Stateless man stuck in American Samoa...

Stateless man stuck in American Samoa calls experience "nightmarish"

There are 43 comments on the Samoa News story from Oct 5, 2012, titled Stateless man stuck in American Samoa calls experience "nightmarish". In it, Samoa News reports that:

"Stuck in a nightmarish limbo in American Samoa" where the heat and humidity is unbearable most times, with thoughts of "suicide" to end it all, a native of Azerbaijan has appealed to, and pleaded with the federal government to let him reenter the United States, which has been his home of residence for more than a decade.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Samoa News.

Mikhail Sebastian

Pago Pago, American Samoa

#21 Oct 8, 2012
soia wrote:
<quoted text>The problem is you have to get your legal documents all settled before you travel. The United States does not even claim you as one of its own. Why would you even jeopardize your residency if you knew you are having a problem with it? I am surprised that you even had a job. You are one of the millions of overstayer the United States have to find and return to their rightful destination. Tony needs to see the problem like he should. I think you will have to go through filing a declaration of intention with the U.S. Immigration Agency again since you are not an American citizen or national.
Why won't we ask immigration authorities who advised me otherwise? I traveled before. If I knew I would have this problem I won't be traveling to American Samoa. I specifically asked Hawaiian Airlines in LA if I would have any issues, and I would, I'd better spend New Year in Honolulu instead or cancel my trip, but I was told that everything was in order for me to go and come back.

Level 1

Since: Jan 11

Location hidden

#22 Oct 9, 2012
Mikhail Sebastian wrote:
<quoted text>
Why not? Why people travel to different places? Why anyone else can travel and stateless people are not allowed to travel? We have Universal Declaration of Human Rights that our country is party, and it specifically says that anyone can move and travel freely, and it does not say stateless or not stateless.
I can understand why you would only spend 4 days in American Samoa as there isn't much to see or do and you can get a lot out of it in 4 days - However I don't understand why you would travel a great distance for a 4 day American Samoa Holiday. To travel all that way you might as well have stayed at least 1 week or 4 days in American Samoa and 4 Days in Western Samoa.

Anyhow; this incident has only cemented the fact that in the eyes of the USA; American Samoa is held in great disregard as an apparent U.S Territory. If you are not recognised in the eyes of the U.S; then it doesn't say much for the status of the Country that you are stuck in.

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Since: Jan 11

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#23 Oct 9, 2012
Mikhail Sebastian wrote:
<quoted text>
Why won't we ask immigration authorities who advised me otherwise? I traveled before. If I knew I would have this problem I won't be traveling to American Samoa. I specifically asked Hawaiian Airlines in LA if I would have any issues, and I would, I'd better spend New Year in Honolulu instead or cancel my trip, but I was told that everything was in order for me to go and come back.
Do you have any record of this other than 'verbal'?

Level 1

Since: Jan 11

Location hidden

#24 Oct 9, 2012
Tony wrote:
American Samoa is not a foreign country but is in the United States. American Samoa is a U.S. territory like Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. So when you're in American Samoa you are in the United States. Hawaii was a U.S. territory until 1959. So when Japan bombed Hawaii in 1941 they were bombing a U.S. territory, not a U.S. state, and that bombing was an attack against the U.S. as Japan had attacked the U.S., not a foreign country. So all those people who are say that Mikhail Sebastian left the U.S. by visiting American Samoa needs to get their facts straight. American Samoa is a part of the U.S. I used to live in Guam and make no mistake about it, Guam, and all other U.S. territories, are not foreign countries but part of the U.S. Now, Mikhail Sebastian's visit to the independent nation of Samoa, which was until 1997 named "Western Samoa," is another matter. But his trip to America Samoa was not a trip abroad but a trip within the U.S. AMERICAN SAMOA IS NOT A FOREIGN COUNTRY BUT IS A PART OF THE UNITED STATES!
Yeah; but it's now plain obvious that American Samoa has no status at all, lol.

“Live life one day at a time.”

Level 1

Since: Apr 09

Location hidden

#25 Oct 9, 2012
Mikhail Sebastian wrote:
<quoted text>
Why won't we ask immigration authorities who advised me otherwise? I traveled before. If I knew I would have this problem I won't be traveling to American Samoa. I specifically asked Hawaiian Airlines in LA if I would have any issues, and I would, I'd better spend New Year in Honolulu instead or cancel my trip, but I was told that everything was in order for me to go and come back.
I think your problem is going off to (Western) Samoa. Please specify that in your explanation.
Rico the 147 IQ Hispanic

Los Angeles, CA

#26 Oct 9, 2012
Samoan people are cool.
yes or no

Albania

#27 Oct 9, 2012
nooooo
tuipinngpongslav emaster

Newcastle, UK

#28 Oct 9, 2012
Soraia wrote:
<quoted text>
Yeah; but it's now plain obvious that American Samoa has no status at all, lol.
he must be enjoying the working in my sugar fields ahahahaa
Mikhail Sebastian

Pago Pago, American Samoa

#29 Oct 9, 2012
For those who never heard of statelessness and thanks to our media that only shifts their attention to illegal and undocumented immigrants, here is the better understanding:
http://www.unhcr.org/pages/49c3646c155.html

Level 1

Since: Jan 11

Location hidden

#30 Oct 10, 2012
What option did you select on the arrival form that you filled out on the plane prior to landing in American Samoa?

Did you select your reason for travel as 'Holiday','see Relatives' or 'Business'? If you selected 'Business', then the duration of your trip makes sense. If however, you selected 'Holiday' then suspicions will be raised bearing in mind that you are not Samoan and have no relatives on the Islands.

“Live life one day at a time.”

Level 1

Since: Apr 09

Location hidden

#31 Oct 10, 2012
Did you say you work in a restaurant? you must be one hell of a chef. I hope Congressman Eni will be able to help you out. have you tried hunting...lol jks.

Since: Oct 12

Location hidden

#32 Oct 10, 2012
Typical Samoan, typical.
Mikhail Sebastian

Pago Pago, American Samoa

#33 Oct 10, 2012
I had only verbal approval, not a written from ICE agent. Originally I planned to stay in American Samoa for a week but due to the fact that we had short staff during the holiday, I have changed my flight to stay just four days, which I thought would be better than nothing, considering the fact that Hawaiian Airlines only had two flights a week.

But I am hopeful that something will be done in this case, either to allow me back or find an alternative country in Europe or Canada where I can move to legally and start my life over again. If the US is not allowing me back it should include all US territories as well not just the continent of US.

But I am taking this opportunity now to raise the awareness about statelessness issue in the US, something that our government never brought to public attention. I know we fight for stateless persons in other countries where their rights are violated but we never did anything to protect statelessness in our country.
Mikhail Sebastian

Pago Pago, American Samoa

#34 Oct 10, 2012
soia wrote:
Did you say you work in a restaurant? you must be one hell of a chef. I hope Congressman Eni will be able to help you out. have you tried hunting...lol jks.
I just came as visitor

“Live life one day at a time.”

Level 1

Since: Apr 09

Location hidden

#35 Oct 11, 2012
Mikhail Sebastian wrote:
I had only verbal approval, not a written from ICE agent. Originally I planned to stay in American Samoa for a week but due to the fact that we had short staff during the holiday, I have changed my flight to stay just four days, which I thought would be better than nothing, considering the fact that Hawaiian Airlines only had two flights a week.
But I am hopeful that something will be done in this case, either to allow me back or find an alternative country in Europe or Canada where I can move to legally and start my life over again. If the US is not allowing me back it should include all US territories as well not just the continent of US.
But I am taking this opportunity now to raise the awareness about statelessness issue in the US, something that our government never brought to public attention. I know we fight for stateless persons in other countries where their rights are violated but we never did anything to protect statelessness in our country.
Did the U.S.except you as an asylum refugee, defecting the former soviet republic because of life threatening situations. I am just curious as to why the U.S. had not granted you citizenship.
Mikhail Sebastian

Pago Pago, American Samoa

#36 Oct 11, 2012
soia wrote:
<quoted text>Did the U.S.except you as an asylum refugee, defecting the former soviet republic because of life threatening situations. I am just curious as to why the U.S. had not granted you citizenship.
Because back in 1996 when I applied for political asylum I could not afford costly lawyers and pro-bono lawyers were all busy and could not take my case, so I ended up defending myself in front of immigration judge not knowing all the complexities surrounding US immigration law. Also, the judge was constantly interrupted me without giving me chance, so case was denied. And I did not know, as I was not properly informed that I had 30 days to appeal my case, and I only tried to appeal year later which was already late and she denied appeal because of that.
Reasonable Citizen

Ewa Beach, HI

#38 Nov 13, 2012
soia wrote:
<quoted text>The problem is you have to get your legal documents all settled before you travel. The United States does not even claim you as one of its own. Why would you even jeopardize your residency if you knew you are having a problem with it? I am surprised that you even had a job. You are one of the millions of overstayer the United States have to find and return to their rightful destination. Tony needs to see the problem like he should. I think you will have to go through filing a declaration of intention with the U.S. Immigration Agency again since you are not an American citizen or national.
The problem is that you [Soia] waisting time putting your two sense in. You can defend the island, but you are being inconsiderate of this mans frustration and his situation. You are intelligent, but use it to help people not critisize them. Im samoan, I love my island, but everyone is equal no matter what race they are or what part of the world they are from. This man needs help, not useless statements that could cause more frustration to him. Cut it out with your island pride. this is a human being we need to help.
Reasonable Citizen

Ewa Beach, HI

#39 Nov 13, 2012
Soraia wrote:
<quoted text>
I can understand why you would only spend 4 days in American Samoa as there isn't much to see or do and you can get a lot out of it in 4 days - However I don't understand why you would travel a great distance for a 4 day American Samoa Holiday. To travel all that way you might as well have stayed at least 1 week or 4 days in American Samoa and 4 Days in Western Samoa.
Anyhow; this incident has only cemented the fact that in the eyes of the USA; American Samoa is held in great disregard as an apparent U.S Territory. If you are not recognised in the eyes of the U.S; then it doesn't say much for the status of the Country that you are stuck in.
seriously...is it your job to ask why he traveled to samoa?...let me ask, why do people travel to Japan, or why do people travel across half the earth to europe...this man wants to travel and he has a right to. You people need to stop making negative input, but put in constructive tips and instructions.

“Live life one day at a time.”

Level 1

Since: Apr 09

Location hidden

#40 Nov 13, 2012
Reasonable Citizen wrote:
<quoted text>
The problem is that you [Soia] waisting time putting your two sense in. You can defend the island, but you are being inconsiderate of this mans frustration and his situation. You are intelligent, but use it to help people not critisize them. Im samoan, I love my island, but everyone is equal no matter what race they are or what part of the world they are from. This man needs help, not useless statements that could cause more frustration to him. Cut it out with your island pride. this is a human being we need to help.
I would have known from day one that America didn't want me. Sorry but hints was all over the place. I would have travelled anywhere in the U.S. knowing the boundary of my travel and where not to go because of my status. As far as the United States is concern you were never a LEGAL inhabitant. I suggest to find a friend in Samoa as long as you don't travel outside our borders.
curious

Titusville, FL

#41 Nov 22, 2012
Anybody know what the status for this guy is? I hope he's back home, if not, then I recommend he just marrys a local, have kids, and drink some vailima..

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