ICE Acting Director Tony Pham to step down in December
WASHINGTON – Acting Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Tony Pham will step down at the end of this year less than five months after starting his tenure at the agency.
Pham, who was appointed to the post by President Donald Trump in August this year, said in a statement obtained by Spectrum News that he was “grateful” for the time he spent in the service of the administration. , adding that he was withdrawing in order to be closer to his family.
“I am grateful to the Trump administration for granting me the greatest honor of my career serving my adopted country as senior legal counsel and senior official serving as Director of Immigration and Customs American, ”the statement read. in part.
“Leading a law enforcement agency with such a committed workforce has been the honor of a lifetime. I have been able to meet many amazing employees across the United States. I will continue to be this tireless advocate for the hardworking men and women at ICE, “Pham continued. “However, at the end of the year, I will be returning home to Richmond, Virginia, to be closer to my family.”
The planned departure will come less than five months after Pham was chosen to succeed former ICE director Matthew Albence. Taking on the role of ICE’s top law enforcement official, Pham led the day-to-day operations and supervised the agency’s more than 20,000 employees.
Shortly after Pham took control of the agency, ICE conducted Operation Rise in California, resulting in the arrest of 128 illegal immigrants across the state. The operation targeted sanctuary towns or jurisdictions where local law enforcement agencies are limited in their cooperation with federal immigration efforts.
Sanctuary cities are a hotly debated topic between Democrats and Republicans, and President Trump has often expressed his contempt for cities that provide a safe haven for illegal immigrants. And while President-elect Joe Biden has pledged to reverse many of Trump’s immigration actions – including creating a path to citizenship and protecting DACA beneficiaries – he has made no move. indication on his plans for sanctuary cities in one way or another.
According to Pham’s biography, the outgoing director of ICE was born in Saigon and arrived in the United States as a refugee in the 1970s. Pham became an official United States citizen ten years later in 1985, his biography continues. .
“When we came to this country looking for hope and opportunity as refugees, I signed a promissory note to America. I have a debt for my freedoms and my opportunities which must be repaid, ”reads Pham’s biography. “I do this by committing to my community as a dedicated citizen and by passing on my experiences and opportunities to serve those around me.”
Prior to joining the agency as an attorney, Pham worked as an attorney for local government officials in Virginia. He then served as superintendent at the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail.