WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) led a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urging him to use every diplomatic tool possible to bring William Nguyen home from Vietnam to America. Seventeen additional Members of Congress also signed the letter, including U.S. Representatives John Culberson (R-Texas), Al Green (D-Texas), and Randy Weber (R-Texas).
“One of our most important responsibilities as elected representatives is to protect the American people, both at home and abroad,” they wrote. “Writing today as a bipartisan and bicameral group of Members of the House and Senate, we strongly urge you to use all diplomatic means at your disposal to ensure Mr. Nguyen’s swift return to the United States.”
Full text of the letter is here and below.
July 18, 2018
The Honorable Mike Pompeo
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20520
Dear Secretary Pompeo,
We thank you for your leadership in encouraging a speedy resolution to Mr. William Anh Nguyen’s case during your meetings with the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh on July 9, 2018. We are also grateful for the professional and effective work of your staff to date on this matter. We write to you today to ask that you take additional action to secure Mr. Nguyen’s release and return him to his family in the United States without further delay.
As you may know, on June 9, Mr. Nguyen arrived in Ho Chi Minh City for a short vacation before his upcoming graduation at the National University of Singapore in July. The following day, Mr. Nguyen attended peaceful demonstrations opposing the Vietnamese government’s plans to establish special economic zones (SEZs). As Vietnamese police attempted to contain these demonstrations, Mr. Nguyen was taken into police custody and investigated under Article 318, “Disturbing the Public Order.” He was subsequently charged under the criminal component of Article 318, and scheduled for trial on July 20, 2018. If convicted, Mr. Nguyen faces a possible sentence of 2 to 7 years in a Vietnamese jail and/or a fine. As elected representatives of Mr. Nguyen’s family and the greater Vietnamese-American community, we remain very concerned about the seriousness of the pending charges and the sentence he faces.
One of our most important responsibilities as elected representatives is to protect the American people, both at home and abroad. Writing today as a bipartisan and bicameral group of Members of the House and Senate, we strongly urge you to use all diplomatic means at your disposal to ensure Mr. Nguyen’s swift return to the United States.
Consistent with the mission of your Department, there is no doubt that a favorable resolution to this matter will advance the national interests of the United States and its people.