Acting ICE director Tony Pham announced plans to step down from his position by the end of the year, reports Spectrum News.
The announcement comes less than five months after he was initially appointed by President Donald trump in August. Pham cites wanting to be closer to his family as the reason for his resignation.
“I am grateful for the Trump administration for providing me the single highest honor of my career in serving my adopted country as both the Principal Legal Advisor and the Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Director at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement,” Pham said in a statement.
“Leading a law enforcement agency with such a committed workforce has been the honor of a lifetime. I have gotten to meet with many extraordinary employees across the United States. I will continue to be that tireless advocate for the hard working men and women at ICE. However, at the end of the year, I will be returning home to Richmond, Va. to be closer to my family.”
Despite his brief tenure, his time as ICE director was not without controversy. Pham, a refugee from Vietnam, has been criticized by other Asian Americans for his stance on immigration.
According to Fox News, the first few weeks of Pham’s leadership of ICE saw 128 undocumented immigrants detained in California as part of Operation Rise. The operation was particularly controversial for its targeting of sanctuary cities.
Pham’s departure from ICE will come just ahead of the transition to the Biden-Harris administration.
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