SEARAC Statement on Resignation of ICE Acting Director Tony Pham

For Immediate Release
December 14, 2020

Media contact:
Elaine Sanchez Wilson
(202) 601-2970

Washington, DC – Tony Pham, acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), announced his plans to resign last week. Pham will be resigning at the end of the year after five months leading the agency responsible for immigration enforcement. His short tenure will be remembered for its gross abuse of power from ICE, which demonstrated little regard for our refugee and immigrant communities’ health and safety during a global pandemic.
“Pham used his identity as a Vietnamese refugee to provide the Trump Administration political coverage for their abuses to the immigrant community,” said Katrina Dizon Mariategue, acting executive director of SEARAC. “From retaliating against organizers and community leaders who spoke out against ICE deportations, to plastering billboards with the faces of immigrants along highways in Pennsylvania, Pham’s resignation is indicative of ICE’s continued failure as a governmental entity and the resilience of refugee and immigrant communities despite a Trump Administration-wide effort to trample on their rights. Regardless of ICE’s leadership, SEARAC remains committed to working with our communities to end the detention and deportation of refugees and immigrants. We hope that the incoming Administration will work with advocates to stop harming our communities and defund the Department of Homeland Security and ICE.”