Chinese male seeks ICE’s help but is later arrested


A Chinese national who had sought help from federal agents because he could no longer afford to pay his attorney fee for his immigration case was, instead, arrested last week after he allegedly refused to leave the lobby of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Gualo Rai.

Department of Homeland Security-Federal Protective Service inspector Sean Patrick T. White arrested Cheng Jin for failure to comply with lawful directives of federal police officer, and loitering or disrupting the performance of official duties.

U.S. District Court for the NMI Magistrate Judge Heather Kennedy later allowed Jin’s release.

Steven P. Pixley was appointed as counsel for Jin in his criminal case.

White stated in his affidavit that he had received a call from the Denver Mega Center last Thursday at 1:47pm about a man at the ICE-Enforcement and Removal Operations office in Gualo Rai.

White said the DMC dispatcher stated that a deportation officer called to inform them that the man was in the lobby and was refusing to leave despite several instructions to do so.

White said that when he arrived in the lobby at 1:50pm, he saw Jin sitting with a Russian man.

He recognized Jin, having dealt with him earlier in the month at the same location—also because Jin had refused to leave the lobby.

Jin has a pending immigration case.

An ICE deportation officer told White he had called him as Jin was refusing to leave the lobby and was demanding for ICE benefits.

The deportation officer said that Jin was advised that he must go through his lawyer and, unless authorized by the lawyer, should not be going to the ICE office or unless it’s to check in with them as noted on their ICE forms.

Jin was also in the ICE lobby the day before (Wednesday) for the whole day and left only when the office was closed at the end of the day. On Thursday, Jin arrived at 9am and sat in the lobby. He was allegedly told to leave numerous times by the deportation officer and others in the office, but refused. This prompted DMC to call White for assistance.

White said Jin tried to hand him a letter when he tried to talk to him.

White said he did not accept the letter and asked Jin to step outside so they could talk and not disrupt government operations as someone else was in the lobby.

Jin walked outside and stood at the doorway, partially blocking one of the doors.

White said he asked Jin to move away from the door because he was blocking it, but he did not respond and just looked at him.

Jin told White he had reason to be in the area. He tried to give White a letter.

White said he told Jin to hold on to the letter.

Jin explained that he is tired of waiting for his immigration court date, and that his attorney’s fee is too high, and that he needs help to have a legal status.

Jin stated he had no immigration court hearing that day.

White said Jin stated his lawyer does not know that he was there.

Jin agreed that White gave him a citation last Oct. 3 for obstructing the building’s entrance and told him not to return unless he is ordered to do so.

White said Jin informed him that he would not leave until he gets help and would continue to come back until he gets help.

White said he moved away and monitored Jin, hoping he would leave.

After a few minutes, White said he told Jin to stop standing near the door and that he needed to leave or he would be arrested.

White said Jin did not comply so he explained he should work with his attorney to resolve the issues.

White said he accepted Jin’s letter, but he still refused to leave and stood by the doorway.

White said he arrested Jin at 3:06pm.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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