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A group of foreign nationals facing possible deportation for overstaying their visas vowed Sunday to work together to seek permission to remain in Japan.

They say their children may face language and cultural problems if deported and that they need to attend to medical and other pressing personal issues.

Made up of 50 people from 19 families, the group plans to stage a signature campaign, collectively appeal their case to the Justice Ministry and hold a rally in September near the Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau in Minato Ward.

Many of the members, who come from the Philippines, Myanmar, Iran, Pakistan and China, have turned themselves in at immigration offices.

“My children don’t understand Tagalog, and we have no families to rely on in the Philippines,” Charity Ampil, a 36-year-old Filipino woman with children aged 6 and 12 who were both born in Japan, told reporters,

“It is important to unite and appeal to the Justice Ministry in order to protect their children’s right to receive education,” said Satoshi Murata, a lawyer supporting the group.

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