The subject line of the email read simply, "Please help."
This time it was a 13-year-old boy. After 20 years of sweatshop labour, his mother could be deported thanks to new laws coming into effect on June 1.
"I know that I am not old enough to sponsor my mother," he explains. "That's why I am begging and respectfully asking a favour of you to help her become a legal U.S. citizen or at least make her stay legally here in Saipan until I am old enough to sponsor her."
Then, as patriotic as his own president, he signs, "God bless America."
The boy, the sweatshop and the deportation are American. Each is part of the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), a string of islands in Micronesia whose laws, foreign relations and defence are administered by the United States.
The boy was born here, making him an American citizen. But his mother, like the majority of the island's residents, was not. She arrived during a garment factory boom in the 1980s promised prosperity in America. She found a territory exempt from U.S. labour and immigration laws. For 20 years, she struggled to support her family in a sweatshop.
Today, the factories are gone. But, the workers and their citizen children remain - for now. On June 1, new immigration laws could expel them.
"That's one of my main concerns," says Wendy Doromal, a human rights advocate for the CNMI workers. "They have U.S. citizen children who grew up here and have no other home."
The CNMI looks like an island paradise. But looks can be deceiving - much like the "Made in U.S.A." labels the workers once sewed.
For years, the World Trade Organization imposed a quota on imported apparel that entered North America and Europe. As a U.S. territory, the CNMI was exempt from this quota - and minimum wage laws. That meant companies could import cheaply-made garments quota-free.
They began recruiting labour from poor Asian nations as temporary guest workers. Year after year, their contracts were renewed. But, exemptions from immigration law disallowed temporary workers citizenship. So, the workers settled and became permanent fixtures of the island.
Then, the economy collapsed. In 2005, the World Trade Organization lifted the quota giving the territory its competitive advantage. The factories left and the contracts weren't renewed.
Now, immigration reform laws for the region are forcing people without work visas to leave - even if they've called the CNMI home for upwards of 20 years.
"These people are part of the community. In fact, they built the community," says Doromal. "They've devoted their blood, sweat and tears to this country."
Deportation is not simple - especially when you account for the U.S. citizen children.
If they leave with their parents, the kids face hardship. Those returning to China could be subject to fines under the one-child policy. The kids also speak English, not the language of their parents' home country. They will not receive the benefits entitled to them as U.S. citizens.
Those who stay, lose their parents. The oldest children are already preparing to head the household.
All despite years of contribution.
For decades, these legal workers sewed "Made in U.S.A." labels on garments. They pay U.S. taxes. They even have the highest per capita enlistment in the U.S. Army.
"We treat them like commodities," says Doromal. "We bring them in, we beat them up and then we just throw them away."
Congress could correct this. In the mainland, skilled, legal temporary workers can apply for citizenship. That right just needs to be extended to the residents of CNMI.
That way, perhaps this island paradise lost can move towards a paradise regained.