Congresswoman Katie Porter Leads Bipartisan Group in Requesting Additional Action to Secure American Michael Nguyen’s Release from Vietnam

February 25, 2019
Press Release
Bipartisan request comes from 27 members of Congress ahead of summit in Hanoi, calls on President to assist American citizen detained in Vietnam

WASHINGTON – Ahead of President Trump’s summit with Kim Jong Un in Hanoi this week, Congresswoman Katie Porter (CA-45), Congressman Brad Sherman (CA-30), and Congressman Ted S. Yoho (FL-3) called on President Trump to take additional action to secure the release of Michael Nguyen, an American citizen from Orange County detained in Vietnam. Michael has been held without formal charges for over seven months.

Reps. Porter, Sherman, and Yoho were joined in their request by a bipartisan group of 24 House colleagues. Rep. Sherman and Rep. Yoho serve as the Chairman and lead Republican of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation.

“For over seven months, a member of our Orange County community, Michael Nguyen, has been detained abroad with no formal charges being brought nor evidence of wrongdoing being presented—this is not how Americans should be treated,” said Congresswoman Porter. “Our citizens deserve due process and rule of law, regardless of where they travel. I hope the President delivers this message clearly and strongly to the Vietnamese government during his trip to Hanoi.”

“It is unacceptable that an American with no criminal record can be held in prison without being charged for nearly eight months,” said Congressman Sherman. “I urge Vietnam to release Michael immediately so he can be with his wife, Helen, and their four children.”

“There is a strong bipartisan effort in the U.S. Congress to facilitate the release of U.S. citizen Michael Nguyen from the Vietnamese government,” said Congressman Yoho. “Congresswoman Katie Porter represents Mr. Nguyen and his family in Orange County California. Mr. Nguyen has been held for over 7 months without charges or even being able to contact his family. We ask for the Vietnamese government and Prime Minister Phuc to allow Michael to come home to his wife and four daughters. This is a very important time in U.S. – Vietnam relations and we hope with the influence of President Trump working with the government of Vietnam, we can help facilitate Michael’s release.”

In a letter to the President, the bipartisan group of Representatives wrote, “As elected officials, it our responsibility to protect the American people both at home and abroad. We urge you to prioritize the swift and fair resolution of Mr. Nguyen’s case, and his safe return home to the United States, during your visit to Vietnam.”

Earlier this month, Rep. Porter invited Michael’s wife Helen as her guest to President Trump’s State of the Union address. Michael’s prolonged detention has put unimaginable stress on his wife and their four daughters. Due to Michael’s prolonged detention, the family has already lost their small business.

Michael is being held in the Phan Dang Luu Detention Center in Ho Chi Minh City. He has not been allowed contact with his family since his detention, only with a consular officer from the U.S. State Department once a month. They report that he is alive and healthy.

Read the letter and see the full list of Representatives who signed HERE.