FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Friday, Oct 9, 2020

Contact: Alix Webb, alix@apipennsylvania.org, 267-235-8141

Philadelphia — Today, prominent Vietnamese-American community advocate, Co-Executive Director of Asian Pacific Islander Political Alliance (API PA) and Executive Director of VietLead, Nancy Nguyen was released after being arrested at her home by Philadelphia PD at the alleged direction of U.S. Federal Marshals. 

Nguyen was detained last night in Philadelphia on trumped-up alleged charges of “trespassing and littering” in Richmond, Virginia during a non-violent protest outside the home of newly-appointed Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E) Tony Pham several weeks ago. Pham is also of Vietnamese heritage. 

Alix Webb, Co-Executive Director of API PA, had the following statement in response to Nancy Nguyen’s release from detainment this afternoon:

“We’re breathing a little easier today knowing that Nancy has been reunited with her family and community members. To be arrested in front of her young children and detained on trumped-up charges of “trespass and littering” for peaceful protest during an escalating pandemic is nothing short of a blatant human rights violation.”

“Make no mistake, this was targeted, cross-state retaliation on a respected community leader who has been outspoken on I.C.E.’s undeniable record of abuses in our diverse Asian and immigrant communities, from family separation to the recently-revealed forced sterilization of migrant women. As we witnessed today with the mobilization of community networks to demand Nancy’s release, the scare tactics employed by ICE and the local and federal agencies it’s in bed with will not deter our communities from rising against these injustices.”

“API PA exists to make sure our communities’ values and needs are no longer sidelined, especially in times of heightened political repression and polarization. In 2020 and beyond, we’re working to unite Asian Pacific Islanders across the state to bring our power to bear first at the ballot box, and then at the table with our representatives and in the streets, to ensure that all residents of Pennsylvania, regardless of where they were born or how they came here, can live and raise their families without the fear of separation, detention, or deportation.”

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The Asian Pacific Islander Political Alliance’s (API PA) mission is to build long-term power for APIs in Pennsylvania, by coordinating political, electoral, and legislative work to hold our elected officials accountable, engaging in culturally competent and linguistically accessible direct voter contact with our communities, and building solidarity with other aligned communities of color across the state.