US officials to review list of nonresidents with criminal records
Thursday, 03 December 2009 00:00 By Andrew O. De Guzman - Reporter
The definition of “criminal felony” or “criminal misdemeanor” may differ under the U.S. Immigration Saipan Immigration Court Chief Judge Thomas Y.K. Fong will hear immigration cases and oversee administrative operations of the newly opened immigration court. Naturalization Act which is now in effect in the Northern Marianas, and this is why the U.S.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement will be working closely with the local Department of Public Safety to look into the list of nonresident criminal offenders for possible removal proceedings.
“We’re now initiating and reviewing the records,” said Clarence M. Wagner Jr., ICE chief counsel based in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Wagner said the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will make a determination on the status of an individual, to be followed by charging documents and removal proceedings in immigration court.
Yesterday, Saipan Immigration Court Chief Judge Thomas Y.K. Fong conducted an orientation on his functions.
Wills and Fong were joined by Michael A. Samaniego, U.S. ICE’s assistant field office director for detention and removal operations, during a meeting with the media, representatives of local government agencies and other stakeholders.
Fong said the immigration court will be an administrative control court, receiving filings and establishing appropriate dockets.
He said the court does not initiate proceedings and will not act unless a filing is initiated by the government.
An immigration court hearing will conduct a bond setting, followed by determination of removability “where the government has the burden to prove the [person’s] removability,” Fong said.
Yesterday, he said an individual came to his court and sought asylum.
However, there’s no asylum relief available for the CNMI until Jan. 1, 2015, he added.