3 Aug 2004

Marshall Islander jailed in US in immigration mix up

10:50 am on 3 August 2004

A Marshall Islander has been wrongly jailed for more than six months in the United States mainland in an immigration mixup.

Jimmy Mote, a 33-year-old Marshall Islander who lives in the US, was apparently detained by state-level officials who apparently did not know of his visa-free entry status.

Under the Compact of Free Association with the U.S. government all Marshall Island citizens are accorded visa free status.

Mr Mote was only released from a Minnesota jail in the last few weeks and is still required to wear an ankle monitor so that police can track his whereabouts.

Even though his court-appointed lawyer has petitioned the court to immediately free Mr Mote, there is still some question about whether the presiding judge will let him go.