Deportation for cheated workers?

April 8, 2009

Should guest workers who have unpaid judgments be deported or should they be allowed to stay in the CNMI until they receive the money that is owed to them? Guest workers and leaders are reporting that guest workers who are owed money from former employers are being deported. 

Maybe it would inspire DOL or some CNMI agency to actually ensure judgments aren't just pieces of paper, but are honored and enforced, if there was a policy that no guest worker who is owed money can be deported. Deportation of foreign workers who are owed money from employers guarantees the cheated worker remains cheated, and the violating employers gets away with theft.  

The CNMI has sent thousands of cheated guest workers back to their homelands.  What impression of the U.S. do they carry with them and share with citizens of their countries?   

The foundation of the policies that are being drafted for a federal transitional guest worker program must reflect just and democratic American principles.  It is un-American and unjust to expect cheated workers with no money to collect their own judgments. It is wrong to deport foreign workers who have uncollected judgments. This needs to be corrected in the federal program.

Employers who have cheated workers need to be barred from hiring new foreign employees. They need to be fined.   If they have ripped off dozens or even hundreds of foreign workers as some construction, security, and garment companies have done, they should be severely fined and even jailed.  Thieves who have stolen less money than some of the violating CNMI employers have stolen from their foreign workers, have been more harshly punished than these blatant crooks.  


Anonymous said...

If the Enron, Madoff, and hundreds of other frauds perpetrated throughout the United States have taught us anything, it should be that, for the most part, such judgment awards are indeed worthless pieces of paper.

The malefactors have spent the money and absconded. If they could be traced and apprehended, the money is long gone, and “collection” efforts would be throwing good money after bad. Even local former employers are for the most part judgment-proof (no assets), or the workers would have found attorneys to collect for them, and take a fee from that collection.

The victims of all these frauds all over our country will never be made whole!

The real question is this:

Should being a victim of labor fraud bestow a lifetime entitlement to CNMI residence? Or should there be some limit?

Omannomore said...

Wendy, the CNMI Supreme Court has declared that if you are actively attempting to collect your money, you are allowed to stay. But merely having an uncollected judgment does not confer any rights upon you. The law does not allow people to "rest on their rights."

wendy said...


That's why the DOL or another CNMI agency or the new program should ensure that judgments are collected within a certain period of time. The responsibility should not be on a person who has no money to hire an attorney or pursue their case because they were not paid!

the scribe said...

The judgements are the responsibility of CNMI and non-payment must rest with the government or we have no credibility here.

Anonymous said...

In the past there have been some people that have had the guest worker make a "power of attorney" to one of us to collect the settlement judgment for them and put the payments in their account in one of the local banks.
Many of the bank cards will work in Philippines and places in China. Many times the employer will agree to abide by some kind of a payment scheme over a year or two, with a fine in the case of missed payment etc. while labor forces the worker to be repatriated, thus insuring the employer will not have to pay.

I have fought labor to get the employer to live up to the agreement and also to level the fines against the employer for non payment.
In the cases that I have personally been involved in, it happened to be the case of an IR spouse that did not pay the employee with the US spouse working other job but agreeing to the payment plan.

In all cases that there was a problem in collecting labor would not offer much assistance, even to the point of trying to talk to the former employer.
I forced the issue a couple of times from the bonding company.(the ones that actually had been paid for the bond)
Most of the bonding companies underwriter do not recieve a payment for the bond or the paperwork so they have no record of any bond being issued.
I have not charged anything for this service as I have known the workers

Anonymous said...

BTW, In today's online Honolulu Advertiser, on the front page, there is the headlines Sexual Harassment lawsuit settled in Norther Mariana Islands.(it then explain where the Islands are located)

Saipan based Yuns Inc. agreed to pay $80,000 to six female cashiers.
A supervisor slapped, spanked them and touched them inappropriately, lifted their skirts and made lewd demands.

This company operates Payless, San Jose Mart and 99 cent Super Market.
(This is a EEOC suit.)

I thought that this was operated and run by Chinese. I do not remember ever seeing any "local" working there, mostly Pacific Islanders and Chinese.
Interesting that NMI sure gets notoriety, almost 4000 miles away, not good for the tourist trade.

Anonymous said...

There are several locals working there and have worked there several years.