The Trump administration's move to reinterpret a decade-old repatriation agreement has some Vietnamese in the Greater Boston area on high alert. Some are concerned, and others unperturbed.

The agreement with Vietnam was signed in 2008 under then President George W. Bush. It contains a clause barring the deportation of Vietnamese immigrants who came to the United States before July 1995, when the two countries restored diplomatic ties.

Immigration attorneys argue the clause has long been interpreted to exempt pre-1995 Vietnamese immigrants from deportation proceedings.

"In the Vietnamese community, people don't necessarily know the technicalities of the repatriation agreement, but everyone knows that if you're pre-1995, you're supposed to be protected," said Bethany Li, directing attorney for the Asian Outreach Unit of Greater Boston Legal Services.

Li, who represents clients in immigration court and dispenses legal advice at a weekly clinic in Dorchester, said she advises clients with a range of convictions. Since Trump was elected, the organization has seen a steady increase in fearful inquiries about how a new U.S.-Vietnam agreement might impact them, she added.

"The vast majority of people that we've seen have been people with old criminal convictions," she said, adding that sometimes clients might be eligible to have their sentences vacated.

The Department of Homeland Security is prioritizing the removal of 7,000 Vietnamese "convicted criminal aliens" with deportation orders, according to a statement from Katie Waldman, a department spokesperson. It remains unclear exactly how many of the 7,000 are immigrants who might otherwise be shielded under the repatriation agreement.

"These are non-citizens who during previous administrations were arrested, convicted and ultimately ordered removed by a federal immigration judge," Waldman said.

She declined to elaborate on whether Washington is acting unilaterally or jointly renegotiating the agreement with Hanoi.

Responses in the Vietnamese community to the development vary, but many agree opinions tend to fall along political and generational lines.

"We really want the Vietnamese government and the U.S. to uphold the current repatriation agreement and uphold the protections that are afforded for the Vietnamese community and Vietnamese refugees," said Kevin Lam, organizing director of the Dorchester-based Asian American Resource Workshop. Lam said it has been "distressing" for some immigrants to be under the threat of deportation back to a country they might not know or "fled from because of war and genocide that the U.S. had a hand in."

Lam, 29, is a first-generation Vietnamese and Lao American. His parents were born in Laos and Vietnam, then came to the U.S. in the 1980s. Lam told WGBH News he is a registered independent but tends to lean toward the left side of the political spectrum. He said his progressive views are part of what led him to his work with the Asian American Resource Workshop.

"For me, it's about being accountable to the history of U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia and being accountable for protecting the folks who came here out of necessity to survive," he said.

Lam's views stand in direct contrast with people like Chau Kelley, political chair of the organization Vietnamese-American Community of Massachusetts.

"If you're a law-abiding citizen, or you have a green card, you have nothing — absolutely nothing — to worry about," Kelley said. "If we're lenient and we just look away while all these people commit crimes [without] consequences, this country will become a lawless land."

Kelley, 45, said she came to the U.S. with her family in 1994 as a 20-year-old. She identifies as a Republican and supports both President Donald Trump and the move to reinterpret the 2008 agreement.

Kelley is something of an anomaly to the generational-political stereotype. She and many others agree, senior-aged Vietnamese-Americans tend to be more conservative and more supportive of the policy change. The younger members of the community are, the more left-leaning their views become.

Khang Nguyen, vice president of the Vietnamese-American Community of Massachusetts, has been discussing the issue with state lawmakers and is taking a public stance in support of preserving the agreement as-is.

Nguyen, 51, arrived from Vietnam in 1984 by way of a Thai refugee camp. He identifies as a Republican, but not a Trump supporter. He said he does not support a renegotiation or reinterpretation of the U.S.-Vietnam agreement.

"If you commit a crime, you have to serve a sentence in the U.S. first," he said. "They've paid the price for what they did. Then you deport them? I don't think it's fair. It's not fair for the people who deserve a second chance."

Nguyen said, however, if the agreement does change, deportations should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, with priority focus on violent criminals and repeat offenders.