The Japanese public witnessed the heart-wrenching results of the country’s harsh immigration laws, as one girl’s tearful goodbye to her parents was televised nationwide, CNN reports. Forced to choose between her parents—who are being deported to their native Philippines—and the home she was born in, 13-year old Noriko Calderon will stay in Japan.
Calderon, who only speaks Japanese, will stay with a relative rather than return to the Philippines, which her parents left in the early 1990s using fake passports. Despite public outpourings of sympathy, and a 20,000-signature petition to protest the deportation, the government stands firm. The Immigration Bureau called her parents’ presence an “extremely malicious” violation of Japanese law. Some 500 families in Japan are in a similar situation.