Activist Faces Misdemeanor Charges After Protest at Acting ICE Director Pham’s Home


The Henrico County police have charged a protestor with misdemeanors related to the September 8 protest at Acting Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Tony Pham’s home. According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Nancy Nguyen, executive director of VietLead, was arrested and released on her own recognizance last week in Philadelphia.

“A group of people illegally entered the Acting Director of [ICE] property,” Henrico County police Lt. Matt Pecka said in a press release. “The subjects protested at his residence, dumping trash in the yard, and caused fear to his family. The Acting Director was not present at the time of the incident.”

In September, Pham said on The John Fredericks Radio Show that he wasn’t surprised by the protests. “What happened on the eighth, with no less than eight days in my role, as I was still trying to figure out where the water cooler was, these folks targeted my wife and my kids when they should have been taking their issues up with me at my office. But instead, they chose to invade the sanctity of a person’s home and target children.”

Pham added, “They were screaming. You know, saying some really vile and nasty things. Encroaching on a person’s private property to try to harass and bully and intimidate to get to me by getting through my family.”

According to his bio at ICE, Pham immigrated to the U.S. with his parents in 1975, after the fall of Saigon, Vietnam. He studied law and worked in the Richmond and Henrico areas as a prosecutor and legal counsel. He also ran to be the Henrico Commonwealth’s Attorney.

“When we came to this nation seeking hope and opportunity as refugees, I signed a promissory note to America. 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’s bio states.

VietLead said the charges against Nguyen were “trumped up.” In a post on Facebook, the group said, “Nancy [Nguyen] was targeted for speaking out publicly against [Pham] for using his Viet refugee status to spearhead their terror campaign against Black and Brown immigrant and refugee communities.”

Henrico police spokesman Pecka said, “Two warrants were obtained for misdemeanors: 18.2-121 Entering Property of Another for the Purposes of Interfering with Property Rights and 33.2-802 Dumping Trash. With the assistance of local law enforcement, Ms. Nguyen was served on these two offenses.”

“While protesting is a protected First Amendment activity, doing so on one’s private property is illegal,” Pecka said. “Henrico Police is working to identify others who were present on September 8th.”

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Eric Burk is a reporter at The Virginia Star and the Star News Digital Network.  Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Nancy Nguyen” by fundrazr.

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