Dancing with Wolves

March 20, 2008

Submitted by Irene Tantiado

Here we go again. The hype that seemingly died down when S.2483 was not passed took a sharp turn last March 10 when new omnibus bill, S.2739, was introduced. Guest workers' beacon of hope is brightly shining again and of course, this did not make the anti-federalization gang happy. We all know that federal takeover is forthcoming.

By now, we've heard about the Saipan Chamber of Commerce and HANMI representatives' trips to Washington DC to do cold calls on people and offices they thought would help their cause. People there listened, but if they think they would change the course of fate after few visits, I don't think so. Take it or not, federal takeover will happen.

On the local scene, enter Deane Siemer. She met with some Filipino guest workers recently. Some called it a “secret meeting” because only few people knew about it but some of those who attended claim it's not. My impression of Ms. Siemer is someone who is anti-federalization. She is pro 15-108 so I thought she probably likes the guest workers to go home. Why then is she meeting with the guest workers? Rumor is that there will be an offer of CNMI residency for the guest workers. Then there is the proposed bill by Tina Sablan. It will not offer residency but an additional classification for guest workers, something that is more realistic.

It seems that there are two separate efforts currently being done. Each effort takes different directions, but appears to have one purpose-help the guest workers. As a guest worker, I'm a happy camper now because all of sudden I see people even from opposing sides wanting to help me. But I tend to analyze things before I take the road I'll follow. I can believe that Ms. Siemer's intention to help the guest workers is pure if she can give me direct answers to my questions. Who is paying you and whoever is helping you? How can you specifically help us? What is your motive?

For us guest workers, let's be careful on who we pick for a partner. We might be dancing with the wolves. Peace to all!

Irene N. Tantiado
Capital Hill, Saipan


Anonymous said...

Irene is right. Who would meet with Siemer? Like taking an apple from the wicked witch. As long as the people meeting know they do not represent the contract workers, let them meet. When they are fooled let them answer.

Anonymous said...

I think that is why there is a lawyer present so they will not be fooled. Let us not judge those who attended the meeting, they have good intentions for our fellow contract workers. Peace.

Anonymous said...

Which lawyer?