Man Sues for Passport to Return Home to Die

Tuesday, May 18, 2010  |  Updated 10:15 AM PDT
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Man's Dying Wish: Passport

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An 88-year-old Laotian man is suing U.S. immigration authorities in San Francisco for his passport so he can to go back home and die with his family by his side.

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An 88-year-old Laotian man is suing U.S. immigration authorities in San Francisco, not to stay in the country, but to go back home.

The Visalia man applied for political asylum in 2008 but now says he is in poor health and wants to be reunited with his wife and children in Laos before his death.

"I'm not in good health now," he said through a translator. "My wife and children are still back in Laos. I want to go back and see them before anything happens and I die."

But he says immigration officials have refused to return his Laotian passport, which they seized when he applied for asylum.

He filed the suit on May 10 using just his last name, Xiong, to hide from Laotian authorities, who imprisoned him for working with American troops during the Vietnam War.

Xiong's attorney says an immigration judge is not scheduled to hear his case until next year, which may be too late for his ailing client.

A U.S. immigration spokeswoman said she would not comment on a pending case.

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