Immigrant Activist Arrested For Protesting at ICE Director’s Home, Littering

nancy nguyen

An immigrant rights activist was arrested on Thursday over alleged trespassing and littering on ICE Director Tony Pham‘s lawn during a protest in early September. 

Protesting ICE: Nancy Nguyen, who heads the prominent Vietnamese activist group Vietlead, protested outside Pham’s home in Virginia on Sept. 8, reported WHYY.

  • Demonstrators were protesting the condition of federal immigration detainees, placing signs on his lawn.
  • City police and federal officers apprehended Nguyen in her Philadelphia home around 7:30 p.m., according to a statement from VietLead.


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  • Around 50 supporters from VietLead and other organizations flocked to the Philadelphia Police Department headquarters to protest her arrest. 

  • After being held in police custody, Nguyen was released without bail after 5 p.m. the next day.  
  • In response to the protests, Pham said he understands the protesters’ concerns, but denounced that the protest was done in his home and not in his office, reported WRIC.

Respected leader: The veteran organizer’s release was celebrated by her family, supporters and two of Philadelphia City’s Councilmembers Helen Gym and Kendra Brooks.


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THANK YOU BEAUTIFUL COMMUNITY Photo description: Photo of Nancy hugging her spouse with text that reads “welcome home Nancy! Cảm ơn community for helping us get Nancy out!!” Slide 2 text: Nancy Nguyen, the Executive Director at VietLead, has finally been released to her kids and family after 21 hours in detention by the Philadelphia Police Department on trumped up charges at the 8th and Race Roundhouse, at the threat of being extradited to Virginia. She was handcuffed while changing her 1-year-old’s diaper, before she had any dinner. Slide 3: Nancy was targeted for speaking out publicly against ICE Director Tony Pham for using his Viet refugee status to spearhead their terror campaign against Black and Brown immigrant and refugee communities. The news of her release came after a nationally organized call storm and media campaign to #FreeNancy. The Philadelphia Police Department repeatedly and purposefully obscured, withheld, and gave the public misleading and false information to deter our efforts. We continued pushing alongside many, many comrades, youth and beloved local and national community who worked tirelessly to make sure that Nancy comes home. Slide 4 text: THANK YOU for showing up in the face of state violence and intimidation and for showing them the love that we are made of. We will continue struggling towards our collective liberation like seedlings towards the sun. Together we are strong, together we can win. Đoàn kết gia đình hỡi, Đoàn kết gia đình ơi! #FuckTonyPham #AbolishICE #FuckPPD #AbolishThePolice #WeLoveYouNancy #WeLoveYouCommunity

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  • Upon her release, she was welcomed by hugs and cheers from the crowd waiting for her.
  • “I didn’t know y’all were here, it’s really cold down there and there were a lot of people down there,” the 38-year-old leader was quoted by the Philadelphia Inquirer as saying.
  • Ngyuen is thought to be one of Philadelphia’s most respected young leaders, having actively participated in, as well as organized, protests concerning Asian American and Vietnamese communities.
  • In her statement, Nguyen did not address charges against her but noted that “There’s a lot of questions and you’ll be hearing more from us.”

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