Vietnamese Refugee Appointed the New Acting Director of ICE

Vietnamese Refugee Appointed the New Acting Director of ICE
Ryan General
August 27, 2020
A Vietnamese refugee is taking over Immigration and Customs Enforcement as the agency’s new acting director.
Director in an “acting capacity”: Tony Pham, who was previously ICE’s leading prosecutor, has been tapped by the Trump administration to replace career official Matt Albence, reports the Washington Examiner.
  • Pham’s appointment, officials confirmed Tuesday, comes as ICE facilities face backlash for their handling of COVID-19 in immigration detention centers as well as a reduction in the number of immigrants allowed into the country, BuzzFeed reported.
  • “As a seasoned leader with DHS, Tony will ensure ICE continues to safeguard our country’s borders from crime and illegal immigration,” an ICE spokesperson said.
  • Pham will reportedly be leading the agency “in an acting capacity” by becoming the latest “senior official performing the duties of the director.”
  • In assuming his new office, he will vacate his previous post as ICE’s principal legal advisor.
  • Pham will have a bigger responsibility for running ICE, which oversees the largest immigration detention system in the world.
Seasoned leader: In 1975, Pham and his family came to the United States as refugees from Vietnam. Pham’s family became U.S. citizens 10 years later.
  • According to an email he sent to ICE attorneys at the start of his career with the agency, he pointed out his family followed the “lawful path to citizenship.”
  • Pham earlier worked as a prosecutor for eight years before serving as an attorney for local government offices in Richmond, Virginia.
  • He was eventually assigned to oversee the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail.
  • As superintendent, Pham said he tried to make reforms in the facility.
  • “I owe a debt for my freedoms and opportunities which must be repaid. I do so by committing to my community as a dutiful citizen and to pass along my experiences and opportunities to serve those around me,” Pham wrote in his bio.
Feature Image via ICE
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