Court stops deporting of Filipino union head

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Court stops deporting of Filipino union head

A Seoul court yesterday ruled against a government decision to deport a Philippine national heading a trade union for migrant workers in Korea, saying his stay is legitimate.

The Seoul Administrative Court ruled in favor of Michel Catuira, 38, who filed a suit against the Korean Immigration Service in February when it canceled his visa and ordered him to leave the country, accusing him of violating immigration law.

Catuira came from the Philippines in 2006 as a migrant worker. He has served as the president of the Seoul-Gyeonggi-Incheon Migrants’ Trade Union, an affiliate of the country’s militant umbrella union, the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, since July 2009, while working at a shoe factory in Seoul.

After an inspection last year, the Ministry of Employment and Labor found that Catuira’s workplace had little business and then advised the employer to help Catuira change his job.

But the immigration office in February denied Catuira’s application for an extension of stay, saying he faked his employment to stay here to work on labor issues. The decision put him at risk of being deported.

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