News Commentary: The Hoa Nguyen saga


Yesterday the Star Tribune reported on the situations Hoa Nguyenfinds herself in. Apparently Hoa is facing deportation to Vietnam in spite of being married and having  spent ten years in the United States.  Apparently she entered the United States on a student visa, met her husband at Luther College, and continued academic studies.  They apparently had a court date in August which was missed and now Hoa was jailed to be deported.  Hoa’s family and friends post updates at a website www.freehoa.org.  The bare essential fact is she confused her court hearing and has been jailed and facing deportation as a result.

Now I do not know where Dan Hanson and Hoa are at in their spiritual life.  They are facing a difficult trial and need political pressure for any chance of not facing separation.  I would hope they are able to lean on and turn to God in this ordeal.  However, they could well be missing that source of hope and strength.  Regardless,  it is a sad situation and I pray that they may be granted mercy.  It is a sad state of affairs that getting confused and missing a court date results in such severe consequences.  Personally there have been moments where things have been confused or forgotten.  If something like this happened with me and my wife it would have been devastating.  So the wish and hope is for this couple be granted some mercy here, as they did miss the mark regarding legal immigration standards, albeit unintentionally. However, the law does not look at intention or circumstances, but rather did you do what you were supposed to do.  This is a case where there really is not a legal remedy, rather they need some form of political mercy.

It was amazing to read the comments at the Star Tribune article. The majority of responses were showing no sense of mercy and compassion and simply want the letter of the law enforced and see it as appropriate in this instance.  My thoughts went to consider how these people will be before God when God holds them to His law.  We are all guilty before God, thankfully God has given us each a chance for grace and mercy through Jesus.  We each have violated the law and face the eternal consequences.  Jesus meets the conditions for the required consequences and sets us free if we simply turn to Jesus in faith and accept his gift.  It involves surrender of self. This whole situation plays out whether the law be simply executed without any regard to the situation or any willingness for mercy.  I am glad that God has given me grace and mercy for how I have faltered and remained self-centered.  I think when the ultimate time of judgment come many will plead for special understanding and God can simply say, you did not regard circumstances for others, you failed to live righteously and did not accept the mercy and grace offered and therefore stand condemned.

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