ARLINGTON, Va. — A Vietnamese immigrant facing possible deportation after punching out a top minister of that country’s Communist regime at a protest two years ago was ordered free on bond Wednesday by an immigration judge despite prosecutors’ objections.
Tuan Phuoc Le, 35, of Lilburn, Ga., has been jailed since October, when he was sentenced to nine months in prison for assaulting Nguyen Quoc Huy, vice chairman of the Vietnamese prime minister’s office. The assault occurred in June 2005 in Washington, where Huy was part of the first Vietnamese delegation to visit the White House since the end of the Vietnam War.
Le’s criminal sentence ended in July, but instead of going free he was transferred to immigration custody.
Le’s immigration lawyer, Parastoo Zahedi, said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement backed out of a deal that would have allowed Le to stay in the United States. He has been fighting deportation because he would face persecution in Vietnam, Zahedi said.