Wednesday, November 30, 2011

MLSC Board Meets and Treats

The Board of Directors of Micronesian Legal Services Corporation is on Saipan for its biannual meeting. The Honorable Jesus S. (Jesse) Borja gave opening remarks. Jesse worked for MLSC as an intern, as a lawyer, as Deputy Director, and then served on its Board of Directors. He is a former Associate Justice of the CNMI Supreme Court and former CNMI Lieutenant Governor. Now he acts as legal counsel to the Northern Marianas College.



(Back row L to R: Chang William (Kosrae); Danny Ongelungel (Palau); Arno Kony (Chuuk); Michael Ga'an (Yap); Lucia Blanco-Maratita (CNMI). Front row: Jesus S. Borja-guest speaker; Robert Ruecho (Guam); Branson Wase (Marshall Islands).


Some members of the Marianas Office, along with acting Executive Director Benjamin Weber, joined the meeting in the morning.

L-R (front): Jesus S. Borja, Robert Ruecho, Branson Wase; (back): Maria P. Muna, Jane Mack, Chang William, Lolita Nazaire, Arno Kony, Danny Ongelungel; Michael Ga'an, Lucia Blanco-Maratita, Dimitri Varmazis, Acting MLSC Executive Director Benjamin Weber


The Marianas Office staff joined the Board for a luncheon, at which the Board presented Maria Palacios Muna with a plaque for her 40 years of service to MLSC! Maria is a paralegal in the Marianas Office and has been with MLSC since its first year of operations!



We at the Marianas Office are privileged to work with Maria and we joined in the contratulations and thanks for her service.

(L to R: Marianas staff Jane Mack, Lolita Nazaire, Frank Rogopes, Polly Anne Sablan, Maria P. Muna, Dimitri Varmazis, Juanette Sablan, and Marianas Board member Lucia Blanco-Maratita)

Humble as always, Maria expressed surprise at the honor.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Parole-In-Place --US Immediate Relatives--Workshop Video Part 2

video

Parole-In-Place --US Immediate Relatives--Workshop Video Part 1

video

Since we conducted this workshop we have heard two things of importance:

1. USCIS is not likely to grant parole-in-place to immediate relatives of US citizens unless the I-130 (or I-360 for abuse victims and widows/widowers) has been filed. Note, however, USCIS continues to be sympathetic to specific cases where extreme hardship exists caused by medical issues (handicapped or disabled individuals, special needs children).

2. If USCIS denies the parole-in-place application, it is likely to turn over the name and information about the foreign national to ICE. This means that removal proceedings will likely be filed against you more promptly than if you did not file the parole-in-place application.

Just a caution.

Final Parole-in-Place Workshop

MLSC will host its final Parole-in-Place workshop.  This one is ONLY FOR CNMI Permanent residents (under the old CNMI law) and THEIR immediate relatives, and for those born here of foreign national parents between January 1, 1974 and January 9, 1978.

Workshop starts at 1 PM at American Memorial Park.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Parole-In-Place Workshops

UPDATE: Change of Venue-Rota (see below in red)

REMINDER: We've already held the parole-in-place workshop for IRs of FAS citizens. Those who didn't attend can pick up the folder with forms at our office.

We're having a parole-in-place workshop for IRs of US citizens on Saipan on 10/16 (Sunday) at 1 PM at American Memorial Park. We're also holding similar workshops in Rota and Tinian. (October 13--Rota at Rota Mayor's Office at noon; October 14--Tinian at TES at 3 PM).

Then we'll have a final parole-in-place workshop for CNMI permanent residents and those born between 1974 and 1978 on October 23 at 1 PM at American Memorial Park.

There is no charge for these workshops. However, space is limited and when the auditorium is full, the doors will be closed. Please do not bring minor children to the workshops. Please do not leave minor children unattended in the Park, museum or giftshop.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Tinian Schedule

MLSC will be on Tinian for client contact and new intake on October 5th, 14th, and 286th. Please call the Saipan Marianas Office, 234-6243, for an appointment or stop by the office in Tinian if you need assistance.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Rota Visits

MLSC trips to Rota for October 2011 will be on October 13th, 20th, and 27th. Call our Saipan office to schedule an appointment or more information (234-6243) or visit our office in Rota on the scheduled dates.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Second Parole-In-Place Workshop

The Marianas Office of Micronesian Legal Services Corporation will be hosting a series of workshops to help people prepare Parole-In-Place applications. These workshops are aimed at those foreign nationals / aliens who have no other options for their status. Each workshop targets a specific category of foreign nationals who are likely to have success or may have a good chance at success in getting Parole-In-Place from the USCIS.



The SECOND workshop is scheduled for Sunday, October 16, 2011 at American Memorial Park at 1 PM. It is for ONLY those foreign nationals who are 1) spouses or widows/widowers of or 2) parents or children of citizens of the United States of America.

Parole-In-Place is an option of last-resort. Generally speaking, where other options are available, like the CW permit for those employed, those options should be exhausted first. Although MLSC will conduct the workshop to help people understand the process and put together their applications, no individual legal advice will be given. MLSC will not be accepting cases or filing on behalf of those who attend the workshops. The purpose of the session is simply to help get information out and help people utilize the process as successfully as they can.

Each workshop will be conducted in English. Each workshop is limited by the capacity of the auditorium at American Memorial Park. If there are no auditorium seats available, the sessions will be closed. For more information, contact the Marianas Office at 234-6243.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

About Ben Tured

UPDATE: Intentions for Ben Tured are included in the 6 AM Mass at Kristo Rai every day this week through Tuesday, September 27. There will be a Memorial Mass at 6 PM on Tuesday September 27, 2011 at Kristo Rai Church on Saipan for Ben.

Our Executive Director, Benjamin Tured, died on Monday September 19, 2011 in Yap. He worked for our program for many decades, first as a counselor starting in 1981 (a trial assistant/paralegal in Yap, Micronesia, when it was part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands) and then as a Directing Attorney (Yap office) after he graduated from William S. Richardson School of Law in Hawaii, and eventually as our MLSC Executive Director since 2004.


Ben and Mercy-sunset cruise 2009

He was still on the job in June 2011 when he developed worsening head and neck pain, which turned out to be an aggressive form of brain cancer.


Waiting to depart, sunset cruise 2009 -Jane & Ben

We are all grieving with his family--his wife Mercy, his children Maru, Sevahn and Joshua, and the many people whose lives he touched with his warm, intelligent and humorous personality.


Toasting Omar (not in photo): Ben and Lolita

His MLSC family will miss him terribly.

(Condolences to Mercy and family may be sent to her care of MLSC in Saipan or Yap:
Box 500269, Saipan, MP 96950 or Box 206, Colonia, Yap FM 96943.)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Parole-In-Place Workshops


The Marianas Office of Micronesian Legal Services Corporation will be hosting a series of workshops to help people prepare Parole-In-Place applications. These workshops are aimed at those foreign nationals / aliens who have no other options for their status. Each workshop targets a specific category of foreign nationals who are likely to have success or may have a good chance at success in getting Parole-In-Place from the USCIS.

The first workshop is scheduled for Sunday, September 18, 2011 at American Memorial Park at 1 PM. It is for ONLY those foreign nationals who are spouses or widows/widowers of citizens of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), or the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RepMar), collectively called the Freely Associated States (FAS).

Parole-In-Place is an option of last-resort. Generally speaking, where other options are available, like the CW permit for those employed, those options should be exhausted first. Although MLSC will conduct the workshop to help people understand the process and put together their applications, no individual legal advice will be given. MLSC will not be accepting cases or filing on behalf of those who attend the workshops. The purpose of the session is simply to help get information out and help people utilize the process as successfully as they can.

Each workshop will be conducted in English. Each workshop is limited by the capacity of the auditorium at American Memorial Park. If there are no auditorium seats available, the sessions will be closed. For more information, contact the Marianas Office at 234-6243.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

MLSC's 2011 Back-to-School Project--A Success!

The 2011 Back-To-School Project sponsored by Micronesian Legal Services Corporation wrapped up another successful year. MLSC provides a means for attorneys and others to contribute in-cash or in-kind for school supplies for needy children. There is a direct pass-through of all donations. The recipient children come from many of the families that MLSC serves for their legal problems and others referred to the organization from community members.







This year, MLSC distributed 79 backpacks with supplies inside, including a binder, filler paper, notebook composition book, pencil bag with pens, pencils and erasers and additional items like crayons and glue for elementary students, graph paper and compass-protractor sets for middle school students, and white paper and correction tape for high school students.
















Donations to the project came from more than two dozen members of the Bar Association and staff, Congressman “Kilili” Sablan and his staff, and Mount Carmel High School’s National Honor Society, which conducted an in-school drive to help collect supplies.



“We know that we alone cannot fill the need that exists,” said Jane Mack, Marianas Office Directing Attorney. “We’re glad to see other similar projects in the community, and we’re proud to be helping in our own way.” The MLSC Back-to-School Project evolved from a personal project of the Marianas Office Directing Attorney in the 1980's, then was adopted by the entire office who wanted to help in the 1990's and eventually expanded when other attorneys in the community also joined the effort. The project has reached out consistently to approximately 75 students each year for the past five years.


Thank you to everyone who helped!




(all photos of recipient children posted with parental permission)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Tinian Schedule

MLSC will be on Tinian for client contact and new intake on September 14th, 21st, and 28th. Please call the Saipan Marianas Office, 234-6243, for an appointment or stop by the office in Tinian if you need assistance.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Rota Schedule

MLSC trips to Rota for September 2011 will be on September 8th, 15th and 29th. Call our Saipan office to schedule an appointment or more information (234-6243) or visit our office in Rota on the scheduled dates.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Law School Scholarship Opportunity

Lim, Ruger and Kim Scholarship
The Lim, Ruger and Kim Scholarship is available to law students who demonstrate leadership potential to serve the Asian Pacific American community.

You must be in good standing at your law school and submit an essay and letters of recommendation to be eligible for this award. Selection criteria includes, but is not limited to: demonstrated commitment to and interest in pro bono, public interest and/or public service legal work; financial need; leadership potential; maturity and responsibility; and commitment to serving the needs of the Asian Pacific American community.

Award: $2,500
Deadline: September 2, 2011
Website: napaba.org

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Rota Schedule

At last, flights have resumed to Rota and we will be back on island to serve the community there.

New schedule:
FRI, MAY 27
THURS, JUN 9
THURS, JUN 16
THURS, JUN 23

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Marianas Office Staff

The Marianas Office staff:



Frank Rogopes, Maria Muna, Polly Anne Sablan, Linda Wingenbach, Lolita Nazaire, Juanette Sablan, Dimitri Varmazis. (not in photo: Jane Mack--photographing group!)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Upcoming Visits to Rota and Tinian

MLSC Staff will be in Rota and Tinian this month.

ROTA:
Monday, April 11
Thursday, April 28


TINIAN:
Wednesday, April 6
Friday, April 15
Wednesday, April 27

Anyone wishing to make an appointment in advance may telephone the Marianas Office in Saipan at (670) 234-6243.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Views from MLSC islands

Japan has suffered a terrible earthquake and tsunami. Our sincere condolences to those who are trying to recover and restore a semblance of peace.
________________________________

I recently traveled to MLSC offices in Majuro and Ebeye (in the Republic of the Marshall Islands) and Pohnpei (in the Federated States of Micronesia). The purpose of my trip was to conduct a follow-up training on using Prime (the Kemp's case management system). Our MLSC tech, Ekeziel (Bong) Robles, handled the heavy work, addressing both hardware and software issues and working late into the night on all islands. My job was to give some simple demonstrations of using the system and then be available to answer questions during a hands-on practicum.

There are no daily flights into and out of the islands, so our time at each place was dictated in large part by the flight schedules. This meant a bit of time in Majuro, very little time in Ebeye, and mostly the weekend and Monday in Pohnpei. The Majuro staff gave up a state holiday in remembrance of nuclear testing victims to attend the training session. The Ebeye staff had the two days of training crammed into a day-and-a-half. The Pohnpei staff came in on Sunday for the bulk of their training.

I had a little time in both Majuro and Pohnpei to take some photos, and got just a tiny glimpse of Ebeye through the lens.

These are not in any particular order...

on the way home--from the Chuuk airport

this plane was grounded and we had a 6 hour "wait"




Ebeye

on the ferry from Kwajalein to Ebeye



views from the ferry arriving at Ebeye


Room at An Roshi hotel


view from the hotel balcony


Majuro



views from Rita (the northern end of Majuro)


baseball in Laura (the southern end of Majuro)


Bong at Laura park



gate keeper to the end of Laura





Manase and Bong at Laura



Japanese Peace Park







roadside vendor selling kelaguen-style tiny sand-crab meat


an example of the ever-present mural work in Majuro



view from the hotel shore


seating at hotel waterfront



the hotel


the hotel's extension where we stayed





Majuro office staff with Bong


Majuro Office Staff: Bob Katz, Talofou Manase, Roseann, Sunny Beero, Melanie, Wagner Joash, Ben Kilawe



Pohnpei

MLSC office in Pohnpei



Another Ben


Danally




Edwina and Sal


Susin



Ben, Erwine and Bong setting up for training


Bong during the training, dealing with tech issues


Edwina and Susin during training



Pohnpei scenic









at The Village (for lunch)



The Village


Tino, Ben and Bong











view from the airport "departure lounge"