March 19, 2008
Bill Wicker, spokesperson for the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee was quoted in a Saipan Tribune story by Mark Rabago, as saying:
“We remain concerned that opponents of federalization continue to deliberately misinterpret and misinform the community about this legislation, to make it appear insensitive to CNMI concerns. For example, opponents consistently cite the [guest worker program] phase-out, but always neglect to also quote from Section 701 of the bill.”
Mr. Wicker, committee staff members, and other federal officials continually correct misinterpretations made by the CNMI governor, the Chamber President, HAMNI director, and other FFFs (Fitial Federalization Fighters), but they persist with the spin and deliberate untruths. The very authors of this bill have continually corrected these people concerning the bill's intent and meaning, yet they keep pumping out propaganda to suit their anti-federalization agenda.
The article said:
"Wicker said, the new section 6(d)(5) of the law provides that the governor of the CNMI will be consulted in determining “whether an extension of up to five years of the [guest worker program] is necessary to ensure an adequate number of workers will be available for legitimate businesses in the Commonwealth.”
"In contrast to what opponents of federalization say, “there is no limit on the number of such five-year extensions,” he said.
Wicker added that the U.S. Senate has every right to put CNMI immigration under the control of the federal government, since that right is clearly mandated in its Covenant with the islands.
“It is important for the community to recall that the Covenant specifically grants the U.S. the right to extend its immigration laws. After the attacks of 9-11, and with the military buildup in Guam, the U.S. now has compelling reasons to exercise that right. It can be argued that those who oppose this reform legislation are not keeping faith with the Covenant,” he said."