HomeSoutheast Asian AmericanGovernor Jerry Brown Saves Three Southeast Asian Refugees from Deportation

Governor Jerry Brown Saves Three Southeast Asian Refugees from Deportation

Jerry Brown
The Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus in California is lauding Governor Jerry Brown’s decision to pardon three Southeast Asian Americans.

They are three of about 20 Southeast Asian immigrants who sought pardons from Brown in his last weeks in office, according to The Marshall Project.

All are facing deportation for crimes they committed in their youth.

“As families come together for the holiday season, we have another reason to be thankful. Governor Brown has helped prevent the separation of families by pardoning deserving Southeast Asian Americans,” the API Legislative Caucus said in a statement to AsAmNews.

The three who received pardons are Truong (Jay) Quang Ly, Tung Thanh Nguyen and Hai Trong Nguyen.

Hai Trong Nguyen came to the United States as a refugee at the age of two from Vietnam.

He served nearly 16 years and two years of probation for robbery and attempted robbery and use of a firearm-crimes he committed at the age of 16.

“He has shown since his release from custody (in 2017), he has lived an honest and upright life, exhibited good moral character, and conducted himself as a law abiding citizen,” Brown wrote in his pardon. “Mr. Nguyen helped found Asian and Pacific Islanders Re-entry of Orange County and has volunteered with the Anti-Recidivism Coalition.”

In 1994, Tung Thanh Nguyen was sentence for murder and robbery. He acted as a lookout while his crime partners stabbed the victim.

“Mr Nguyen has become a tireless advocate for juvenile justice reform, and was actively involved in efforts to pass Senate Bill 260 (2013), which established a separate parole hearing process for individuals who committed crimes as juveniles,” wrote Brown. He has received numerous awards for founding the Asian and Pacific Islanders Re-entry of Orange County.

Truong Jay Quang Ly served more than nine years for voluntary manslaughter. A passenger of a car Ly was driving shot and killed the driver of another car. he has been out of prison since 2009 and now owns seven restaurants. He is a current board member of API-RISE which is devoted to criminal justice reform and helps current and former Asian Pacific Islander Inmates.

“One supporter wrote that Mr Ly is the exact type of person who merits protection from deportation and should be allowed to remain in the country that he now gives back to in such a meaningful way,” said Brown.

Brown issued some 30 pardons on Wednesday and commuted the sentences of 70 more, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“Many Southeast Asian Americans are survivors of the Vietnam War and the Khmer Rouge Genocide. They were part of the largest refugee resettlement in our country’s history and were placed in poverty-ridden neighborhoods with significant crime rates. Some of these refugees were infants and children when they arrived throughout the 1980s and made mistakes in their youth resulting in prison sentences for their transgressions. Today, they have fulfilled their sentences and are now working to make positive contributions to their communities,” the API Legislative Caucus said.
“The API Legislative Caucus was proud to stand with families and advocates to urge the Governor to review these pardon applications. We thank the Governor for his acts of compassion that will help keep families together. We know there are more pardon requests from those facing deportation and we hope the Governor continues to assess the merits of each application.”
AsAmNews has Asian America in its heart. We’re an all-volunteer effort of dedicated staff and interns. Check out our Twitter feed and Facebook page for more content. Please consider interning, joining our staff or submitting a story.


  1. RE: Governor Jerry Brown Saves Three Southeast Asian Refugees from Deportation: Kudos Governor Brown and kudos to those individuals who have come around and are making positive contributions in their communities. Wow!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Worth the Time

Must Read

Regular Features


Discover more from AsAmNews

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading