[Pacific Daily News] Couple faces deportation, owns $9M in Guam land
Guam Del. Madeleine Bordallo is seeking an act of Congress to prevent the deportation of a South Korean couple from Guam, citing their age and “economic hardship” as reasons they should be allowed to stay.
But government records state the husband and wife are the primary shareholders of a development company that owns more than $9 million worth of Guam land.
But their age and their lack of ties to their home country are still reasons they should be allowed to stay, Bordallo’s office said in a statement on Friday. The statement also noted the bill is unlikely to move forward in Congress because of resistance to this type of legislation.
Bordallo introduced legislation on March 1. It proposes to give Myong Mok Bae and wife Keiza Ryu Bae a chance to change their status from illegally overstaying foreigners to permanent residents or immigrant investors.
“Removal of the Baes would cause them to suffer extreme hardship,” according to the text of Bordallo’s statement when she introduced the bill in Congress.
The Baes have been in Guam for almost two decades, but it’s unclear how long ago they lost valid immigration status.
“They are an elderly couple with no family or community in Korea, and with no means of gainful employment at this state of their lives,” Bordallo said in the Congressional Record.
Bordallo further stated the Baes came to the United States in June 1997, as entrepreneurs. However, Bordallo added, “unforeseen natural disasters and economic hardships hampered the success of their investment.”
Guam Department of Revenue and Taxation records, as of Friday, show the Baes jointly own 101,998 shares out of 200,000 shares in a company called Jangbok Development.
Jangbok Development is the shareholder of 78,996 shares of Fadian Development, according to Myong Mok Bae, in a July 2013 response to questions in a lawsuit between the Baes and other shareholders of Fadian. In the same July 2013 statement, Bae further stated he paid for all the shares of Fadian Development.
Fadian Development Inc. is listed as the owner of multiple parcels of land in the Fadian Point area, near the new complex that houses the joint Guam Power Authority and Guam Waterworks Authority offices. Its parcels in the Fadian area, off Route 15, have a combined value of more than $6.9 million, according to the 2015 Rev and Tax Real Property Tax Assessment. Fadian Development also is listed as the owner of certain land parcels in Talofofo, which Rev and Tax assessed to be worth $2.2 million as of last year, department records show.
Fadian Development proposed to build two major projects — a 22-story condominium tower at Fadian in 1990 and an 18-hole golf course in Bubulao, Talofofo, in 1996, Pacific Daily News files show.
On Friday, after the Pacific Daily News obtained Rev and Tax records of Fadian Development properties, PDN asked Bordallo if she still supports the couple’s efforts to remain on Guam.
“Congresswoman Bordallo believes that deporting an elderly couple who have made Guam their home for nearly 20 years and no longer have ties to a community in Korea would cause extreme hardship to the Baes,” said the statement from the delegate’s office. “Furthermore, as we indicated, the Baes were notified that this bill will likely not move in the committee of jurisdiction because of reluctance of Republican leadership to move private bills in this Congress. Again, the bill was introduced … at the Baes’ request after we exhausted all administrative avenues and because they believe it could help with their case.”
Bordallo introduced the legislation for the Baes, “A Bill for the Relief of Myong Mok Bae and Keiza Ryu Bae.”
She introduced it as what’s called a “private bill.” Unlike a public law, which applies to public matters and deals with individuals only by classes, the provisions of a private law apply to “one or several specified persons, corporations, (or) institutions,” according to the Congressional Research Service.
In 27 years, through 2013, Congress enacted 170 private laws, of which 59 originated in the Senate and 111 originated in the House of Representatives, according to the Congressional Research Service. Ninety-four of these laws were immigration-related, while others involved land conveyance, claims, Civil Service and vessel documentation, the Congressional Research Service states. Some of the private bills also involved proposed awards of military medals.