CHINA REJECTS CITIZEN CONVICTED IN CNMI

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Woman in limbo after deportation order

By Ferdie de la Torre SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, March 31, 2010) – A Chinese woman who was convicted of "ice" possession in February 2008 and told to leave the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) is still on Saipan and is jobless after her government reportedly refused to issue her a new passport because of her criminal conviction.

Superior Court Associate Judge Ramona V. Manglona, who sentenced Xia Tang on Feb. 20, 2008, said yesterday she is troubled by Tang's situation.

In a written order, Manglona said Tang's removal from the CNMI is an important aspect of her plea bargain. At the same time, Manglona said, Tang continues to remain in the Commonwealth without the privilege to work legally and provide for her own needs.

"The court finds itself without any power to enforce the removal without a valid passport," Manglona said.

For the time being, Manglona directed the Office of Adult Probation to continue monitoring Tang during her probationary period.

Tang was sentenced to five months in prison for possession of less than a gram of crystal methamphetamine or "ice."

Court records show that Tang, also known as Mimi, was originally charged with trafficking and possessing "ice."

Four months after her arrest, Tang agreed to plead guilty to one count of illegal possession of a controlled substance, a felony.

In exchange for her guilty plea, Manglona ordered Tang to serve five months in prison and to meet some conditions, including voluntarily departing the Commonwealth at her own expense within a month of her release from custody.

Tang completed her prison term on March 5, 2008.

After a span of two years and 13 court review hearings, however, Tang's case remains at an impasse.

In her order yesterday, Manglona said Tang has complied with the conditions of her probation, and the only outstanding matter is her departure from the CNMI.

At the beginning of this case, Tang surrendered her expired Chinese passport to the court as a condition of her bail order.

After serving her prison term, Tang attempted to renew her passport through her consulate's office.

During the first year and a half, the defendant was unable to obtain a new passport because she did not have the passport fee.

The Commonwealth finally secured government funds to pay for the renewal. She subsequently completed all the necessary application forms to renew her passport and tendered the payment to her consulate's office.

Four months later, Tang was advised that her passport would not be renewed because of her criminal conviction. Her payment check was returned uncashed.

"In essence, defendant's government refuses to issue her a new passport to allow her to return to her home country because of her criminal conviction," Manglona said.

After the federal government took control of immigration matters in the CNMI in November 2009, Tang presented herself to federal authorities to have them remove her.

Up to this time, no action has been taken against her.

"Defendant now remains in the Commonwealth without a valid passport to travel, and without a legal basis to find work to support herself. Her subsistence is solely from friends who have voluntarily supported her," Manglona said.

Woman in limbo after deportation order

By Ferdie de la Torre SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, March 31, 2010) – A Chinese woman who was convicted of "ice" possession in February 2008 and told to leave the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) is still on Saipan and is jobless after her government reportedly refused to issue her a new passport because of her criminal conviction.

Superior Court Associate Judge Ramona V. Manglona, who sentenced Xia Tang on Feb. 20, 2008, said yesterday she is troubled by Tang's situation.

In a written order, Manglona said Tang's removal from the CNMI is an important aspect of her plea bargain. At the same time, Manglona said, Tang continues to remain in the Commonwealth without the privilege to work legally and provide for her own needs.

"The court finds itself without any power to enforce the removal without a valid passport," Manglona said.

For the time being, Manglona directed the Office of Adult Probation to continue monitoring Tang during her probationary period.

Tang was sentenced to five months in prison for possession of less than a gram of crystal methamphetamine or "ice."

Court records show that Tang, also known as Mimi, was originally charged with trafficking and possessing "ice."

Four months after her arrest, Tang agreed to plead guilty to one count of illegal possession of a controlled substance, a felony.

In exchange for her guilty plea, Manglona ordered Tang to serve five months in prison and to meet some conditions, including voluntarily departing the Commonwealth at her own expense within a month of her release from custody.

Tang completed her prison term on March 5, 2008.

After a span of two years and 13 court review hearings, however, Tang's case remains at an impasse.

In her order yesterday, Manglona said Tang has complied with the conditions of her probation, and the only outstanding matter is her departure from the CNMI.

At the beginning of this case, Tang surrendered her expired Chinese passport to the court as a condition of her bail order.

After serving her prison term, Tang attempted to renew her passport through her consulate's office.

During the first year and a half, the defendant was unable to obtain a new passport because she did not have the passport fee.

The Commonwealth finally secured government funds to pay for the renewal. She subsequently completed all the necessary application forms to renew her passport and tendered the payment to her consulate's office.

Four months later, Tang was advised that her passport would not be renewed because of her criminal conviction. Her payment check was returned uncashed.

"In essence, defendant's government refuses to issue her a new passport to allow her to return to her home country because of her criminal conviction," Manglona said.

After the federal government took control of immigration matters in the CNMI in November 2009, Tang presented herself to federal authorities to have them remove her.

Up to this time, no action has been taken against her.

"Defendant now remains in the Commonwealth without a valid passport to travel, and without a legal basis to find work to support herself. Her subsistence is solely from friends who have voluntarily supported her," Manglona said.

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