Three Vietnamese-Americans have been pardoned from being deported— thanks to California governor Jerry Brown.
Hai Trong Nguyen, Tung Thanh Nguyen and Truong Quang Ly were given clemency on November 21 by Brown after receiving deportation orders from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Los Angeles Times reported.
The three were convicted in 1999, 1997 and 1994 respectively. The governor said the three had completed their sentences and behaved well since then.
Brown has been known to pardon former refugees prior to this, despite Trump’s displeasure.
With a stricter immigration policy under the Trump administration, the three former refugees, who were convicted of assault, robbery and narcotics charges years ago, were held in custody by ICE.
But with the governor’s clemency, the three may avoid being deported.
ICE figures reveal that 71 Vietnamese were deported to their original homeland last year, compared to 35 in 2016, and 32 in 2015.
The tougher policy enforced by the Trump administration has met a backlash from critics.
Former ambassador to Hanoi Ted Osius has said the US government is breaching a 2008 bilateral agreement with Vietnam that clearly states Vietnamese citizens are not subject to return to Vietnam if they entered the United States prior to July 12, 1995.
Immigration and Customs officials, however, have backed their actions by saying 7,821 of the 8,600 Vietnamese nationals listed for deportation have had criminal convictions.