5 Jan 2005

Three Chinese nationals charged with overstaying in Marshalls

10:46 am on 5 January 2005

Three Chinese nationals have been charged in the Marhsall Islands with overstaying their visas.

The move is part of a government campaign to cut back on the number of illegal immigrants in the country.

Since December 2003, the assistant attorney general, Jack Jorbon, has filed nearly 30 criminal cases against alleged visa overstayers from the People¹s Republic of China.

The three cases just filed are all of relatively recent origin, in contrast to most of the overstayers charged early in 2004, whose visas had expired as long ago as 2000 with no enforcement action being taken.

Since 2000, a large number of Chinese nationals have traveled to the Marshall Islands, largely as a result of a mid-1990s passport sales program.

At least 2,000 passports were sold before the program was terminated in 1996 following complaints from the U.S. State Department that passport purchasers were attempting to illegally use the passports to enter the United States.