July 30, 2009

Press Release from the United Voice for Improved Status

There will be an assembly on Sunday August 09, 2009 at 3:00 p.m. at the Fishing Base in front of Kristo Rai Church to hold an audience for the visiting delegates belonging to the Committee on Natural Resources. Expected to arrive are CNMI Congressman Gregorio (Kilili) Sablan; Representative Nick Rahall, Chairman of the Committee on Natural Resources; Guam Delegate Madeleine Bordallo, Chairwoman of the Sub-Committee on Insular Affairs, Oceans & Wildlife; staffer Brian Modeste; and other respected members of the Congressional Delegation.

Various groups consisting of nonresidents and U.S. citizens, are currently working together to gather all guest workers, FAS citizens, U.S. citizen children of nonresident parents, members of the business community, CNMI permanent residents, stateless children born in the years 1974 to 1978, immediate relatives, locals and all others who sympathize with the plight of all nonresidents here in the CNMI.

The regulations for the implementation of CNMI federalization are to be published soon, and we can be heard before November 28 comes. We will request the members of the Congressional Delegation to push for the implementation of regulations that will stabilize our presence here and keep our families together. We will also ask them to support improved status for us, either in stand-alone legislation or within a comprehensive bill for national immigration reform.

Many have asked how many guest workers and other nonresident permit holders are presently in the CNMI. We can show our numbers by attending this assembly. We can also show that there are many people supporting each other for the betterment of this community!

Free transportation going to this assembly will be provided. Pick up points are in front of PIC and in front of Aqua Resort at 30 minutes intervals starting from 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m.(provided by Saipan City Taxi Association). Please call 989-3306 for pick-up. Carpooling is also encouraged. Donations of drinking water will be highly appreciated.

We are asking everyone to wear white and bring umbrella during this assembly.



the teacher said...

When we marched in July of 2007, the Board of Krista Rai evicted us across the street to marginalize or quell the voices of innocent people freely assembling together to improve their societal status.

Will the church board now approve the peaceful assembly since US Congresspersons are attending? Perhaps the current administration cleared the assembly or perhaps it is show for the delegation.

I have also heard they (the CGws) will be granted ONE speaker and one US citizen child to speak. I don't trust the status quo crowd with the rights of foreign workers. American minors with alien parents do not need to ask to speak and they don't need the church board or anyone else’s permission to speak freely.

I hope this trip is not another Abramoff tour and show for crooked politicians to pander their agenda. If the Congressional group arrives with Ben Fitial, at Krista Rai Church of all places, then it can only be to the determent of workers here and will further advance our reputation as the shame of America.

Ron Hodges

a stickler for accuracy said...

Actually it's Kristo Rai.

Wendy said...

Hello Teacher - It's at the fishing base across from the church, not at the church. This group that is coming has no ill motives and is not connected to any lobbyists. The fact that they recognize the nonresidents as important enough to visit (other Codels have ignored them) speaks volume for them and the progress that the nonresidents have made in being heard in Washington. I hope you will be there to support the nonresidents!

Anonymous said...

Everyone is invited to come and join. No criticism abd mudslinging. This maybe the last assembly of 2009.

Anonymous said...

wish our President of the Philippine was to join this cause her presence would be a big gesture. too bad she will only visit guam on monday.

the teacher said...

I will be there Wendy and I am sure Kilili, Rep. Rahall, and others only have the best intentions for workers here. It was a Democratic Congress that forced the federalization law.

The fishing base sounds more like it, but for the record, the church board did not allow workers to peacefully assemble there in the summer of 2007. I am suspicious and I do not trust Ben Fitial or any angle he and the chamber have in store for guest workers here. Everything they have ever represented here is a sham, from the beautiful factories with happy productive workers to a vicious attempt to protect their organized crime businesses by lobbying against federalization.

Anyone that can bribe the US House of Representatives and walk free wields more clout than some realize. The Congressional members will likely speak with the notorious Saipan Chamber of Commerce, Fitial, and either a HANMI Duty Free rep, or the campaign contributors of every US Congressperson involved with Jack Abramoff...go figure.

the teacher said...

PS noni above - you said "wish our President of the Philippine was to join this cause her presence would be a big gesture. too bad she will only visit guam on monday".

My dear friend, Her excellancy is the last person on earth that wants abused workers to stand up, speak there mind, and improve there status. You will get more support from Bem than Gloria. Perhaps you should read Gemma's letter to the editor if you haven't been home in awhile.

Anonymous said...

Here is to common sense and decency that the Gov keeps his opinions to himself and not tell those attending to "Go back home"

Anonymous said...

Da Guv promised to "deport those people" and has sent many home already while they continue to hire young workers. He has not given up sending the older workers back either. The US will say it is the will of the people but it is a mistake by the US to think that Fitial, Marriane, and Jim Arenoski speak for the residents here. If Kilili parades the Reps around with that group, he will lose his next Rep election. The local residents are fed up with this mess.

Anonymous said...

"The local residents are fed up with this mess."
So please tell me ..who recruits the contract workers?
Who owns the recruiting firms?
Who travels on junkets to various counties to conduct recruitemnt?
Check the facts... it's local residents that helped create this mess. All in the name of greed.

First Amendment Advocate said...

Teacher, the Kristo Rai parking lot is private property with limited space. The Fishing Base immediately west of Beach Road from the Kristo Rai parking lot is government property and much, much larger for the crowd we want to attract. It's safer, too, without pedestrians crossing Beach Road.

Your criticism of the Kristo Rai Parish Council is unfair.

Without an insurance policy provided by our event organizers (likely requiring paid security), the Parish of Kristo Rai would be liable for any accident or injury that occurred in the parking lot. The Parish also has contractual obligations to the owners of the Horiguchi Building to allow vehicular parking access in return for having had the parking lot paved.

While some members of the Kristo Rai Parish Council may not support the cultural objectives of the immigrant movement, just like some blog commenters, for the most part the Catholic Church has been very supportive of worker and immigrant rights.

On the labor front read Leo XIII, Rerum Novarum (1893) and John Paul II, Centissimus Anno (1993). As for immigrants, no less than Jesus himself told us to welcome the aliens in our midst and not to oppress them. Our shepherd and pastor, Bishop Tomas A. Camacho, has been outspoken in this regard, and supportive through Karidat and assignment of religious workers.

Who knows, our next bishop might be Filipino. But whoever he is, he must tend to all his flock, migrant and indigenous alike, ensuring that the indigenous culture and religious traditions are not wiped out in the face of an unjust population onslaught.

In other words, the Catholic Church, the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa, and Kristo Rai Parish have to be fair, even-handed, and not “take sides” in matters of prudential judgment -- as opposed to clear-cut good and evil.

While Catholic social teaching opposes discrimination, oppression, and all forms of hatred toward aliens, there can still be bona fide disagreements about specific political proposals and solutions. So you will find Catholics on both sides of the issue.

Given that we are trying to attract community support and display our unity in favor of IMPROVED STATUS, now is not the time to engage in recriminations or hostility toward the Kristo Rai Parish Council for some perceived slight over two years ago.

Onward and upward!

More power!

Anonymous said...

Who owns the Horiguchi Building?

the teacher said...

1st amendment advocate - I would agree that an old story is best washed over the dam. It was done the day before the Guv hollered threats at CGWs in front of the court house though. Anyway, the church has many achievements and vocal supporters of guest workers. My favorite was "A slave is a slave is a..." by FR Joe Bilotti that appeared in the The North Star.