HOUSTON — It's gotta feel good to be home! William Nguyen, the student who was arrested in Vietnam for a political protest, is finally back in his hometown, Houston.
"I didn't know I was coming home until the verdict was announced," Nguyen said.
Nguyen was studying in Singapore but vacationing in Vietnam when he was arrested in June for participating in a protest against new economic policies that could give China control in Vietnam.
"They had me under the disturbing public order statute," he said. "Which had me liable for two to seven years in Vietnamese prison."
Court officials said Nguyen confessed to the crime and showed remorse, so they gave him a lenient sentence.
After a social media campaign #FreeWillNguyen and a push from politicians, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Texas Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, Nguyen was released from jail and kicked out of the country.
The Nguyen family is especially grateful to U.S. Rep. Al Green.
"We are deeply grateful for Congressman Al Green and his staff members," sister Victoria Nguyen said in a statement. "They have shown us what true southern hospitality is, all without expecting anything in return. They genuinely and intently helped us every step of the way. From their Houston office to their D.C. office, every staff member went above and beyond their line of duties to help us and all without recognition. Therefore, we would like to personally recognize his office for their gracious support, and we are forever in debt to every single one of their staff members.”