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Saipan sweatshop workers unwillingly repatriated.

Following the out-of-court settlement of a lawsuit against 27 garment manufacturers who operated sweatshops in Saipan (see story in Tok Blong Pasifik, Vol 2, No. 1), some of the 30,000 affected factory workers are now unemployed. Many of the workers chose to return to their countries of origin and were eligible for up to $3,000 in travel costs under the terms of the settlement. However, some of the garment workers have lived in the US commonwealth of Saipan since the 1980s and have elected to remain in residence. Despite American federal laws that permit a person legally residing in the United States for at least five years to apply for permanent residency, local government officials have declared that all unemployed garment workers are to be "repatriated" to their original countries of residence. Although many of these long-time residents have appealed to the government to remain in the country, a May 2004 list named 434 workers who had been identified by the government for deportation.
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Title Annotation:News & Views
Publication:Tok Blong Pacifik
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U0MR
Date:Sep 22, 2004
Words:166
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