HONOLULU: A group representing Hawaii commercial fishermen has filed a court motion to defend the state's practice of giving fishing licenses to foreign workers.
The Hawaii Longline Association filed the motion last week after Maui resident Malama Chun asked a judge to declare that only those lawfully admitted to the United States should receive commercial fishing licenses.
Chun went to court after an Associated Press investigation found hundreds of foreign workers in the Hawaii fleet were confined to boats and some were living in subpar conditions.
Hawaii grants fishing licenses to men from impoverished Southeast Asian and Pacific nations who aren't allowed to enter the country. They're paid a fraction of what an American worker would get.
The Hawaii Longline Association wants court permission to argue its side in the case.