Rep Mike Honda (D-San Jose) warmly greeted home Vietnamese American college student Anna Ha at San Francisco International Airport after she was detained by Vietnamese authorities for nearly a week.
Immigration authorities there had accused her of affiliating with pro-democracy causes because she had attended a Vietnamese youth conference and participated in a hunger strike for peace, according to a spokesperson for Honda (pictured with Ha & her family).
Officers held and interrogated her during the week she was held.
“I am thrilled that Anna was able to rejoin her family here in California after this unnecessary ordeal,” said Rep. Honda upon her release. “Some of the key freedoms Americans enjoy in this country are the freedoms of speech and assembly. The fact that Anna was detained on suspicion of disagreeing with the Vietnamese government shines a light on the country’s troubling overall human rights record. I will continue to fight for the rights of all people to live and speak freely, whether that be through improved diplomatic efforts, increased funding for international aid, or a comprehensive immigration policy that welcomes those in desperate need of political asylum.”
Honda advocated for Ha’s release after being contacted December 10. The UC Davis student and Cupertino, CA resident had been studying abroad there since August.