30 Mar 2010

Lack of passport stops Chinese woman's deportation from CNMI

1:48 pm on 30 March 2010

A Chinese woman who was convicted of methamphetamine possession in the Northern Marianas more than two years ago and told to leave the territory, is still on Saipan, after China denied her a new passport.

Xia Tang is jobless and the Superior Court associate judge, Ramona Manglona, who first sentenced the woman, has this week said she is troubled by her situation.

She says the court doesn't have the power to enforce the removal without a valid passport.

The judge has directed the Office of Adult Probation to continue monitoring Xia during her probationary period.

Xia had pleaded guilty to the drug possession charge and was jailed for five months, with a commitment she would leave the Northern Marianas, at her own expense, within a month of her release.

That was more than two years ago but despite 13 court reviews, Xia's case remains at an impasse.