PRESS RELEASE: Vietnamese Refugee, Tin Nguyen, is Released from Adelanto ICE Detention Center

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, September 28, 2020

CONTACT: Tracy La, tracy@vietrise.org

Vietnamese Refugee, Tin Nguyen, is Released from Adelanto ICE Detention Center

The public and legal campaign to release Vietnamese Refugee Tin Nguyen from the Adelanto ICE Detention Center, after being incarcerated for 22 years and detained by ICE for 9 months, successfully brings Tin home to his family and loved ones.

ORANGE COUNTY, CAOn Monday afternoon, Vietnamese refugee Tin Nguyen was released from the Adelanto ICE Detention Facility and reunited with his family after 22 years of incarceration and 9 months in ICE Detention. Less than two weeks ago, a public campaign was launched to #BringTinHome to coincide with the filing of a habeas petition for Tin’s release. 

An outpouring of support from across the county and country that consisted of calls to ICE, over 600 community petition signatures, and a press conference that consisted of speakers including Tin’s three sisters and mother, Congress members Lou Correa and Alan Lowenthal, Santa Ana Council Member Vicente Sarmiento, immigration attorney Sabrina Rivera from CARECEN, and Vietnamese-American advocacy group VietRISE all came together to demand ICE release Tin and bring him home.

“I am just too excited and all I can say is finally. Tin worked so hard and long to come home. We all worked so hard together with him and now he’s coming home,” said Tin’s youngest sister, Thuy Nguyen. “Our 84-year old mother can now live the rest of her life peacefully knowing her son is home with her after being apart for 22 years.”

Tin Nguyen is a Vietnamese refugee who immigrated to the U.S. as a child. He served 22 years of incarceration due to mistakes he made as a youth. He transformed his life while incarcerated and was granted a commutation by Governor Brown in 2018 to give him a second chance to rejoin his community. He was granted parole in 2019 but instead of coming home to his family, Tin was detained by ICE.

“Every day that ICE continued to detain Tin, they were violating his constitutional right to due process, detaining him far past the legal limit that forbids indefinite civil detention, and neglecting his medical conditions as someone who is at increased risk of contracting COVID-19,” said Ben Seelig and Alex Duran, Tin’s pro bono attorneys from O’Melveny & Myers LLP. “We filed a habeas corpus petition on Tin’s behalf to force the government to explain their justification for Tin’s cruel and inhumane detention.”

“I am glad that Tin was released by ICE earlier today and is back with his family. Like many youth in the Vietnamese diaspora, Tin was only a child when he came to the U.S. in 1979. He faced numerous difficulties while trying to learn English and assimilating to his new home. Growing up, he made some bad decisions, but he has paid his debt to society,” said Congressman Lou Correa (CA-46). “Ultimately, Tin learned from his mistakes, and took steps to change his life. I am excited to see what he makes of this opportunity and overjoyed that he can finally return home to his loved ones.”

“I was proud to lead a letter to the Acting Secretary of DHS advocating for Mr. Nguyen’s immediate release and I am glad that he can now return to his family and his life. He should never have been taken into custody after his parole. Tin and his family have fought for years for him to come home,” said Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47). “I am inspired by the legal advocacy and outpouring of community support that have made his release possible.”

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Refugee Communities Call Out New Head of ICE: BRING HUMAN RIGHTS HOME!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
Sept 8, 2020 // Online Here

Contact: 

Allison Vo, VietRISE, allison@vietrise.org

Rhenie Dalger, FANM, rdalger@fanm.org
Armando Carmona, CARECEN-LA, armando@tzunu.com

Sun Bujri, SEAC Village, sun@seacvillage.org

REFUGEE COMMUNITIES CALL OUT NEW HEAD OF ICE:  BRING HUMAN RIGHTS HOME!

“Pham you’re not family!”

From Little Saigon, CA, to Miami, FL, to Washington, DC, and outside of his home in Richmond, VA, ICE director Tony Pham denounced by refugee communities

Little Saigon, Orange County, CA; Los Angeles, CA; Miami, FL; and Washington, DC — Throughout the day on Tuesday, incoming ICE Director Tony Pham was denounced by refugee communities from across the country.  Beginning on Tuesday morning, refugee communities from various cities sent a unified message – online and at ICE headquarters – delivering a statement signed by two dozen organizations representing communities living across the United States — from Little Saigon, CA, to Miami, Florida.  On the same day, a coalition of grassroots groups from across North Carolina and Virginia protested at Pham’s home in Richmond, VA.  

In the unity statement delivered on Tuesday morning, groups condemned Trump’s appointment as a racist maneuver and demanded Pham “bring human rights home” to address ICE’s myriad of human rights violations.

“When we say Bring Human Rights Home for migrants and refugees, we mean human rights for every person impacted by incarceration, every individual, every young person, every person separated from their families.  Mr. Pham must answer for the multitude of human rights violations by ICE,” said Tracy La, Executive Director of VietRISE, located in the center of the largest Vietnamese community in the United States, known as Little Saigon, in Orange County, California. 

As soon as the digital press conference ended, a delegation delivered the statement, signed by over two dozen refugee organizations to ICE headquarters.  Watch footage of the event on Wednesday morning, as refugee communities demanded to speak with Tony Pham at ICE headquarters in DC.  


“Everyday I hear stories about children being stressed, terrified, traumatized about being separated from their mothers and fathers, about ICE’s migrant prison camps, that is the legacy that Tony Pham is representing today.  In our diverse, beautiful communities in and around Miami, these refugee families are welcome, ICE is not,” said Louikencia Jean Doriscan, Community Organizer at FANM, located in the middle of the Haitian community in Miami Florida.   


The statement, available here online, made clear what it means to “bring human rights home” for an agency steeped in white supremacy and xenophobia that has deliberately dismantled US refugee protections.  

“The pre-pandemic conditions at ICE detention were awful.  Things have only gotten worse.  And this happened under Tony Pham as top legal advisor.  If he is standing behind the fact that he is a refugee, he must think about all of those unjustly detained and free them all immediately,” said Camila Alvarez, Legal Director, at CARECEN-Los Angeles.  

On the same day, communities from North Carolina and Virginia protested outside of Tony Pham’s house denouncing him for the myriad of human rights violations committed by ICE, and for serving as a “puppet” for a white nationalist administration.  

The groups at the protest – led by SEAC Village, VietLead, Charlotte Uprising, SanctuaryDMV, ColectiVA, and Comunidad, chanted in unison, “Pham you’re not family!”

“We won’t let this administration use our families, our histories to divide us,” said Vietnamese-American immigration attorney, Tin Nguyen, board member of SEAC Village, based in Charlotte, North Carolina.  

Trump’s announcement that the new head of ICE would be Tony Pham, emphasizing his background as a refugee from Vietnam, was seen as yet another maneuver to provide cover for his white nationalist strategy of attrition targeting non-white immigrants and refugees.  

“Let’s be clear, if Tony Pham tried to come to the United States today, he would be rejected by the same Trump administration he works for today,” added Nguyen. 

The full statement is included below and available here online with full list of signers.

Today, we raise our voices as refugees and the descendants of refugees – from Viet Nam, Haiti, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala; as organizations that have grown and persevered alongside refugee communities throughout the US; and as witnesses of the wretched treatment of our refugee sisters and brothers from around the world by the Trump administration, by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and by ICE.  

First, far from a sign of good will, refugee communities see the political stunt for what it really is:  another divisive tactic to provide much-needed political cover for the Trump administration’s xenophobic ideology.  Trump highlighting a government official’s refugee background, after years of showing nothing but contempt and hatred for refugees, is obviously incongruent.  It’s a familiar political routine used by nativist politicians to divide our communities.

Second, we know representation alone does not equal justice for refugees or migrants.  Pham’s refugee background does not absolve him from his most relevant work experience, serving as principal legal advisor for ICE, as the rogue agency was weaponized against undocumented workers and Black Lives Matter protestors.  During his tenure and in the midst of the pandemic, ICE’s management of immigration detention centers exacerbated a public health crisis, with spikes in cases, unsanitary conditions, use of toxic chemicals against refugees and migrants, and continued deportations.  As long as the Trump administration’s agenda is guided by white nationalist hate groups, the nominal head of ICE will have an impossible time addressing the racism and myriad human rights violations committed in the name of “homeland security.”  

For these reasons, we will not allow refugees to be utilized as pawns for political gain.  We denounce the terror sown by ICE in our communities, the existence of migrant prison camps, and the dismantling of asylum protections that has resulted in over 60 thousand asylum seekers blocked from even reaching their loved ones or relatives in the US.  We implore Pham to truly honor his refugee background and bring human rights home for all immigrants and refugees today. 

What does it mean to “bring human rights home”? For starters, if Pham has any loyalty left to refugee families that are living through what his own family and Vietnamese families lived through 45 years ago –  he will take strong steps to protect refugees by announcing:  (a.) the release of all those detained in ICE’s migrant prison camps and their immediate closures, (b.) a halt to all deportations during the pandemic, (c.) work to guarantee protections for TPS and DACA holders before January 4, 2021, and (d.) an end to ICE collusion with hate groups.  To do otherwise would mean turning his back on refugees and siding with the xenophobic, racist worldview that questions our very presence and seeks to make us disappear entirely from this country.  

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Joint Statement from Refugee Communities to New Head of ICE Tony Pham

For Immediate Release
Friday, September 4, 2020

PDF Version Here

Contact: 
Allison Vo, VietRISE, allison@vietrise.org
Rhenie Dalger, FANM, rdalger@fanm.org
Armando Carmona, CARECEN-LA, armando@tzunu.com

The following statement by groups from Vietnamese, Central American, and Haitian refugee communities, was released in response to the Trump administration announcement that Tony Pham, a refugee who arrived in the US in 1975, will lead ICE.  

On Tuesday, September 8, the groups will host a zoom press conference with voices from across the country (RSVP here: bit.ly/3gZ0XE8). 

Today, we raise our voices as refugees and the descendants of refugees – from Viet Nam, Haiti, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala; as organizations that have grown and persevered alongside refugee communities throughout the US; and as witnesses of the wretched treatment of our refugee sisters and brothers from around the world by the Trump administration, by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and by ICE.  

First, far from a sign of good will, refugee communities see the political stunt for what it really is:  another divisive tactic to provide much-needed political cover for the Trump administration’s xenophobic ideology.  Trump highlighting a government official’s refugee background, after years of showing nothing but contempt and hatred for refugees, is obviously incongruent.  It’s a familiar political routine used by nativist politicians to divide our communities.

Second, we know representation alone does not equal justice for refugees or migrants.  Pham’s refugee background does not absolve him from his most relevant work experience, serving as principal legal advisor for ICE, as the rogue agency was weaponized against undocumented workers and Black Lives Matter protestors.  During his tenure and in the midst of the pandemic, ICE’s management of immigration detention centers exacerbated a public health crisis, with spikes in cases, unsanitary conditions, use of toxic chemicals against refugees and migrants, and continued deportations.  As long as the Trump administration’s agenda is guided by white nationalist hate groups, the nominal head of ICE will have an impossible time addressing the racism and myriad human rights violations committed in the name of “homeland security.”  

For these reasons, we will not allow refugees to be utilized as pawns for political gain.  We denounce the terror sown by ICE in our communities, the existence of migrant prison camps, and the dismantling of asylum protections that has resulted in over 60 thousand asylum seekers blocked from even reaching their loved ones or relatives in the US.  We implore Pham to truly honor his refugee background and bring human rights home for all immigrants and refugees today. 

What does it mean to “bring human rights home”? For starters, if Pham has any loyalty left to refugee families that are living through what his own family and Vietnamese families lived through 45 years ago –  he will take strong steps to protect refugees by announcing:  (a.) the release of all those detained in ICE’s migrant prison camps and their immediate closures, (b.) a halt to all deportations during the pandemic, (c.) work to guarantee protections for TPS and DACA holders before January 4, 2021, and (d.) an end to ICE collusion with hate groups.  To do otherwise would mean turning his back on refugees and siding with the xenophobic, racist worldview that questions our very presence and seeks to make us disappear entirely from this country.  

Delivered on behalf of – 

VietRISE – Orange County, California

Family Action Network Movement (FANM) – Miami, Florida

CARECEN-LA – Los Angeles, California

SEAC Village – Charlotte, North Carolina

Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees – Brooklyn, New York

VietLead – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Palestinian Youth Movement – Los Angeles, Orange County, Inland Empire, California

Comunidad Colectiva – Charlotte, North Carolina 

Haitian Bridge Alliance – Aliso Viejo, California

National Day Laborer Organizing Network – Pasadena, California

Orange County Justice Fund – Orange County, California

WeCount! – Homestead, Florida

Long Beach Immigrant Rights Coalition – Long Beach, California

Koreatown Popular Assembly – Los Angeles, California

CLUE – Los Angeles, California

Vietnam Agent Orange Relief & Responsibility Campaign – New York, New York

Southeast Asian Defense Project – New York, New York

Japanese American Citizens League – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

CISPES (Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador) – Washington, D.C.

Tsuru for Solidarity – Seattle, Washington

Asian Americans United – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Khmer Anti-Deportation Advocacy Group (KhAAG) – Seattle, Washington

Southeast Asian Freedom Network

Southeast Asia Resource Action Center – Washington, D.C.

Mekong NYC – Bronx, New York

Coalition for Human Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA) – Los Angeles, California

Joint statement from Santa Ana City Council Member Vicente Sarmiento and VietRISE on Recent Incidents that Created Harm in the Vietnamese Community

September 3, 2020
View PDF here
Contact: Allison Vo, allison@vietrise.org; Office of Council Member Vicente Sarmiento: 714-647-5214

Below is a joint statement from Santa Ana City Council Member Vicente Sarmiento and Vietnamese American community group VietRISE on recent incidents that created harm and division in the Vietnamese Community in Orange County.

In addition, VietRISE Executive Director Tracy La shared the following message regarding these events to the Voice of OC on Tuesday, September 2, which read:

“It’s clear that neither the Republican Party nor the Democratic Party as it currently stands today in OC understand the nuances of our history and our experiences, and they continue to simplify us in a pro- or anti-communist dichotomy. Our elected leaders need to stop using our trauma and the history of violence that we still face today as a result of the war merely as simplified political chess pieces to win their elections or to harm each other’s parties. If congressional representatives and local elected officials really cared about the Vietnamese community, they should be equally loud about enacting things like rent control in their communities, defunding immigration enforcement, condemn the OC Sheriff Department’s complicity with Trump’s ICE regime, and ensure that working families and small businesses are protected during this unprecedented health crisis”

‘OC Democratic Leader’s Praise for Ho Chi Minh Sends Little Saigon Into Uproar’, Voice of OC (Sept 2, 2020) // Link


SANTA ANA, CAFrom Santa Ana Council Member Vicente Sarmiento: “I have proudly represented many Vietnamese Americans in my role as a member of the Santa Ana City Council since 2007.  Through the relationships I built with Vietnamese residents in the city,  I know that Vietnamese Americans have endured a painful history and prolonged trauma as a result of the war in Vietnam and their settlement in the United States.

I’m deeply saddened by the ill-advised remarks made earlier this week by a member of the Democratic Party of Orange County and all of the subsequent statements from leaders from both the Republican and Democratic Party that have reopened old wounds for many Vietnamese Americans.  I condemn all comments that are insensitive and highly offensive towards any community, and in this case, these statements harmed members of the Vietnamese community.  I commit to continue learning about the histories and experiences of Vietnamese residents and engaging directly with them in order to better understand and serve our residents.

I am joining with Vietnamese residents from community group VietRISE, a nonprofit community organization that works with residents in our city and the Little Saigon community to share this message: I implore us all to not use this incident to advance an agenda that does not center what Vietnamese residents are saying they need from us as elected officials in Orange County today, especially in the middle of a public health crisis.  We have a collective obligation as a society to be more thoughtful in our comments.  Consequently, we must demand that our leaders be held to a higher standard when using their platforms in the public square.”

From VietRISE: “We appreciate Council member Sarmiento for listening to Vietnamese residents and centering our voices as members of the community and the issues we are facing. Our elected leaders need to stop using our trauma for political gain, and to instead use their platforms and collective voices to commit to uplifting the socio-economic issues impacting working class Vietnamese residents everyday. These include enacting affordable housing, rent control, protections for immigrants, and protecting working class residents impacted by COVID-19. This is exactly the areas of change that many Vietnamese residents have said they need from our leaders in the city and across Orange County.”

Tuyên Bố Của VieRISE Về Việc Người Tị Nạn Việt Nam Cũ Mới Được Bổ Nhiệm Làm Giám Đốc Cơ Quan Thực Thi Di Trú Và Hải Quan (ICE)

XIN PHỔ BIÊN // PDF
English: Tại Đây
Thứ Ba, Ngày 25 Tháng 8, Năm 2020
Liên Lạc: Vincent Tran, vincent@vietrise.org 

Tuyên Bố Của VieRISE Về Việc Người Tị Nạn Việt Nam Cũ Mới Được Bổ Nhiệm Làm Giám Đốc Cơ Quan Thực Thi Di Trú Và Hải Quan (ICE)
Nếu Phạm còn lòng trung thành với người tị nạn, Pham sẽ bắt đầu bằng việc tuyên bố đóng cửa các trại tù di cư của ICE

Little Saigon, Quận Cam, California – Hôm thứ Ba, chính quyền Tổng Thống Trump thông báo rằng họ đã chọn Tony Phạm, một cựu người tị nạn từ Việt Nam đến Hoa Kỳ năm 1975, để đảm nhận vị trí giám đốc Cơ quan Thực thi Di trú & Hải quan (ICE). Để đáp lại lời bổ nhiệm của Phạm, Tracy La, Giám đốc Điều hành của VietRISE, đã đưa ra lời tuyên bố sau:

“Với tư cách là những người nhập cư và con cái của những người tị nạn Việt Nam, chúng tôi biết rằng nếu chỉ xét về tính đại diện thì không thể bình đẳng công lý. Đối với Pham là một người tị nạn Việt Nam không có nghĩa Pham sẽ là lãnh đạo ICE và đối xử với những người nhập cư và người tị nạn bằng phẩm giá và tôn vinh các quyền con người mà họ đáng được hưởng.

“Với tư cách là một tổ chức giới trẻ và vận động của người Việt trong cộng đồng người Việt lớn nhất tại Hoa Kỳ, đứng đầu là những thanh niên đã chứng kiến ​​nỗi kinh hoàng do ICE gieo rắc ở Little Saigon, California, chúng tôi khẩn cầu Phạm hãy nhớ đến lai lịch xuất thân tị nạn của mình và làm điều đúng đắn bằng cách tôn vinh quyền con người của tất cả những người nhập cư và tị nạn.

“Nếu Phạm còn lòng trung thành với những người tị nạn, Pham ta sẽ bắt đầu bằng việc tuyên bố đóng cửa các trại tù di cư của ICE, tạm dừng mọi hoạt động trục xuất trong thời kỳ đại dịch, chấm dứt sự thông đồng của ICE với các nhóm thù địch và ngay lập tức thả tất cả những người nhập cư đang bị giam giữ. Làm theo cách khác có nghĩa là anh ta quay lưng lại với những người tị nạn và đứng về phía một cơ quan chính phủ bất hảo vốn chỉ cho thấy mình là mối đe dọa trong cộng đồng của chúng ta.”

Thông báo này được đưa ra giữa cuộc khủng hoảng Đại Dịch COVID-19 tại các trung tâm giam giữ người nhập cư, nơi ICE đã không cung cấp cho người nhập cư sự chăm sóc bảo vệ thích hợp, dẫn đến hơn 1.000 trường hợp dương tính của dịch COVID-19 và dẫn đến cái chết của 19 người. Ngoài ra, vào đầu tháng 8, ICE đã trục xuất 30 người nhập cư Việt Nam đến Việt Nam, 12 người trong số họ bị trục xuất mặc dù đã có thỏa thuận giữa Hoa Kỳ và Việt Nam rằng không có người nhập cư Việt Nam nào định cư tại Hoa Kỳ trước tháng 7 năm 1995 sẽ bị trục xuất.

VietRISE nhẳm thúc đẩy sự công bằng xã hội và xây dựng nhiều quyền lợi với các cộng đồng người Việt Nam nhập cư và Việt Nam có thu nhập thấp tại Quận Cam. VietRISE đã phát động một chiến dịch kêu gọi các vị dân cử địa phương Việt Nam mang nhân quyền về nước cho những người nhập cư và tị nạn. Để tìm hiểu thêm, hãy vào www.vietrise.org.

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VietRISE Statement on Newly Appointed Former Vietnamese Refugee as Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE // PDF here
Tuesday, August 25, 2020
Contact: Allison Vo, allison@vietrise.org 

VietRISE Statement on Newly Appointed Former Vietnamese Refugee as Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
“If Pham has any loyalty left to refugees, he will begin by announcing the closure of ICE’s migrant prison camps”

Little Saigon, Orange County, CA – On Tuesday, the Trump administration announced that it has selected Tony Pham, a former refugee from Vietnam who came to the U.S. in 1975, to take over as director of Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE). In response to Pham’s appointment, Tracy La, Executive Director of VietRISE, issued the following statement:

“As immigrants and children of Vietnamese refugees, we know that representation alone does not equal justice. For Pham to have been a Vietnamese refugee does not mean that he will lead ICE and treat immigrants and refugees with dignity and honor the human rights that they deserve. 

“As a Vietnamese advocacy and youth organization in the largest Vietnamese community in the U.S., led by youth who have witnessed the terror sown by ICE in Little Saigon, California, we implore Pham to remember his refugee background and do the right thing by honoring the human rights of all immigrants and refugees. 

“If Pham has any loyalty left to refugees, he will begin by announcing the closure of ICE’s migrant prison camps, halt all deportations during the pandemic, cease ICE collusion with hate groups, and immediately release all of those in immigrant detention. To do otherwise would mean turning his back on refugees and siding with a rogue government agency that has only shown itself to be a menace in our communities.”

This announcement comes in the middle of a COVID-19 crisis in immigrant detention centers, where ICE has failed to provide immigrants with proper protective care, leading to over 1,000 positive COVID-19 cases and the death of 19 people. In addition, in early August, ICE deported 30 Vietnamese immigrants to Vietnam, 12 of whom were deported despite an agreement between the U.S. and Vietnam that no Vietnamese immigrants who resettled in the U.S. before July 1995 would be deported. 

VietRISE advances social justice and builds power with low-income Vietnamese and immigrant communities in Orange County. VietRISE launched a campaign to call on local Vietnamese officials to bring human rights home for immigrants and refugees. To learn more, visit www.vietrise.org.

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6.23.20 VietRISE Public Comment Support Letter: GGHS Black Student Union Petition Demands, Affirmative Action to Garden Grove City Council

To view the PDF, click here.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020 
Mayor Jones and Councilmembers of Garden Grove
11222 Acacia Pkwy
Garden Grove, CA 92840 

RE: Garden Grove Needs to Reallocate Funding from Police to Invest in Local Communities, and Support Affirmative Action

Dear Mayor Steve Jones and Councilmembers of Garden Grove, 

VietRISE unequivocally supports the Garden Grove High School Black Student Union’s call to reallocate $30 million of Garden Grove’s police budget to support local businesses, low income families, health services, housing and education.  We urge the city to proactively enact policy to make Black communities and all marginalized communities in Garden Grove feel safer by defunding the police department’s current funding allocation in the proposed 2020-2021 FY budget and reallocating it to other community services that will directly benefit and improve the lives of residents. 

Our organization is committed to dismantling systems of white supremacy and ending the criminalization of immigrants. Local policing and law enforcement are often the first point of contact where immigrants are sent to the prison-to-deportation pipeline, and Black immigrants constitute 20% of those facing deportation despite making up only 7% of non-citizens in the U.S., according to the State of Black Immigrants report. Garden Grove police has its own history of harming residents, through racial profiling, aggressive and violent practices, and abuse of power through city-funded equipment and technology.

In order for our communities to feel safe and restore public trust in government, the city must take action to codify protections for the wellbeing of their residents. Currently, the city of Garden Grove faces a budget deficit while residents continue to experience health and economic hardship due to COVID-19. According to the GGHS BSU’s petition

“Each year, the city of Garden Grove continues to increase its spending on the police budget by millions, while decreasing the money directly spent on community services. Over a two-year period of increased funding, the Garden Grove police’s use of force incidentally increased by an unacceptable 250%. The city has already projected a budget deficit of $5.2 million for FY 2020-21. During this period of financial uncertainty, we cannot provide more funds to the police department when small businesses and families are vulnerable.”

GGHS BSU’s petition

Defunding the police department and reinvesting money into community services is one of many steps that local elected officials should take to address systemic violence against Black communities. This is an opportunity for Garden Grove to be part of that change. We urge you to agendize the immediate revision of the Community Services and Community and Economic Development budget to absorb funds from the Police Department budget to reinvest in our communities through education, health, housing, and small business services for the 2020-2021 FY budget. 

Lastly, on the topic of affirmative action: according to disaggregated data provided by Asian Americans Advancing Justice in their Southeast Asian American Journeys Report (2020), Vietnamese students and families would benefit greatly from affirmative action. 43% of Vietnamese residents in California have a high school diploma, 30% have a BA or higher, 20% are low-income and/or experiencing poverty, and 50% have limited-English proficiency, the highest in the state of CA. Furthermore, the passage of Proposition 209 in 1996 harmed women and communities of color the most for the past two decades. For example, Black and Latino students admitted to the University of California decreased between 12 and 60 percent since it passed, and women in California make on average 80 cents for every dollar a man is paid; for women of color and single moms, that amount decreases to 60 cents per dollar. 

Not only will affirmative action benefit Vietnamese students and families, it will benefit and help improve the lives of Black, Latino, Indigenous, and other Southeast Asian communities by preventing discrimination and ensuring quality of opportunity in California. Therefore, as Vietnamese community members we also urge you to support affirmative action across the state.

PRESS RELEASE: 406 Residents, 19 Orange County Organizations, Call on Garden Grove to Pass Ordinance Banning Evictions and Met with Silence by City Council

View the PDF at this link here.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 13, 2020
Contact: Tracy La, tracy@vietrise.org


In Letters to City Council, 406 Residents, 19 Orange County Organizations, Call on Garden Grove to Pass Ordinance Banning Evictions and Met with Silence by City Council


Following the evictions of 10 Vietnamese and immigrant-owned businesses in April during COVID-19 in Garden Grove, the businesses and workers partnered with community organizations and residents to launch a petition calling on the Garden Grove City Council to ban all evictions during COVID-19. As of Wednesday morning, the petition had 406 signatures, including other small business owners and elected officials, as well as 19 community organizations and non-profit agencies that signed on the call to action.


On Tuesday evening, over 55 public comments were sent in by residents and community organizations to the city council to take action to ban evictions. However, only 19 comments were received by the Garden Grove City Council during their official meeting, and none of the comments sent in by residents were read out loud. In addition to the call to ban evictions, residents are concerned by their ability to be able to publicly address the Council, given the council’s decision to cancel all in-person meetings. In a virtual era of governance forced upon residents by COVID-19, residents are questioning their accessibility to their own local government and whether or not their voices and concerns will be heard by the City Council.


As of Wednesday morning, there has been no official response from the City Council to the public about whether or not the City will consider agendizing an ordinance to ban evictions. Meanwhile, the 10 evicted businesses have been forced to relocate to other sites in cities across Orange County, and some are still struggling to find permanent lots to protect and run their businesses.


The residents will continue to engage City Council and are encouraging residents to continue signing onto the petition to ban evictions in Garden Grove. The number of signatures on the petition and the full petition can be found at this link: bit.ly/stopevictionsingg.

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COVID-19 Orange County Community Resources

We are working together as a team of educators, students, community organizations, grassroots organizers, and more to compile resources and guides for community members during this time. Please note we are not healthcare professionals, and these resources should not take the place of advice from medical or healthcare professionals. Rather, we are a group of long-time community advocates who believe we are stronger when we work together and support each other.

We put together the resources below with love and with a sense of groundedness to support our community members and provide reassurance during this time. If you would like to contact the Orange County COVID-19 Community Response Team directly, please email general@vietrise.org.

View the Spreadsheet: COVID-19 Orange County Community Resources Master List


Please use the tabs on the bottom of the spreadsheet above to navigate different categories of resources. Currently, the categories we have are the following:

  • Infographics: Posters and infographics covering a wide range of topics, in multiple languages
  • School Info/Free Food: Information on OC school district closures and food distribution programs
  • Physical Health: FAQs and resources about COVID-19 virus and infection
  • Mental Health: Tips and resources to fend off anxiety
  • Labor & Worker Rights: Resources and information for California residents
  • Immigration: Resources and news regarding access to healthcare and rights
  • Assistance Programs: Resources for food, financial assistance, transportation, hygiene, and more
  • Other Resource Guides: Links to other resource guides, some of which are for different areas, and mutual aid resources. More will be added as needed.



Note: Because of the rapid changes regarding COVID-19 policies and suggestions made by government officials, many resources and organizations are currently evaluating their capacity for services right now. As a result, some of the resource pages may seem a bit bare. These pages will continue to be updated as we get updates from the organzations. Please check back periodically to see what has been added.

Thank you to the community members for helping put together this doc: Indigo V., Julissa L., Kathy T., Lena T., Tracy L., members of VietRISE, Chispa, CA Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative, and more. Thank you to all the community members who are continuing to send us the most recent updates!