Dear Editor,

According to International law on Deportation, Expulsion and Removal of alien whose presence is illegal, the government has full right to remove an alien to the country of his origin (meaning citizenship) — or in the case of a stateless person — to the country of his habitual residence.

And that’s what I would like the Government of American Samoa to do: issue a special directive to remove me back to the country of my last habitual residence which is the United States. Upon arrival in Honolulu I would hand myself to Immigration Authorities and let them deal with me there.

While International Law permits states to establish immigration policies and deportation procedures, it does not grant them discretion to violate human rights in the process in cases of stateless persons like myself who continuously lived in the United States for 16 years.

The United States, especially Department of Homeland Security, regularly fails to uphold international human rights law in its immigration laws and enforcement policies, particularly Universal Declaration of Human Rights the United States is party to, by violating the human rights of stateless persons to fair treatment at the hands of immigration officials, to freedom from arbitrary confinement and exile, in my case forceable exile in the US territory of American Samoa.

Including the persecution based on political opinion, such policies violate the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which the United States is party. Despite a commitment to equal justice for all, US officials from DHS and ICE have instituted policies discriminating unjustly against stateless persons on the basis of statelessness and political opinion.

Such discrimination violates internationally protected rights of all human beings. In the criminal justice arena, DHS and ICE officials abuse their discretion by overstepping their authority, or by instituting polices that undermine the rule of law.

The United States has an international legal obligation to protect stateless persons and their human rights as defined in Universal Declaration of Human Rights and all other international treaties we are party.

Unfortunately, either because abuse happens at the hands of public officials (DHS and ICE), or because public officials turn a blind eye to the victims of our broken immigration policy,— stateless persons — the United States fails those who seek and deserve government protection because as stateless persons we do not have any country to ask for protection or seek legal counsel but the country of our long-term residency, the United States of America.

The only solution in my situation as I see it, is for the Government of American Samoa to deport me as soon as possible on the first Hawaiian Airlines flight out to Honolulu, with special direction given to Immigration officials of American Samoa including Attorney General of American Samoa.

The direction should clearly state that Hawaiian Airlines is responsible for taking me back the same way they brought me in — with exactly the same documents I had when I checked myself in in Los Angeles and Honolulu. I was clearly advised by the agents of Hawaiian Airlines that I would not have any problems coming in and going back.

The departure clearance should not be issued to Hawaiian Airlines in case of their refusal. I do not see any other way out of here.

When Mr. Elliot Williams in his letter stated that I was outside of the US Immigration and Nationality Act, basically saying I am in a foreign country, I would like to remind them the Immigration law of the US. Sec. 215.1 definition in regards to controls of aliens departing from the United States says: “The term United States means the several States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, Swains Island, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and all other territory and waters, continental and insular, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States”.

Which means by all those factors taking into consideration, I am in the United States of America, not outside of the United States, not in Aruba, not in Cayman Islands, but in the United States of America, on US soil.

If DHS continues to believe that I am still in foreign land that controls its own immigration, then American Samoa Government should immediately issue deportation on me due to lack of cooperation from the US Government and their cat and mouse game and refusal to solve this issue peacefully through diplomacy, and force Hawaiian Airlines to take me on board back to the country of my last residency which is the US since I am stateless.

Hawaiian Airlines has responsibility and must to board me on its flight to Honolulu the same way as they boarded me to AS from Los Angeles, where they assured me I won't be having problem coming to AS and returning back. I am tired, exhausted, frustrated and angry.

Mikhail Sebastian

cc: Congressman Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin

      Governor Togiola Tulafono

      ASG Attorney General Fepuleai Arthur Ripley

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