Deportation of Vietnamese teen born in Netherlands stopped

Tri Pham and two friends (Photo: Tri Moet Blijven/Facebook)Tri Pham and two friends (Photo: Tri Moet Blijven/Facebook)

Thirteen year old Tri from Wageningen will no longer be deported to Vietnam. The Pham family can stay in Wageningen, Mayor Geert van Rumund announced on Thursday.

Tri is relieved and ecstatic. "I feel tops. It's really amazing, indescribable", he said to RTL Nieuws. "When I heard, I hugged my friends. I'm being crushed by all the hugs. My whole life in uncertainty and then you hear that you can stay. My parents are very happy, they can't describe their joy. We are totally hyper."

Young Tri was born in Arnhem and grew up in Wageningen. Last week State Secretary Klaas Dijkhoff of Security and Justice informed the Pham family in a letter that they will be deported. Their asylum application was rejected and Tri was not eligible for the children's pardon because his parents did not always comply to the weekly reporting requirement.

The municipality of Wageningen did everything in its power to stop the deportation. The entire municipal council sent a letter to Dijkhoff, asking him to change his mind. And he did. Dijkhoff used his so-called discretionary power, which means that he had another look at the case and made a decision at his own discretion.

Mayor Van Rumund has no idea why Dijkhoff changes his mind. "You'll have to ask the State Secretary", he said to Omroep Gelderland. "I was certainly very happy wit it. Our goal was to make sure they are allowed to stay in Wageningen. And we succeeded."