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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Father put in detention ahead of deportation

Staff writer

The Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau placed Filipino Arlan Calderon in detention Monday and extended for one week the provisional release of his wife, Sarah, and Japan-born daughter, Noriko, after the couple held firm to their desire to stay in Japan with the girl and not be deported.

News photo
More bad news: Noriko Calderon and her mother, Sarah, hold a news conference Monday in Tokyo. YOSHIAKI MIURA PHOTO

"I'm shocked," 13-year-old Noriko Calderon, a junior high school student, said at a news conference in Tokyo. "I wish my father will be back immediately."

Justice Minister Eisuke Mori said at a news conference Friday that the government could grant a special permission only to their daughter if there is an appropriate environment to support her. However, the immigration authority told the couple that all three will be detained and deported March 17 if they do not express their will to leave Japan within this week, according to their lawyer, Shogo Watanabe.

"(The couple) have not made a decision yet because, as parents, they cannot choose to leave Noriko alone," he said. The couple, who are undocumented, plan to let their daughter stay in Japan, Watanabe added.

Foreigners who are deported to their home country are not allowed to re-enter Japan for at least five years, according to the Immigration Bureau. Mori said Friday he is willing to give the couple special permission within a year to have them briefly visit their daughter.

But this will be revoked if the couple do not opt to leave Japan.

"(The ministry and Immigration Bureau) say they don't mean to split the family up, but that's what they're doing," Watanabe said, adding the bureau is in a hurry to deport them even though Noriko Calderon will not be able to complete her first year of study by March 17.

"If the ministry is willing to let (the couple) visit Japan, why can't they receive special permission to stay?" he asked.

Arlan and Sarah Calderon, who reside in Warabi, Saitama Prefecture, entered Japan on other people's passports in the early 1990s, and she was arrested for violating the Immigration Law in July 2006.

The couple have been asking for special permission to stay with their daughter because she was born and raised in Japan and only speaks Japanese. However, the Supreme Court rejected their plea last September and the Immigration Bureau gave a final notice last month that their provisional release would no longer be extended.

"I hoped my father wouldn't be detained," Noriko Calderon said. "And I still wish I can stay in Japan with my parents."

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The Japan Times

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