Latest Newsletter🍵 New alcohol/cancer study in AsiansRead


Controversial Acting Ice Director Tony Pham to Quit After 5 Months

Tony Pham

    Asian America Daily - in under 5 minutes

    Get our collection of Asian America's most essential stories, to your inbox daily, for free!

    Unsure? Check out our Newsletter Archive

    Acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Tony H. Pham will step down from office by the end of the year, citing personal reasons.

    The Vietnamese American official replaced Matt Albence in the role in August, heading the enforcement agency in numerous operations that targeted illegal immigrants across the country — including “sanctuary” cities that supposedly protected them.

    Image via Immigration and Customs Enforcement

    In early October, Pham oversaw the installation of billboards along highways in Pennsylvania that showed the faces of “at-large immigration violators who may pose a public safety threat.”

    During Pham’s leadership, ICE also implemented a policy that allowed officers to arrest and deport undocumented immigrants who have stayed in the U.S. for less than two years.

    Images via Immigration and Customs Enforcement

    Pham expressed gratitude to the Trump administration for giving him the “single highest honor” of his career. He will resign to be closer to his family.

    “I am grateful for the Trump administration for providing me the single highest honor of my career in serving my adopted country as both the Principal Legal Advisor and the Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Director at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement,” Pham said in a statement.

    “Leading a law enforcement agency with such a committed workforce has been the honor of a lifetime. I have gotten to meet with many extraordinary employees across the United States. I will continue to be that tireless advocate for the hard working men and women at ICE.

    “However, at the end of the year, I will be returning home to Richmond, Virginia to be closer to my family.”

    Pham arrived in the U.S. as a 2-year-old refugee in 1975. Ten years later, he and his family became Americans, saying that they had followed the “lawful path to citizenship.”

    Pham attended law school and eventually became a prosecutor, handling gang, firearms and narcotics cases. He also worked as a jail superintendent in Virginia.

    In January, Pham became the ICE principal legal advisor. He held the position until he replaced Albence in August.

    Soon after his appointment, Pham led operations in California that led to the arrest of 128 illegal immigrants. Of those, 96% had convictions or pending charges for crimes such as homicide, sexual assault, sexual offenses against children, weapons offenses and domestic violence, according to Fox News.

    Pham’s operations have also received criticism. For one, current and former ICE officials, as well as legal experts, called the Pennsylvania billboards “politically motivated,” according to BuzzFeed News.

    His leadership also struggled to contain COVID-19 in immigrant detention facilities. In the 2020 fiscal year, 21 died in ICE custody, more than a third of which tested positive for the coronavirus, according to CNN.

    Feature Images via Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (left, right)

    Support our Journalism with a Contribution

    Many people might not know this, but despite our large and loyal following which we are immensely grateful for, NextShark is still a small bootstrapped startup that runs on no outside funding or loans.

    Everything you see today is built on the backs of warriors who have sacrificed opportunities to help give Asians all over the world a bigger voice.

    However, we still face many trials and tribulations in our industry, from figuring out the most sustainable business model for independent media companies to facing the current COVID-19 pandemic decimating advertising revenues across the board.

    We hope you consider making a contribution so we can continue to provide you with quality content that informs, educates and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way.  Thank you for everyone's support. We love you all and can't appreciate you guys enough.

    Support NextShark

    Mastercard, Visa, Amex, Discover, Paypal