19 May 2010

CNMI group helps Chinese immigration scam victims

2:10 pm on 19 May 2010

A group to protect guest workers from abuse in the Northern Marianas says it had to employ Chinese translators to help out with many desperate Chinese duped into coming to Saipan on false promises of a green card.

This week, a Chinese woman got probation after appearing in the federal immigration court saying she and other students from China were tricked into flying to the island to get U.S. visas, after paying more than 5,000 US dollars to an American Chinese.

The House of Hope manager, Lauri Ogumoro, says the number of Chinese clients seeking help has grown to close to 100 amid tales of human trafficking and false promises.

She says unfortunately it's common and these people have little English and little or no money.

"It's really sad. You can go home but you've already spent a life's fortune. We know of people who have sold their houses in China to come here. And they have debts, the interest is compounded daily in China, the system in China is much different than what we are used to here in the U.S or in Saipan. And people are afraid to go home because of all the money they borrowed to get here and there's a lot of shame about the loss of being tricked so it's a very desperate situation for many people."

Lauri Ogumoro from House of Hope.