personally, I don’t support a racist like Trump. The president should be someone who represents the entire United States, rather than a representative of 1 percent of the country’s richest segment.”
The 25-year-old man said that Trump becoming the 45th President has stirred up controversy among Americans, who have given the country a new name: the Divided States of America. He hopes the U.S. will not see another great depression like that of the 1930s, when the presidential seat, the Senate and the House of Representatives were all under the control of the Republicans.
The 58th Presidential Inauguration of Donald Trump will take place on January 20 in Washington D.C. with the attendance of an expected 800,000 spectators, down from the estimated 1.8 million who flocked to Washington for Obama’s 2009 inauguration.
Reuters cited a poll taken from January 4-8 by American market research group Gallup as saying that 55 percent of the respondents had an unfavorable view of Trump while 40 percent of Americans still had a favorable view.
Vietnamese can be found among the latter group too; and they are not hiding their excitement over what the new presidency could bring. They can be spotted discussing the subject in restaurants, cafes and community outings.
“I hope Trump will keep his promises, generating more jobs for Americans and making America great again,” said William Le, a Vietnamese American from California, who believes Trump will boost the U.S. economy.
Le added that the New York Stock Exchange dropped several thousand points on November 8, the day Trump defeated Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, but it bounced back the following day to show investors’ belief in the president-elect.
He also believes Trump will make a fierce Commander-in-Chief of the United States Armed Forces after he secured a promise from the CEO of Lockheed Martin, an aerospace and defense company, to significantly lower the price of the F-35 fighter jet.
Trump’s bold actions, including appointing oil tycoon Rex Tillerson as secretary of state and the phone call with Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen, have convinced Le that the U.S. foreign policy and military under Trump will be stronger and will not be overshadowed by other countries.
“I think under the Trump administration, the United States will change for the better; we’ll achieve social stability and all countries will have to respect international law,” Le said.
Phan Vo Trung Hieu from Massachusetts hopes Trump’s plans to loosen regulatory oversight of key industries, corporate tax cuts and investing in infrastructure will boost the economy and open up new opportunities for America.
Meanwhile, Nguyen Cong Chanh from California supports Trump’s stance on Russia, which he said is necessary to prevent China’s expansion in the East Sea, internationally known as South China Sea. Chanh believes Trump has the stamina to face the powerful and conservative Republicans.
Even in the face of widespread anti-Trump rallies, Ha Nguyen from Texas remained calm, saying opposition and criticism are inevitable, but “it’s normal”.