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By Cherrie Anne E. Villahermosa

SAIPAN, CNMI (Mariana Variety, Jan. 8) - Superior Court Associate Judge David A. Wiseman has ordered the deportation of eight people for overstaying and for conspiring with other persons to exit the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands on a sea vessel with the intent of entering the United States.

Wiseman said the passports of Chonghua Lin, Xinhua Xu, Yuhui Lei, Bin Chen, Zhixing Yu, Bin Pan, Zhenming Gong and Difang Xu are to be released to the Division of Immigration for repatriation purposes.

The respondents appeared for an order to show cause hearing on December 28, 2006.

Wiseman said after the hearing, the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the respondents are deportable aliens.

Wiseman said Chonghua Lin, 38, Xinhua Xu, 23 and Yuhui Lei, 36, are overstaying aliens who have failed to comply with the requirements of their entry permits.

Chonghua Lin overstayed for 10 months and has failed to maintain a current passport.

She was among those arrested on December 16 for human smuggling after their boat, which was headed to Guam, was intercepted by the authorities at the Smiling Cove Marina.

Unlike the CNMI, Guam is under federal immigration jurisdiction.

Xinhua Xu is a non-resident worker involved in disturbing the peace and assault charges. Her permit expired on June 29, 2006.

She was granted voluntary departure by the government, which requested the court to dismiss the petition for an order to show cause, and to quash the arrest warrant after the respondent expressed a desire to return to China.

Xinhua Xu’s employer submitted documents to Immigration and stated that her employment status was terminated because she had been absent from work since July 26, 2006 and had not reported back to work since then.

Yuhui Lei also overstayed her entry permit, which expired on August 30, 2006. She was arrested on December 16 by the Attorney General’s Investigative Unit for human smuggling.

According to the court, Bin Chen, 28, Zhixing Yu, 38, Bin Pan, 38, Zhenming Gong, 44 and Difang Xu, 37, conspired with other persons to exit the CNMI on a sea vessel and board the vessel with the intent of entering the United States.

The five are all nonresident workers and were arrested by Immigration in December.

Immigration stated that the respondents failed to comply with the requirements or conditions of their entry permits by conspiring with other persons to exit the CNMI on a sea vessel and board the vessel with the intent of entering the U.S.

On December 21, 2006, personnel from Immigration, the Attorney General’s Investigative Unit and the Department of Public Safety assisted U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Coast Guard Investigative Service in the human smuggling case.

A confidential informant disclosed that all aliens on the intercepted boat acknowledged that the purpose of the trip was to enter Guam illegally and that they were to be dropped off in the sea and swim ashore.

The respondents committed "an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy and the conduct constitutes the crime of conspiracy by an alien to illegally enter the U.S. in violation of the law."

The respondents have expired permits and do not have pending labor cases, nor pending applications for a consensual transfer.

Among the five respondents, only Bin Chen has a pending U.S. labor case. She was a sewer in the defunct La Mode Inc.

Difang Yu was an electrician at ML Investment Inc. while Bin Pan was a sewing machine operator at United Int. Corp. Zhenming Gong is a farmer and Difang Xu is a sewing machine operator.

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