Asian Americans Advancing Justice - LA

Building upon the legacy of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center

Advancing Justice Statement on Appointment of Tony Pham as ICE Director

LOS ANGELES, CA - (August 28, 2020) — On August 25, ICE announced that Tony Pham, a Vietnamese refugee, will be its next Acting Director. As lawyers, advocates, and members of immigrant and refugee communities, we have witnessed firsthand the terror and trauma that ICE inflicts on our communities. We have seen ICE rip apart families, lock immigrants in cages, and deny people even the most basic human rights. And these cruel detention and deportation practices have not spared even those who, like Tony Pham, fled to this country seeking refuge from violence and war. The United States has already deported over 2,000 Southeast Asian refugees, and 15,000 more live under constant fear that ICE will abruptly tear them away from their homes and their loved ones. Tony Pham’s emphasis on his family’s “lawful path” to citizenship perpetuates an ahistorical and harmful narrative that ignores the harshness of our immigration system and dismisses the humanity of the millions of immigrants in the United States who are at risk of deportation. We reject this narrative. Tony Pham does not represent or speak for our communities, and his appointment as ICE Director in no way changes the fundamental cruelty of an agency that exists to criminalize immigrants. The United States must defund ICE and end the violence of deportation, and we will continue to fight for a future where our immigrant and refugee families can finally feel safe in their homes.
You can take action today to help us protect Vietnamese refugees from ICE. Tien Pham came to the United States when he was a child and was resettled in an impoverished and gang-controlled neighborhood, where he was bullied on a daily basis. At 17, he was arrested for a fight with a group of other youth and sentenced to life in prison. After 20 years in prison, a parole board recommended he be released, citing his rehabilitation, but ICE plans to arrest him on his release date. Call today to stop his transfer to ICE:
Liza Ameen, Advancing Justice – Los Angeles, (213) 977-7500 x258, [email protected]
About Advancing Justice - LA: 
Asian Americans Advancing Justice is a national affiliation of five leading organizations advocating for the civil and human rights of Asian Americans and other underserved communities to promote a fair and equitable society for all. The affiliation’s members are: Advancing Justice | AAJC (Washington, DC), Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus (San Francisco), Advancing Justice – Los Angeles, Advancing Justice – Atlanta, and Advancing Justice – Chicago.
Friday, August 28, 2020


Advancing Justice-LA's helplines prioritize assistance to low-income persons in the following areas of law: family, immigration, public benefits, employement, housing, and civil rights. 

English: 888.349.9695
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Our mission is to advocate for civil rights, provide legal services and education, and build coalitions to positively influence and impact Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders and to create a more equitable and harmonious society.