LE XUA arrived in Portland, Ore., five months ago as a political refugee with his wife and six children from Vietnam. A former interrogator with the South Vietnamese police force, Xua spent seven years in a communist prison, and later became a coffee and tea farmer. He and his family live in a modest apartment. He spoke through an interpreter.
"I loved my country and didn't want to leave my motherland, because my ancestors are buried there and also because I had to leave my brothers and sisters behind. But living conditions under communism became impossible, and I don't think the communists will go away there like they have in other countries. You can't trust them.... Also, they don't have any religion and we are Roman Catholic. So we came here for freedom, but we also found that life is easier here than it was in Vietnam. Also, the people are
really nice, more friendly. The first thing I want to do is learn English. Then I have a plan to find the kind of work that matches my skills - a carpenter, maybe, or some other kind of craftsman."