Testimony from the Hearing


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

"As immigrants’ rights groups are pressing President Barack Obama to step up efforts at comprehensive reform this year, one prominent member of Obama’s cabinet is acknowledging that the economic downturn has made legalization of illegal immigrants tougher to sell to the American public.

“When unemployment is up, anything that looks like you’re taking jobs away from …people who are lawfully here—citizens of the United States—is going to meet a lot of resistance,” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said during an exchange with reporters Tuesday morning.

The homeland security chief and former Arizona governor said the economic slump may also have eased some anti-immigration feeling by decreasing the flow of illegal migrants into the U.S. “Given that the numbers have gone down, some of the intensity of the debate seems to have dissipated,” she said.

However, Napolitano said the economic factors combined to put an additional hurdle in the path of immigration reform advocates. “In balancing those things, I think it makes it more difficult,” she said."

Although the fight for green cards may be a slightly different subject matter, it boils down to one thing: AMERICAN JOBS.

The Republicans will have a field day next election if thousands of guest workers are given a chance to take jobs from current US Citizens!

Anonymous said...

WTF R U TALKING ABOUT 1ST ANNOYMOST? (Spelling intentional) Is that you Greg? What did she ever promise?

Anonymous said...





Anonymous said...


Why don't you stop acting like a child and help yourself.

can you say something intelligent please said...

Venusa is correct.

Anonymous said...

acting like a child and help myself? i'm in a good state of life, your advise is unsolicited, maybe you do!

you are a poor child yourself, plaster your words into yourself! bless you!

Anonymous said...

By the way, I have to go to work now(which pays good $) so I will not have the time to answer your ranting for the next 9 hours. Good day!

Anonymous said...

What do you consider good money?

wendy said...

To the second anonymous:

You are forgetting a very important piece of the guest worker puzzle. (Perhaps the DHS Secretary is also.) The guest workers, especially in the mainland, perform labor that U.S. citizens will not perform. How many U.S. citizens toil in the fields or the orchards? How many clean hotel rooms? How many would accept seasonal jobs? How many of the laid off workers are going to pick tomatoes in Florida? How many are going to work in slaughter houses and meat packing plants?

The Republicans? Are you talking about those who profess that they uphold family values? They will vote to divide families? Even John McCain supports immigration reform. More Republicans will support comprehensive immigration reform in the coming months. Do you think this party that is witnessing a large loss of numbers will risk alienating the HUGE and growing block of Latino voters?

The Saipan Blogger said...

Why not, they've alienated the majority of Americans. The might as well piss off everyone.

Obama 2012

Anonymous said...

Sigh... that could be true.

Anonymous said...

Can you please post Kilili's statement?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

How quickly we forget that the TT citizens from the CNMI were GIVEN US CITIZENSHIP only a couple decades ago.

How would Fitial and Greg and all the others felt if at that time people from Hawaii or any other state threw up their arms and shouted "WTF!!! You can't give those island monkeys US citizenship just because they asked for it!"

We would have been so pissed.

Who are we to now turn around and say that long term guest workers can not ask the US for citizenship? They have every damn right to ask. You may not like it. Look in the mirror.

Look at the US passport you are holding. Remember this: You woke up one morning and via a damn fax were given that Passport. No test, no time limit, no nothing. You got it because you got together as TT citizens and ASKED THE US TO GIVE IT TO YOU.

Grow up and stop being selfish b*stards. The granting of US citizenship is not even your to give. We never had that ability at a local level and never will have it at a local level.

Give the long term workers that damn pathway to citizenship and stop this madness.

Anonymous said...

Madness? Try Metro Manila for a week!

wendy said...

I don't have Kilili's statement. I will try to get a copy and will post it.

To anonymous who said "how quickly we forget..."
excellent point!

Anonymous said...

Why Pula & the Gov. are singing the same music. Is pula now the Gov. bitch??

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... what did the gov. give pula?? anyone??

Anonymous said...

Maybe a junk SUV. remember the congressman from Tinian.

Anonymous said...


Excellent point about "How many U.S. citizens toil in the fields or the orchards? How many clean hotel rooms? How many would accept seasonal jobs? How many of the laid off workers are going to pick tomatoes in Florida? How many are going to work in slaughter houses and meat packing plants?"

So if green cards - which grant the holders the same access to jobs as U.S. citizens - are given to guest workers, who will fill those type of jobs in the CNMI? It won't be H-2 workers, because those visas are for seasonal or temporary jobs. It won't be H-1 workers, because those visas are for specialty occupations. At least as Congress envisioned it in the law, it will be "CNMI-only transitional workers" for the foreseeable future - certainly more than the next 5 years. Will we be revisiting this issue of "improved status" for the rest of time, asking for a path for citizenship to people who've worked in the CNMI for more than 5 years?

Green cards address citizenship issues for individuals. They do not address labor needs of employers or economies, regardless of what David Cohen opines.

alfred said...

The point made about "how quickly we forget" is not that excellent, at least with respect to the people toward whom it is directed.

Ben Fitial never asked anyone for US citizenship. On the contrary, he actively opposed the Covenant by which it was conferred. As for Greg (which I take to mean Greg Cruz), he was ten years old at the time, and presumably had no opinion on the subject.

the teacher said...

Greg was as entitled to his blue passport as I was with mine.

Mr. Pula is either in with Ben or he has been on the far side of the moon. His comments to extend were indeed, shocking.

Anonymous said...

The point that was excellent was that a group of people asked for citizenship and it WAS granted. It is ironic that the same people who earned their U.S. citizenship in this way, are the ones who don't want others to have it.

Saipan Writer said...

Nick Pula asked for a 1 year delay in REPORTING about the needs and possibilities of permanent residency for aliens in the CNMI. Although this is not good, it is NOT the same as asking for a 1 year delay in implementing federal immigration here.

He neither supported nor opposed Fitial's request for a 1 year delay in the start of federal immigration, and deferred his answer to the Obama Administration, which he said would have an opinion on it.

His justification for the 1 year REPORTING delay request was that there is so little hard data available in the CNMI... His agency, that makes the report, needs time to set up data collection systems, etc.

This, in itself, is a poor reflection on the Fitial administration. Why can't we come up with numbers and per capita incomes and projections and such? Because we have not established any kind of scientific or real data collection and mainenance systems. Such efficiency would interfere with the "discretion" that the Fitial administration likes. (And to be fair, no prior administration came close to getting such a system firmly in place, either, although the LIIDS system was a serious attempt.)

wendy said...

Hi Jane

I think I may not have been clear about Nik Pula's request. I know that he is requesting a delay in making the recommendation to Congress and I still believe it is unreasonable. They can get this information. It is ridiculous that the interim labor reports claim that they have a great tracking system, but no one knows how many guest workers there are in the CNMI at any given time! Even if the local government cannot accomplish the data gathering, the federal government certainly could within the time frame of six months. DHS could register all nonresidents, DOI could contract someone to get the job done, GAO could create a system... They already let a year pass. They need to do their jobs. A delay in reporting means a delay of year with no recommendations on status, and continued uncertainty for the guest workers.

Anonymous said...

I asked a guest worker about getting a green card or US citizenship. I brought up the point of not having any employment upon entering the US. Their response: It's ok, I can live there for free.

Like children, these people have no real concept of the real world. The CNMI is a cake walk. Stay here.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous who said, "I asked a guest worker..."

...and then you explained that that was not true?

Anonymous said...

Unlimited text messaging is the real reason why they want to emigrate to the US.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous who said, "Green cards address citizenship issues for individuals. They do not address labor needs of employers or economies, regardless of what David Cohen opines."

Citizens need to survive, therefore they WORK!

The Actor said...

Jane and Wendy,

The data that is needed to determine how many workers will be needed is economic data of the sort that is collected all over the United States by the U.S. Census Bureau, except in the territories!

This is not something done by any state or territory, but a federal responsibility that, like so many aspects of federal law enforcement and the application of federal law in the CNMI, has been neglected.

If you read the GAO testimony carefully, this will become clear to you.

The CNMI has been seeking a mandate for the U.S. Census Bureau (part of the U.S. Department of Commerce) to do this for years, and it was even in one version of a bill at the time of Pub. L. 110-229, but never made it into law -- the result of the hasty, vindictive imposition of a law on the CNMI without even a non-voting Delegate at the table.

Ultimately, the proponents of federalization have only themselves to blame for the fact that we don't know how many workers will be needed during the Transition Period. Hence, it is hard for Interior to make a recommendation based on any meaningful basis.

the teacher said...

If the status was improved to green cards, we would not need that data as laws of supply and demand would prevail and the unemployed would move to seek greener pastures abroad.

Further study is the ploy the status quo sympathizers have always used to stall federalization here.

Anonymous said...

And the real reason you come here from the U.S. is----
a. diving
b. clubs and sex
c. endless supply of damo
d. government job in paradise

Is that as crazy as saying OCWs want to go to the U.S. to send text messages?

Anonymous said...

Thank you teacher. You are right!

wondering said...

Who is Jim Beighley and how did so many business types get on these panels?

Anonymous said...

I think you mean Jim Arenovski, the former Saipan Chamber of Commerce president.

Anonymous said...

Jim is the head of DFS on Guam and Saipan. Obviously they have an interest in tourists from Russia, China, and the Hong Kong SAR.

Anonymous said...

the teacher said...

If the status was improved to green cards, we would not need that data as laws of supply and demand would prevail and the unemployed would move to seek greener pastures abroad.

Further study is the ploy the status quo sympathizers have always used to stall federalization here.
The unemployed contract workers should already be seeking out greener pastures abroad, but so many have been bamboozled by those purveying false hope of green cards, or would rather pull a scam than seek out honest work elsewhere.

And we would still need the data to know how badly the economy is being hurt by the minimum wage increase, and how fast available jobs are being sucked out of the CNMI through federalization.

Lack of planning is precisely the main problem with federalization!

Even the simplest construction project anywhere in the country requires an Environmental Impact Statement that is much, much more detailed than any after-the-fact "study" being done for federalization!

Planning is an essential part of making things work, which explains why federalization is turning out to be such a miserable failure.

What is quite funny is that, in every other context of American life, it is the progressives who are the advocates of proper prior planning and study.

But here in the Commonwealth, the so-called progressives betray their principles and truly shortchange the very people they claim to be oh so concerned about.

Shame, shame! On American soil!

Anonymous said...

Who owns the Shell franchise on Saipan?

Anonymous said...

You had DFS regional Director and the Saipan Chamber.

Some of the speakers wanted to just extend the five years to 10 years now on take over, on the unlimited "necessary" workers entering the NMI.
As was stated by Cohen, it is unrealistic to expect the present 5 year to not be extended

Any change in current worker status would be a one time only thing. Any other workers that did not qualify, present and future would not be eligible for any status change and would be hired under rules of the visa program.

In regards to 'Maids, hotel workers and yard boys, farmers etc" I believe that there are "L" or "K" visas (forgot now without looking it up)that allow for the types of jobs that were mentioned.
Whether this will be aplicable in the NMI case, I do not know.Can't see why not.

Also the current US work visa's allow for immediate family members to obtain a visa to accompany the primary worker. (but not to work)
The employer is responsible for the workers health care but not the family members.

One thing I am not sure is the affect on the pay scale, under the present "work visa" The worker is supposed to be paid the US wage scale of the job classification that they are hired as.
If this "US scale" will apply to the NMI in this instance.
This would put most of the "Highly Skilled" jobs (and many lower skilled)above the upcoming local minimum wage. (many companies are still paying higher at present anyway in the construction trades.

This will ensure that there is no US worker available to work, also it will still be cheaper to recruit from the US or from the outer Islands like Palau or FSM etc.(this was happening in the US before the economy crashed.)

What is the problem with labor and their "modernization" updates with their computer system?
Labor does not know how many workers are still in the NMI. Legal or otherwise.
They say 16K and then they say they processed 23K last year.
The cap is supposed to be 16K at present.
The same thing like the other agencies, you can have the most modern tools but if political appointees that do not know how to use the tools or anything about the job to done you got nothing.

Who is supposed to keep track of the outer island people residing in the NMI for the impact funds.
I thought that recently a count was taken, and now there is a big different in the past numbers so the funds are cut.Could this also be that this person(s) doing this count did not finish school or know how to count?
Or could it be that they did an "honest" count this time not knowing that it would affect the amount of money given?

Saipan Writer said...

Interior will need financial data, true. And often in the states, the federal government relies on federal census data for this type of information.

But this kind of economic information is not the sole province of the federal government. The CNMI has known for decades that it needs this kind of information --for grants, for planning, for decision-making. The CNMI has control over its government, including labor and immigration.

This information could have been available all along if the CNMI chose to collect and tabulate it. The CNMI government's failure to do so is a failure of our own local government. You can try to blame the feds for everything, but be real. They can solve this data issue for us, or we can solve it ourselves. But just because the feds haven't solved this problem for us doesn't make them bad or evil...why haven't we resolved to do something for ourselves?

Interior will also need data about aliens (IRs, widows/widowers/ permanent residents), FAS, and other related issues. This information should be readily available from the CNMI, but it has not been forthcoming.

I disagree that P.L. 110-229 was a "vindictive" act or that it was undertaken hastily. The process of extending US immigration to the CNMI was one that took more than 15 years to effectuate. It was long overdue and needed.

And while it is true we did not have a delegate in Congress, we did have an actively-participating elected Resident Representative who attended many meetings and hearings, who provided testimony, who came back and forth to the CNMI and met with people and shared his views on the law with those in Congress.

And because we have P.L. 110-229, we NOW have a non-voting delegate in Congress.

I loved seeing Kilili in the video of the hearing. It's just great seeing the CNMI fully participating in this process now.

Anonymous said...

Jim Anerovski owned Delta Corp. that manages Shell Susupe and and Puerto Rico..

These are the same gas stations that i opted to skipped whenever I put gas to my car.

You know...you don't have to read the lines!!

You have the power to do that too...

The Saipan Blogger said...

I'd work in the fields if I got paid $50 an hour...which during the campaign is what John McCain said those workers made. I wonder why he lost?

Anonymous said...

Just read a great quote on someone's FB.

"they asked for workers but they got people came." or something like that.

Really applies to what Jim from chamber said.

Anonymous said...

So why should the hard-working guest workers admitted by the CNMI get green cards, but the hard-working guest workers admitted during the transition period do not?

This is a big scam, for the current set of workers to get something they were never promised.

Census Data said...

Again, everywhere else in the country, it is the job of the federal government to get this data.

How on earth would you expect the CNMI to acquire the expertise and funding to get this data when they cannot even accomplish much more basic tasks?

It is unrealistic and wrong to absolve the feds of their many shortcomings by blaming the CNMI.

Anonymous said...

The CNMI has given all immigration data requested by DHS.

Saipan Writer said...

Last anon--I doubt that. At the hearing, Kilili himself said he was trying to get information and had not gotten a response to his request. Kilili is now a "fed" as our elected Delegate to US Congress.

nick the noz said...

Jim Arenovsky's Shell stations (Susupe, Gualo Rai (west side) and San Roque) are easy to distinguish. They are the ones where the workers are locals.

Unlike Anonymous above, I have always made it a point to fill up at those stations.

Anonymous said...

What about the Puerto Rico and Dandan stations?

wendy said...

Census Data:

Again, everywhere else in the country, it is the job of the federal government to get this data.

How on earth would you expect the CNMI to acquire the expertise and funding to get this data when they cannot even accomplish much more basic tasks?

It is unrealistic and wrong to absolve the feds of their many shortcomings by blaming the CNMI.
A couple points. First the CNMI is not like everywhere else in the U.S. The CNMI has control of their own labor and immigration system and claims that it is a better system than the US system. They also claim that they can track who comes in and who exits. If this were true then they would know who was present in the CNMI on any given day. It obviously is not true. They say there are 16,000 guest workers, they say there are 18,000, they say 23,000 entered this year! Do they even have a clue?

I am not excusing the federal government. They wrote the law, and they read the law. They knew that it required gathering data and statistics and they should have, at the very least, gotten this process planned and moving forward a year ago. They need to move now!

To the anonymous person who claims that the CNMI has given all immigration information required...

If this was true, then there would be no need to worry about gathering data and no need to delay reporting to Congress. Jane's response is correct. Kilili referred to an April 21, 2009 letter to Governor Fitial requesting specific information and told the governor he wanted an answer to that letter.

Saipan Writer said...

I want to be educated on what the Actor says the federal government should be doing about data collection. What is the whole story there? What is the US supposed to be doing? Why do you say they have failed to help the CNMI?

And also why do you think the CNMI is not responsible for generating this kind of economic information?

I really don't know. But I did a very quick google search of just "economic data Hawaii" for an example to see what pops up for a state, and the first site that came up is this remarkable State of Hawaii site: http://hawaii.gov/dbedt/

Clearly, Hawaii is generating economic data about itself.

THIS is what we're competing with. Is it any wonder we're not getting more investment? This Hawaii example, at least as to this matter, is a role model we should emulate.


The Actor said...

Jane, read the GAO testimony.

Wendy, you are mixing apples and oranges.

One category was the "Guest Workers." The higher number is all non-citizens issued permits by the CNMI. There are about 15 categories of permits.

The issue causing Interior to need a delay is not the number of workers present. It is the number of workers needed. How can Interior recommend what status changes would be most beneficial if no one knows how the economy is doing in the CNMI?

That is the whole point of hiring labor from abroad -- to fill unmet needs. So how much is that?!

The fact that the CNMI controls its own immigration absolutely, positively does not mean that economic data is not needed! That is a non-sequitur. The U.S. controls its own immigration, too.

I'll say it again. Interior's reason for wanting a delay is the absence of U.S. Census data for the past several decades.

Don't take my word for it. Read the GAO testimony. Carefully.

Melberlin said...

Numbers or data is a collection of facts from which decisions may be drawn. Wendy is right, we are not that many, DHS can hire a neutral consultant that is worthy of being depended to start that can influence the right and fair decisions. There should be no groups associated to opposing sides allowed to interfere during the data gathering that will manipulate or influence to one's advantage especially whoever paid them. Look at what happened to GAO. Granting improvement status to illegals in the US requires great effort but they were granted many times in the past and no or not that many resistance have shown by the Americans. Granting green card to long-term tax-payer guest workers requiring little effort. As you can see around only a few or same people are those preventing it, you can see this commentators in their aliases in here and in the newspaper, same person plus the Gov that will be gone soon.

wendy said...


I am well aware of the major categories of nonresidents. Did you not read the December 2008 report I wrote where I addressed the issue of nonresidents? (You know the report that CNMI DOL responded to in a disingenuous, misleading, and untruthful manner.)

From the law:
“The Secretary of the Interior, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Governor of the Commonwealth, shall report to the Congress not later than 2 years after the date of the enactment of the Northern Mariana Islands Immigration, Security, and Labor Act. The report shall include the number of aliens residing in the Commonwealth; a description of the legal status (under Federal law) of such aliens; in five year increments, the number of years each alien has been residing in the Commonwealth; the current and future requirements for the Commonwealth economy of an alien workforce; and recommendations to the Congress related to granting alien workers lawfully present in the Commonwealth on the date of the enactment of such Act United States citizenship or some other permanent legal status.”

I do not care what the federal government has to do to get this information. They knew what they were required to do over one year ago and it looks like they have done nothing. My point is they need to get the information and create the report within the REQUIRED time period and stop asking for extensions on reporting and making recommendations. Is the federal government not capable of doing this? Of course, they can!

You stated, "No one knows the current state of the economy in the CNMI." Why don't they? Your employer, the governor, testified that they have this reliable economic information from his buddies McPhee and Conway and other reports that they solicited to back their anti-federalization lawsuit and their promotion their mantra of delay, delay, delay. Your governor claims he can predict what federalization will do to the economy!

DOI and DHS can coordinate together and/or with GAO, or contract a private firm, to get the information required to get the report and recommendations to Congress by May 8, 2010. They need to do their job!

wendy said...


I forgot to ask you why you suggest that the law is vindictive. What is vindictive about the law?

As far as any economic reports - What is so very difficult about the federal government tasking qualified economists with the job of reporting "the current and future requirements for the Commonwealth economy of an alien workforce"? They could offer several economic scenarios in their report. I have a degree in business administration, and am only a teacher and I could figure out how to get this job done within the required time period and my government cannot. That is ridiculous.

Son of Mahatma Gandhi said...

Boycott Jim Anerovski's business...

Boycott Shell Susupe...
Boycott Shell Puerto Rico...

You don't want us, therefore, we do't want your business!!

Anonymous said...

count me in!look happened to jollibee!

Melberlin said...

When they don't do their job, there are lots of sufferings, life and economy is at stake. Many present/future businessmen are hesitant to invest, many stabled long term workers with savings are hesitant to start a business or buy luxurious things for now, many ordinary guest workers are hesitant to spend anything. A hesitations that were not even gone through before and are now affecting every person with emotional uncertainty. What would be the result? hanging and deteriorating of economy! the effect? no jobs, no tax! next? more crime! next? more life destruction! Imagine a person who needs food daily, housing, & other essential things to survive will have to wait for years to reach, make, or come to a decision about his life? The people that helped build the island but now left and just dependent on chances and unsure of something? Just because of no representation as a human being. Fortunately, there are people like Wendy, Tina, Ron, Malou, Boni, Rene and alike. It's not the end of the world, expect the unexpected and accept to whatever will be. But don't lose hope!!! There are still grounds for feeling hopeful about the future!

Anonymous said...

thanks a lot melberlin! so sad that you can't comment on variety news anymore.

We don't need no stinking extensions said...


Interior needs a delay only because the CNMI cannot, or will not, give up the number of alien workers, what occupations they hold, how many children they have had in the CNMI, and so forth. It's not rocket science.

As for how many foreign workers we need, that is not as difficult to figure out as you (or the GAO) may think. Example: how many bus drivers does the CNMI need in 2010? Well, if the CNMI issued 150 706K permits to bus drivers in 2009, and there are 10 local workers on file with employment services asking for jobs as bus drivers, it stands to reason we need to issue 140 permits for bus drivers in 2010.

Anyway, read PL 110-229. It's not up to Interior to make such calculations. It's Homeland Security that must decide how many permits get issued. Interior only has to decide what to recommend to the Congress about longterm guest workers. And it is up to U.S. Labor to decide whether to extend the transition period (and the transitional guest worker program), and for how long.

The Actor said...

Poster above, read the GAO testimony. It is not the CNMI alien worker number that are lacking.


As you quoted, from the law, Interior must consider "the current and future requirements for the Commonwealth economy of an alien workforce."

Even the best economists can't do this accurately without the data. I agree, the law requires it, but it would not be economically valid.

One simply cannot make up census data. Wishes and hopes simply will not suffice, unless one does not care a whit about those who will actually continue to remain in the CNMI.

The vindictiveness refers to those in Congress who were motivated to retaliate against the abuses and crimes perpetrated by Abramoff. Righteous anger tends not to result in good, effective, well-thought-out law, as is becoming very plain in these consequences of blatant lack of planning and proper economic census data.

Even the simplest of construction projects in the mainland would have an Environmental Impact Statement much more complex than the [lack of] studies for CNMI wage and immigration federalization.

I know many were motivated to stop labor abuses. But any violations of federal labor law have not changed and will not change in the slightest under Public Law 110-229.

Federal law enforcement should have been stepped up. I know you were pushing strongly for this in the late 1990s. It's a shame it never happened. But that's all water under the bridge.

What's important now is that we all get on board to push the U.S. Census to get those numbers ASAP!

The Actor said...

[A]ny violations of federal labor law have not changed and will not change in the slightest under Public Law 110-229.
That is to say, the same laws will apply and could always have been enforced, not that there will not be stricter screening under federalization of who can enter in the first place.

zack said...

The vindictiveness in not only in Congress. A lot of nonresident workers harbor grudges against DOLI, and/or the whole local government, and/or the whole local population, and can't wait to see them "put in their place," crushed and humiliated by the feds.

Anonymous said...

Likewise, sadly, some locals blame guest workers for the loss of Saipan's international reputation caused by unscrupulous foreign employers, lax local enforcement, and lack of federal enforcement.

But what's done is done. We still need each other, and we need to work to get the U.S. Census Bureau on the job.

the teacher said...

We are long past a study of data as 12 year olds now understand the economics here.

Anonymous said...

So how many Transitional Worker Program permits are needed, and in what industries?

Saipan Writer said...

Okay, Greg.
I've read the GAO report. I skimmed it before, even linked to it on my blog before this discussion, but I read it again.

And basically, I read it to say that information for the report on the impact of federalizing CNMI immigration depends upon DHS decisions and until DHS makes those decisions, the terrain is too uncertain for reliable reporting. That the impact and need for foreign workers will depend on DHS decisions, including at what rate the reduction in numbers of CNMI-only permits will be done.

So logically, this GAO report supports implementation of federal immigration NOW, so we can get these decisions made, and move on. While it says there is a need for delay in reporting, it does not support a delay in implementation.

And I agree with Wendy and others--that some additional information from census reports that would be helpful is not available does not mean the report could not be done, and done well. If they need information about DHS decisions, they should ask. And they should be figuring out how to get some economic indicators now.

Wendy is right. Governor Fitial speaks out of both sides of his mouth. How can he KNOW that federalization will be devastating to our economy and have this reliable economic report that supports this position, and then claim that there is inadequate information available to tell how many foreign workers we need?

And yes, we need better census numbers. But the GAO report and your non-response does not answer my basic question: why can't the CNMI have an agency that collects this kind of data? Why hasn't the CNMI collected this kind of data?

The Hawaii site I referenced above shows Hawaii has LOTS of economic data--some of which comes directly from the US census, but much of which is collected and analyzed and reported on by the Hawaii state government.

the teacher said...

Well said SW.

On a brighter note, we have something to celebrate today. The minimum wage is up again today to 4.55.

In several years, we may make consumers out of those formerly working in servitude or have local kids deciding to stay on Saipan instead of leaving in droves.

Imagine having local kids return home to apply their education and start careers here… that is the huge positive aspect of federalization.

How long could we expect to succeed sending our brightest abroad, unlikely to ever return?
A study was the ploy the Saipan Chamber used to stall HR – 3079 early in 2007. Then, when the first study didn’t deliver the expected results, the Guv hid the conclusions. Then, we had another study that the economists admitted they often had difficulty deciding which set of data to use…which greatly affected those conclusions.

Anonymous said...


Now that the hearing is done what's next?

Anonymous said...


You are spot on.

Greg needs to stop with his normal spouting BS and doing so with authority and hoping people will just buy his dribble. I know that sounds pretty harsh but time and time again it is exactly what he does.

He can not do it face to face due to his limited mental abilities but online he copy pastes a few things and twists things and throws in a few words he pulls from his online thesaurus and hopes that if he states it with a bit of force no one will question it.

Thank you Jane for looking in to it.

And you are also correct in that our own Dept of Commerce should be collecting the important data that is needed.

Greg sits there and in unison with the other administration a**kissers sings the sad song of federal takeover being shoved down our throats. They say how we are self-governing and we don't need the feds forcing federal takeover on us. And then in the same breath he says "why aren't the Feds holding our hand and wiping our asses and grabbing and storing our crucial economic data?"

Grow up and start "appointing" people into Government positions that can get the job done.

Anonymous said...

The AMERICAN people need jobs right now. We cannot afford to give jobs away.

Anonymous said...

Ray Mafnas beat the hell out of the last U S Census taker on Saipan. Took a 2X4 to his head... the poor guy is back in the P.I. suffering from brain damage.

Saipan Writer said...

Anon, 1:23,

I disagree with your assessment of Greg. He's very smart and articulate, in person even more so than in writing.

I just happen to disagree with his assessment here and often with his political views.

wendy said...

Anonymous above asked, "What's next?"

There will be more hearings. The Senate will hold a hearing to monitor progress. The House will probably hold one in August when they make their summer trip back to the islands. (Cong. Bordallo announced that they will be visiting the islands in August -Guam and CNMI)

DHS and others agencies/departments charged with specific in the law will be working to implement the law by November 2009.

Judge Friedman will issue a decision on the anti-federalization lawsuit.

The Fitial Administration will continue to call for delay, delay, delay and fight federaliation instead of effectively working to implement it to best serve everyone in the CNMI.

Non-residents will prepare to make their voices heard at visits by the subcommittee members in August.

wendy said...

Wendy said:

I appreciate the dialogue and opposing views offered by such commenters as the Actor and Cactus, even though I may not always agree with them. They are both polite and intelligent.

I think it's important to understand all sides of the issue so we can thoughtfully analyze and investigate to get to the truth.

Posting While Drunk (PWD) said...

A $20 minimum wage would be “great,” too -- for those who'd have jobs. But many, many more of the poorest of the poor would be out of work.

I know, that's an argumentum ad absurdum, but it illustrates the importance of a factual economic basis for one's decision-making. Not pie in the sky or wishes and hopes.

So many of those offering fine-sounding “solutions” have no inkling of the reality of running a business in the CNMI -- the lack of economies of scale, the increased shipping costs and other consequences of geographical isolation and remoteness.

Del. Sablan, whom I greatly admired as Election Commission Executive Director, is already ramping up his “blame game” about Fitial not spending enough CIP money when he well knows or should know of the delays caused by USFWS due to the Endangered Species Act. Too many politicians are gravely lacking in charity.

The CNMI can't even remove dead dogs from the road. How could it match Hawaii's economy of more than ten times the size, and why should it? The U.S. Census has the first job to do, and is the foundation of even the HI work!! So don't use HI to deflect the severe U.S. shortcomings. We can work together to urge the feds to do their job, or delay will be the ineluctable consequence.

[And, no, I don't know the penultimate vowel of the penultimate word!]

Finally, it is highly ironic that those first to decry the propensity of CNMI politicians to have fired those with whom they disagree or whom they find “disloyal” are the first to call for a boycott based on disagreement with others' free speech.

It is always best to take the high road, and never morally licit to do evil for a good cause.

cactus said...


Thank you for the kind words. Let me say that I appreciate you creating this forum where all views can be aired.

With the collapse of the once-vigorous Saipan blogosphere (death of Glen; retirement of Hammerhead, Jeff and Bruce; deflation of Middle Road; etc.), you are now operating the best and liveliest internet forum for the discussion of CNMI issues (from Florida!).

Debating with you and your various hostile commentators actually forces me to internally clarify and better understand my own positions on these issues.

So keep up the good work (the blogging work, that is).

The Actor said...

Yes. Thank you, Wendy and Jane.

Civility and respectful dialog are important facilitators for social change and mutual understanding.

Anonymous said...

Drunk dude

Mr. Sablan is not vamping up a blame game. Pointing out what happened is not blame. Maybe he doesn't want it to happen again.

The boycott isn't about free speech. It's about the future of thousands of people who worked there hands to the bone for the people in the CNMI. If these politicians and businesses want to oppose us and take a stand against status, then we have every right to boycott their businesses. Let them see what it would be like without us. They don't like us enough to want us to have a better lifes, but they like us to give them money. Boycott!

Anonymous said...

When do we start?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

who decides who is on a witness list at a hearing? Does this list seem lop-sided?

CNMI watcher said...

One division leaving Japan in 2012 had planned to move to Guam, but closer analysis shows Guam can NOT handle them for a number of reasons. They are currently, or will soon, contact the NMI Governor about the feasibility of moving them to Tinian or Northern Saipan. If that does not work, or can't be done for any reason, they will move the HAWAII.

They are already figuring Hawaii has the infrastructure, housing, harbors, medical services, Democratic US Senators, and will appease the US President.

Conservationist said...

How about the area near Marpi Heights where the UXO clearance is going on? Or the great flat expanse east of Calabera cave, which will be accessed by the new Windward Highway?

Of course, there is the obstacle of those pesky reed warblers, but DoD can waive such environmental statutes if the Commander-in-Chief agrees.

Anonymous said...

I thought the military would be training in Tinian?

the teacher said...

87 comments on a saipan blog in the post Lil Hammerhead era must be a record.

Has your hit count increased since mustbethehumidity retired?

wendy said...

Hello teacher:

Not more readers, but certainly more comments lately!

Anonymous said...

Boycott Jim Anerovski!
Boycott Delta Management Corp.!
Boycott Shell in Susupe!
Boycott Shell in Puerto Rico!
Boycott now!!!!!

Anonymous said...

No more comments for Variety, no more "lil"hammerhead and this site has almost daily new updated info that concerns everyone.
The most interesting is reading the reactions to the articles, that was the way with the Variety, now it is just scan over it and go on.

Anonymous said...

lil hammerhead is intimidatingly smart!

Who is the "we" in the TTT? said...

Does anyone know who belongs to the Tao Tao Tano group? (TTT) How many members are there?

Is anyone else embarrassed by his constant letters to officials where he speaks on behalf of WE and pretends to represent the people of the CNMI? Do people in Washington know his elevator doesn't reach the top floor? His latest letter to congress is shameful.

counting on one hand said...

The Taotao Tano has five members.

Anonymous said...

Which is at least three more than belong to the Indigenous Rights organization that filed an amicus brief in support of Fitial's lawsuit.

Anonymous said...

Why are you proposing boycotting Jim Arenovski's businesses? He did not say anything about status, only that he was worried about having enough workforce after the transition period. Why not educate these people that if they support green cards for long-term foreign contract workers they will have enough loyal workers on the island and nothing to worry about?

Anonymous said...

why? he viciously fought for the removal of grandfathering provision that would have been given to long time guest workers! he has been saying that guest workers are vital for CNMI economy but he doesn's like these workers to have an improved status, THAT'S WHY!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

If I am not mistaken, shell puerto rico is not his, but shell in San Roque or Shell Tanapag. Just check it out. I think shell puerto rico is owned by a korean

Anonymous said...

A boycott is the only real voice that any disenfranchised group has. Boycott!

Anonymous said...

A boycott is better than a strike. Why give money to peoples who wants to keep us down? We can reward businesses that support us. we can make a list of the businesses that are for status and those that are not...

Anonymous said...

In reference to TTT, it seems like he has many ghost writers as the drastic change in "leanings" in his letters, also the vocabulary(Much different from in the beginning)
I cannot believe that one person can have so many different retrospective's on the same issues at any given time.(But I guess it is possible,but not probable)

Who is "wolverine" that has an opinion on anything all day long and seems to know a lot of behind the scenes info like at the college etc. How true most of it is I personally do not know.

Seems awful quiet now from the other group, "Indigenous Rights"

Also John Delrosario has stopped his juvenile counter attacks.
Getting boring now, we need the Variety to hurry and get their comment section back on line.

Anonymous said...

I heard that Wolverine is Greg Cruz.

John del Rosario is a not interesting. He is annoying and immature. He has been for years and years.

Anonymous said...

ok, boycott now. im in!

Crime Stopper said...

I do not think Jim Arenovski fought to get the grandfather clause removed. I have known him for years, and he is a decent man. His input into PL 110-229 was purely from a business perspective.

Anonymous said...

he worked with the guv & guv's allies to get the grandfathering removed. if he is a pro worker, he could have the "grandfathering prov" supported so that his employees could have a better status and won't be sent home after 3 or 6 years.