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Deportation of pregnant Filipino — another immigration kerfuffle

ASG Attorney General Talauega Eleasalo Ale [SN file photo]
AG Talauega has been notified of the situation through two separate letters

Pago Pago, AMRICAN SAMOA — The forced deportation of a 7-month pregnant Filipino immigrant and her 5-year-old son has reached the office of the Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu.

Merlin Gerin Lloren, a Filipino national and her son were deported on March 1, 2018, on the grounds that she overstayed. This is according to a March 28 letter from the Consulate General of the Republic of the Philippines, Honolulu, to ASG Attorney General Talauega Eleasalo Ale.

According to the letter, Lloren's deportation "was unforeseen as her most recent coordination with the immigration authorities just days before her exit was to finalize the details of the transfer of her application for residence ID to a new sponsor."

 The Consulate General notes that Lloren is 7-months pregnant and "now stranded in Apia, after being barred by Fiji Airways from boarding her flight to Manila, due to her condition."

(The flight route would have taken Lloren and her child from Apia to Nadi, then to Hong Kong and then finally, to Manila).

The flight path, according to the letter, is 'hazardous' to the health of both Lloren and the unborn child. Furthermore, Lloren's 5-year-old is suffering from recurring skin asthma, an added burden to Lloren.

Consulate General Joselito A. Jimeno is respectfully requesting the return of Lloren and her son to American Samoa where she could give birth and be taken care of by the father of the child, who works in the territory.

Victim Advocate, Ipu Avegalio Lefiti wrote a letter of her own to Talauega on March 27, saying Lloren and her son were detained at Samoa's Faleolo Airport upon arrival due to her condition and she was sent to the Samoa medical facility to confirm her pregnancy.

Lefiti claims that Lloren is now stuck in Samoa with no family, friends or money.

"She is at a term that requires many OB prenatal medical checkups," she wrote, adding that Lloren, her son, and unborn child "are all in danger for their health and lack of protection and security."

Lefiti wrote, “As a victim advocate, I will also contact the Philippine embassy seeking assistance for those brought into a US territory, American Samoa, under fake employment advertisement, maltreated, and involuntarily ejected from the island."

She added that Lloren's "treatment by American Samoa’s Immigration officers is shameful and inhumane.”

According to Lefiti's letter, Lloren was initially sponsored by the wife of an Immigration official but was then sponsored by H&H Samsung & Refrigeration Company.

Efforts to obtain a comment yesterday from the Immigration Board chairman and Chief Immigration Officer Dennis Fuimaono — who was specifically mentioned in Lefiti's letter as a "name of interest" — were unsuccessful.