Another call for a delay

September 2, 2009


Much to the joy of the anti-federalization fighters, Saipan Chamber, Fitial, and HAMNI, Congressman Greg Sablan has reversed his position is is now calling for another delay. How disappointing.

What efforts have been taken to ensure that the Departments of Homeland Security and other agencies are doing their job and to the November 28 2009 deadline? Where is the evidence that DHS is not ready? Is there a report? Letter to Congress from the departments and agencies involved? Let's deal with facts!

If this is true, (and there is no evidence that it is), why isn't the U.S. government prepared for the deadline? Why isn't the Department of Homeland Security ready? Who should be taken to task for this?

I would like to see a statement from the DHS as to why they can't do their jobs and meet a deadline after they have already been given a 6-month deadline. Who will hold them accountable for this, if it's true that they are not prepared?

At the May House Hearing the DHS certainly indicated that they would be ready. They already received a six-month delay and somehow now they can't meet that. Please.

80 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Doing it right" is just the latest tactic from the slavers who want to preserve the status quo, Kilili included.

Wendy said...

Kilili is not a slaver. I respect Congressman Sablan very much even though I disagree with his stand on the delay. He has brought an enormous amount of money to the CNMI. He is a tireless defender of the Marianas in Congress. He is honest and considerate of every person who calls the CNMI their home. He is not a slaver and he is not anti-federalization.

His position is that federalization should be done right. He is correct! I just feel that the Congress should kick butt and get the DHS and departments charged with this task to do their job and obey the intent of the law. A delay will cause more suffering and more uncertainty.

Congress Watcher said...

The evidence is all around us here in the CNMI, particularly at the airports.

Do you really expect the feds to issue a letter, “Running a guest worker program and state-of-the art immigration departure control system is harder than it looks”?

The need for delay is completely predictable and due almost entirely due to the fact that Public Law 110-229 was rushed into law for political purposes without the studies that should have been done before the law was passed. Even a small construction project in the mainland has a more comprehensive environmental impact statement than the “planning” and study that preceded this law.


The fault lies primarily not with DHS, but in the deeply flawed process -- without an elected Delegate from the CNMI on the Committee -- that resulted in Title VII of the CNRA.

Kilili is also an astute observer of the true feelings of his constituents with respect to the overbearing way federalization is being implemented, and is reacting accordingly. Isn't democracy great? I can hardly wait for November!

Anonymous said...

Bring on November. Bye bye Fitial!

Anonymous said...

That just proves my point Wendy...People are great as long as they support your cause; but bad once they turn the other way.

Best you just mind your own business and leave Saipan out of your thoughts. We can fix our affairs without your help.

Kilili's reason to support a delay is very legitimate! Homeland Security is not budgeted and not ready to take over our Islands! But you and your Mentor Stayman just can't wait, can't you Wendy?

ocw said...

Thanks you mam wendy for helping us!

Anonymous said...

Saipan Tribune's online photo has Jim Arenovski as a cadaver and Kilili reaching out to him. Is it symbolic?
http://www.saipantribune.com

Disappointed said...

I had a feeling Kilili's announcement was coming. He's been building up to it. I couldn't help but notice a peculiar tendency at the congressional oversight hearing in May to deny and ignore assurances from DHS that they would be able to implement 110-229 effectively and on time.

DHS said, "We have enough money." The delegates said, "No you don't."

DHS said, "We will be ready by Nov. 28." The delegates said, "No you won't."

And since then that's all we've heard. DHS is not ready, DHS doesn't have the money, DHS doesn't care, DHS will kill us, Nov. 28 will be the end of the world, etc.

So Kilili and the usual suspects (Chamber, HANMI, Governor, other politicos) want a delay. One more year, they say. What exactly will happen in that year? What will they do to ensure that implementation is done "right"? What exactly must they know will go "wrong" on Nov. 28 otherwise?

I just don't get it.

I am dreading another year of limbo, wishful thinking, denial, empty rhetoric.

Anonymous said...

What makes you think Kilili is pro federalization? His family has Filipina maids and farmers! They don't want to lose that! LOL! Stop making excuses Wendy when one of your greatest champions does a complete 180

Anonymous said...

noni at 8:36 am
Stop the dreading, being in limbo, wishful thinking, and empty rhetoric...... Get off your duff and apply for your green card. Now!
No one else or any local or federal agency is going to do it for you. Get in line before Nov 26 as there is going to be a minor flood of applications and the waiting will just get longer and longer. In all your years in the CNMI, did anyone really help you? You helped the CNMI, but they just crapped on you.
Move it!

Anonymous said...

Noni 08:26,

Funny online front page switched-photo caption of a CPR training lesson. "Saipan Chamber of Commerce president Jim Arenovski, left, and U.S. Rep. Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (D-MP), right, confer during the Chamber's monthly general membership meeting yesterday at The Palms Resort in San Roque."

That's no cadaver, that's a dummy!

Anonymous said...

I think Kilili is maneuvering this to force DHS to get their act together. I know he's always wanted to get our immigration federalized at their earliest opportunity.

Anonymous said...

Noni 7:23am:

You Said: "Homeland Security is not budgeted and not ready to take over our Islands! "

DHS is ver much budgeted. DHS currently protects ALL US borders except for ours. What makes you think our border is so much more difficult to protect than say Guam or Hawaii or Alaska or California or VI or anywhere else. Enough with the doom gloom stuff. You say they don't have budgeted funds. When asked directly they said the had funding.

Here is the fatal flaw in your "DHS HAS NO MONEY AND IS NOT READY" arguement in favor of delay.

Are you ready?

Okay, try not to fall off your stool with this bit of pure enlightenment.

Come November 28, 2009 CNMI Immigration is not ready to continue managing immigration. THEY DO NOT HAVE A BUDGET. THEIR STAFF HAVE ALREADY STARTED M TRANSITIONING OUT. The legislature had to crawl around and search for funds to be able to re-appropriate the money needed for the 6 month extension.

We, the CNMI, ARE NOT READY.

DHS will have no problem taking over immigration out here. When tasked a few years ago after 9/11 with taking over full control of all US borders they did so. Now if a new international airport opens they jump in and set up shop.

I have 3 friends that have under gone the training and testing needed to join the local DHS staff come November. Their group consisted of around 20 people. DHS is actively hiring both US mainland and our local residents RIGHT NOW.

Efrain is in discussions with DHS. They have had multiple conversations regarding the takeover. Why he is bending the truth on those convos and not being completely open with us is anyones guess (mine is SPIN as dictated by his boss Fitial). CBP just came down and held extensive meetings with him.

CIS is set up already.

The law granted a transition period of 5 years to work out any issues that arise regarding unique CNMI permits and such.

As for existing CNMI PERMITS they will all be recognized for at least 2 years during this transition period.... so no worry about not having a plan. One is in place the plan of a PROPER TRANSITION period.

This recent DHS is not ready propoganda and spin is just a new attempt by "middle of the road" Kilili to try and appease the chamber and for some reason take care of Fitial. It is spin. Plain and simple.

Anonymous said...

One more year delay will surely kill the NMI. Many of the business will leave and no investors will come as of the uncertainty.

How does anybody know what is going on in the background with the Feds. Much may not be said as the ongoing lawsuit.
How can anybody say (or know) there is no money with the trillions of dollars that is being appropriated and spent on this "stimulus"?? As was stated in the past the money that was appropriated was only for the balance of the first year and there was another amount stated.

But if there is another delay, look for a major downturn in this already bleak economy in the NMI and more outward bound families along with unemployed guest workers. MVA will be able to market Saipan as the biggest Ghost town in the pacific region and hire the left over people to be the old time populace.

Anonymous said...

The “some reason” for his change of heart is that Kilili has determined through his extensive conversations with the grass roots that there is a substantial likelihood Fitial will be reelected this November.

And Kilili has to worry about his own reelection next year, so he doesn't want to alienate any potential support or be tarred with the disastrous implementation of federalization by a challenger's campaign.

The writing is on the wall.

Anonymous said...

love this:

"DHS said, "We have enough money." The delegates said, "No you don't."

DHS said, "We will be ready by Nov. 28." The delegates said, "No you won't." "



So damn true.

Kilili is going around telling people that DHS is not ready but when asked exactly what that means he can not explain. He says that they will do it wrong... but fails to mention what wrong means.

They come in prior to Nov 28. Set up desks and systems. Check passports and persons upon entry. What is the "not ready" fear?

All CNMI permits will be recognized for a 2 year period during the transition.

WE THE CNMI are not budgeted. We are the ones not ready. We are the ones that have been letting ALL Chinese and Russian and other foreign tourist, investors, students, etc in through our borders without any type of thorough background check. We are the ones that have never BEEN READY to adequately protect our borders. We have been lucky that the only major issues we have encountered are counterfeit rings, drugs, money laundering and cases of human trafficking from the people that waltz through our borders without so much as a blink from our CNMI Immigration.

This is not an attack on the immigration workers. They were following the CNMI Immigration Laws that were incredibly lax. Laws that not only allow that type of stuff to happen but encourage it. What do you think goes on in the back rooms at the tinian dynasty? Why do you think Kilili references them? They stand to lose their entire market made up primarily of individuals that would not ever pass a background check. They are launderers, traffickers and users. They get free entry into tinian to do their thing. China has embassies and consulates in all the major cities. Chinese tourist can apply and if granted come to tinian and Saipan. Why then are we upset about DHS take over? Because our corrupt government won't be able to bring in the corrupt counterparts that bring in big bucks under the table along with their drugs, human trafficking, laundering etc. These same foreign bad guys pay top dollar to our corrupt political leaders (ugh%&*!).

Why is Kilili wanting the delay? Maybe he also fears losing some of those individuals support or at bare least the middleman hand that supports him.


Kilili: Our borders at the moment and over the past years have been an OPEN GATE to the world. We have not SECURED them properly in anyway. Our corrupt government officials have used their power over the immigration laws for exchange with surly foreigners who conduct bad business on our land. ENOUGH. We have BEEN DOING IT WRONG for much TOO LONG!

Time to stop and quickly let DHS attempt to FIX our errors.

Time for someone to start PROTECTING our families from evils that have been allowed to flood in because they paid the right amount to high officials.

Kilili, you owe your people an apology. You have sold your children down the river. WHAT WAS THE PRICE YOU CHARGED?

Anonymous said...

The real problem is that DHS is leaving the CNMI out of the information loop, and that includes Kilili, although he is a U.S. Congressman.

I agree with Wendy. The problem is not Kilili. I, too, respect him, but disagree with him on this matter.


Anon at 7:23 AM--We are allowed to comment and question our elected delegates. Even criticize them. It doesn't make them "bad." We may even still vote for them.

I also agree with the comment that federalization delay will cause greater uncertainty and more problems than implementation that is less than perfect.

And the CNMI's continuing "control" of immigration should not be an option.

jmho.

Disappointed said...

Noni at 9:59am,

I am Noni at 8:36am, and for your information I am a U.S. citizen, lifelong resident of the CNMI, and an indigenous person to boot.

Your assumption that a person who opposes any further delay in federalization must be a foreign worker (or aspiring green card holder) is nonsense.

Further delay will hurt all of us in the CNMI. There are plenty of U.S. citizens, residents, and business owners and managers who do not agree with Kilili, HANMI, Chamber, Fitial, & Co. I am hardly an anomaly.

Anonymous said...

"DHS is leaving the CNMI out of the information loop, and that includes Kilili, although he is a U.S. Congressman."

This is not fully accurate. DHS officials HAVE spoken to Kilili. He has been briefed and he has had an opportunity to relay DIRECTLY to them his concerns. They have told him that his CONCERNS ARE UNFOUNDED and that they WILL BE ABLE TO SET UP BY NOV 28. He wants more specifics from them that they cannot give him. That is part of the PROTECTION that they will be setting up. Noone gets to know all the specifics from outside DHS. That would compromise the integrity of the setup.

He asked them if they would be able to set-up prior to Nov 28. They said YES.

He asked if they had enough money to do it properly. They said YES.

He asked for specifics ont he set up. They said they could not give it to him. He got upset and threw a fit.

Why does he need to know what exactly they are going to install in the airport, How many terminals hey will use, what type of equipment. Respectfully speaking that is none of his business.

CBP just came out here. They had private meetings with Efrain (for some reason Efrain failed to contact the media after they left to explaint hat DHS IS TALKING TO HIM). They meet with our business leaders at the Hyatt. They met with our local elected leaders. They informed us that they were ready.

DHS also sat in a hearing and said that they could meet the deadline.

What is KILILI basing his, "they are lying" statement on? How can he be so knowledgeable about DHS' inability to take over immigration in November if they are not communicating with him. Wouldn't that mean he is SPECULATING? Or is he SPINNING?

What is it Greg "middle of the road" Kilili Sablan? Why the false statments and slanderous accusations against the organization that is right at this moment doing their best to PROTECT our US Borders from the surly individuals that we currently allow the ability to come ashore here in the CNMI?

Anonymous said...

Kilili’s “call” for delay will have no effect on the implementation of the November 28, 2009 Transition Program Effective Date (TPED).

But it will allow him to say he tried to “do something” and use that for political purposes to gain his reelection next year, just like Fitial’s “standing up” for the Covenant in his lawsuit will ensure his reelection this November.

Those who fight the valid exercise of executive branch and Congressional authority and policy-making prerogatives will end up look silly and bitter, or worse.

Anonymous said...

Noni 12:20PM:

"Those who fight the valid exercise of executive branch and Congressional authority and policy-making prerogatives will end up look silly and bitter, or worse."

Your acceptance of what you have determined to be political posturing and nothing more in an attempt to sway voters that may not see things as clearly as you or others on this blog is what is TRULY "silly and bitter and worse".

I believe a majority of the voters are much smarter than you give them credit. I believe they are as perceptive as you are and you are not looking out of unique goggles. Do you think you are so high and mighty that you are the only one that can smell the stench of political posturing coming from Fitial's Lawsuit and Kilili new "call"?

Silly, silly person. No you are not alone. Perhaps me calling you on this will make you bitter. In the end that is for the better and not the worse.

the teacher said...

Chamberonomics 120...shame and disgrace

A delay would be a sad day for the impoverished children of our homestead areas, crippled businesses, the patient contract guest worker, and everyone except the Saipan Chamber of Commerce, HANMI, and the Fitial administration.

The commonwealth economy would go from terrible to paralyzed from uncertainty and it would guarantee another year of suffering and loss of potential investors.

This issue would have ended a long time ago had the federalization fighters here not bribed members of the US House of Representatives, and today, after twenty felons have been indicted or convicted in that sordid affair, the conspiracy to block federalization continues by the original architects of the scandal.

This is officially the never ending story of shame and disgrace.

This law was publicly debated from early in 2007 until it was signed into law in May of 2009, so there was no rush to judgment in passing this law. Every poll had our citizens overwhelmingly in favor of reform and both braches of Congress passed this bill by a landslide for the decent citizens of the CNMI.

I demand this law be enacted as proscribed without delay and federal authorities continue to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of this anti-federalization conspiracy.

Anonymous said...

Prosecute?

HA!

Anonymous said...

Noni 12:20PM

Let me re-word your last statement just a bit to provide you with a dose of reality:

Those few, such as Fitial, Kilili, the Chamber and HANMI, who fight the valid exercise of United States Executive Branch, our sovereign as agreed to in the CNMI Covenant, and U.S. Congressional authority ,that was pre-agreed to in our Covenant, and policy-making prerogatives as detailed within that Covenant and carried out by US Congress in PL 110-229, will end up like Noni 12:20PM looking silly and bitter, or worse.


Now that is truly and accurate depiction of the current situation and what is to come.

Anonymous said...

Noni 12:20

Ha, ha ha! Valid? Accurate? Not! But a good spin from a true federalization fighter who can parrot the lines. Better reread the Covenant.

Anonymous said...

Still bitter, Ed?

a polled hereford said...

"Every poll had our citizens overwhelmingly in favor of reform"?

Ummm...What polls were these, and what kind of "reform" was everyone overwhelmingly in favor of?

Anonymous said...

HA!

So much for non-existent polls in the fertile minds of febrile "change" proponents. The only polls that count will be the one or two in November.

Anonymous said...

I don't know whether the DOHS or Immigration are "ready" for the takeover yet. Isn't that part of the point however? Why don't we know? At the bare minimum, shouldn't the most minimal of courtesies, which would be a regularly updated report on the status of preparations and transition, be afforded the CNMI Government and the Representative? One has to assume that not having recieved such reports or notifications, they are indeed not ready for the transition. I am for federalization. I am also for an open, honest and flexible transition that is respectful to our local government.

Anonymous said...

They saw a draft of the foreign investors policy already.

Anonymous said...

Noni 7:47PM:

"I don't know whether the DOHS or Immigration are "ready" for the takeover yet. "

Can you read? Can you at least watch TV? DHS has gone on record numerous times and stated that THEY HAVE NO PROBLEM MEETING THE DEADLINE.

They stated it at congressional hearings, the on island meetings, forums, one-on-one interviews, in the press, via the internet and online.

They are in the process of the final stages of hiring qualified individuals (more than 20 local residents) to fill the many positions they will have. They have done site inspections and had meetings with CPA. They have consulted with Kilili (even though he keeps saying they haven't). They have set up the USCIS office in the TSL Bldg. They are currently a budgeted main government agency that will not drop the ball (as Kilili and others are eluding to) due to a shortfall of funds. No shortfall exists. They have adequate funding and resources to set up shop here and manage our borders in a much safer way than our local immigration laws did in the past.

They have posted regulations online. They have had public hearings at AMP and the Hyatt. They are contactable by our elected leaders. They are drafting more provisions. There is a 5 year TRANSITIONAL time frame built into the bill that will allow for tweaking policies and regulations as they see fit. They have established a Visa Waiver Program just for Guam and the CNMI. They will accept additional inclusion requests from our Governor in the future. They will accept comments on all regulations.

Why the need to try and SPIN?

You are not for federalization if you will spin things like this. You do not realize the open door that our CNMI immigration has created. You can not possibly believe that it can be opened any wider by the federal immigration provisions being applied.

Anonymous said...

We have a draft of foreign investor regs and we have seen the final Visa Waiver Regs.

They are currently reviewing the status of the guest worker program and the issues with that and have up to 2 years to report and make decisions on what should happen.


The only question really is what each person calling for a delay wants to accomplish int he next year? Kilili helping Fitial. Fitial making mad cash through shady deals with his full control of our gates. Chamber selectively deporting long term guest workers. Hanmi not wanting to adjust and put focus back on our number one market (Japan) and start trying to recoup the 70% loss from that market that we have experienced in the last 6 years since we started targeting Russia and China. and so on and so on. Nothing to do with DHS being ready... everything to do with personal greedy and self serving motives of our elected politicians and terrible business people.

Anonymous said...

That's right, our business people are terrible, just terrible.

We should just put them all out of business.

Oops, the federalization implementation process already almost is.

Anonymous said...

We get straight talk from Wendy, the Ombudsperson, Jim, the teacher, Ed, and Captain but we get nothing but lies and deceit from the chamber, Fitial, and hANMI representatives.

Kilili is taking a political strategy of Oh, I was for federalization and I was for the delay to cover both sides of the voting fence.

Anonymous said...

It is the Fed Worshipers who have been covering up three decades of insufficient and mostly impotent law enforcement in the CNMI, and a wholesale failure of planning with respect to wage, labor, immigration, and economic policy within these pearly isles, a pattern and practice tantamount to cultural genocide.

What little success the Feds have achieved, such as with Timmy V., have been based on the CNMI government (OPA, OAG) and CNMI citizenry.

Your efforts to “spin” (Ed's favorite term) the repeated breaches of our Covenant will not stand voter scrutiny!

I thank God for Fitial and Kilili, two straight-shooting, honest, self-sacrificing patriots of the Commonwealth.

Anonymous said...

"Do I watch TV?" Really? Is this how we should get our information on such an important shift?

I want to know the process. I want to know the who, what, where and when, and have the issues and/or the finalization of the "drafts" completed. Our local government also has the right to these things I believe.

I'm spinning nothing. I'm of the same position that most folks are, including those (like me) who generally support federalization of immigration (and minimum wage).

The feds can do a whole lot better than this (or considering how much this will have an affect on these islands, we sure hope they can do better than this).

Anonymous said...

Hear, hear!

Anonymous said...

Yes, really.

You get a bevey of information for TV News, Papers, Online Websites, Public Announcements, interviews, public hearings, meetings, etc.

How else do you expect to find out the who, what, where, and when and be informed?

Do you expect and army of DHS officials to canvas the island and sit down one on one with each and every resident in the CNMI?

DHS IS in contact with our local government (that is what you would have been informed about if you read the papers or watched the news or called your elected officials and asked them the tough questions).

Gulick has been out here NUMEROUS times and has meet with all concerned parties dealing with the actual set-up and transition of immigration. USCIS has set-up their office. DHS is now in the hiring process that began early this year. Close to 30 CNMI residents are currently int heir final stages of being selected. They have done online training, interviews, physical training in Guam and now on the last leg. We have residents here that have been hired to supervise the transfer and that have been working diligently on it. Barth sat before the committee months ago and stated that THEY ARE READY AND WILL HAVE NO SHORTAGE OF MONEY to set-up. Barth, Gulick and many other DHS officials have been in constant contact with Kilili, our local politicians, local officials, and our people. There have been many public hearings on this transfer starting from months ago. Did you go to any? Just because you don't like what you hear, or you want something else doesn't mean that they are not TALKING to us and INFORMING us.

Who: DHS and the CNMI
What: transition of Immigration from CNMI to Federal Gov't
When: November 28, 2009
Where: The CNMI
ISSUES:
- Strong opposition from bad businessmen and corrupt officials that want to retain their control of immigration for as long as possible. They will go to any length to delay or avert the transition. They have filed a Federal Lawsuit to allow Immigration takeover but want to retain CNMI Guest Worker Program. They are on mass media campaign to spread the falsehood that DHS is not ready and is not talking to us.

- Visa Waiver Regulations were put online long ago and were commented on. Again, just because we are unhappy with regulations does not mean we didn't see them or talk about them.


- Investor Visa in draft form and being worked out now. Many officials have seen draft. All investor Visas will be recognized during 5 year transition period.

- Guest Workers, Transition to Zero in 5 years (law allows for extension for as long as needed). During 5 year transition all CNMI permits will be recognized. Within 2 years Feds will decide what best thing to do with existing guest workers. Congress has visited and spoke with many regarding this. Federal officials in contact with concerned parties.

I can go on and on... I think what would be better is for you to read the papers, go to the forums and meetings, ask Efrain if he spoke to Gulick and many other DHS officials (ask him why he is spinning those discussions), ask Kilili how many times he has spoke to DHS and how much info they have truly given him (as why he too is spinning), call your local elected officials, call USCIS, call DHS.

When an international airport opens DHS moves in and sets up without all this nonsense fear mongering. It is THEIR job. Let them do it.

There is your who, what, where and when. ENOUGH of the nonsense.

We can do a whole lot better than this. The few vocal people throwing a tantrum need to accept the fact that we are losing the CNMI GUest Worker Program and stop fighting tooth and nail at any cost to hold on to it.

Anonymous said...

Noni 8:19

Can you hear it? Standing ovation for your comment. Thank you!

PART 1 said...

I am so confused. I too have heard all that Noni 8:19 has written and then some. What more do people want to know?

How many agents there will be, their names, what type of computer system they will use, what data will be kept, the software they will be running, the black lists they may have and the names on it, the internal regulations for employees of dhs???

How would any of this be of any importance.

Man I wish this vocal minority (Fitial, Chamber, HANMI, Kilili) would be as upset about the handful of investors that we gave a green light to in the past few years. I wish someone would turn this type of intensity up on the Flame Sako and Neo Gold Wings projects. We have given them both huge chunks of our PUBLIC land and did so without any background check, credit check, financing, concrete plans, etc. Where are the "THEY ARE NOT READY" shouts from our Congressman Kilili or the Governor or the Chamber? Where is the "WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS" screams from the few concerned public citizens?

What of the Dynasty? Where are the screams as to what they are doing? Where they derive their income? What types of checks they have in place for those charters of Chinese Nationals that fly into the CNMI and fill the back rooms? What of the all the safety concerns we should have? What of public concerns for safety or "THEY ARE NOT DOING IT RIGHT" in regards to background checks?

Part 2 said...

Stop displacing your anger and attacking DHS or the Federal Government. WE MESSED UP! Majorly! We allowed the influx of more guest workers than residents in a short period of time. We strained our infrastructure. We allowed for a lax guest worker system that permit massive amounts of labor abuses. We allowed foreigners to remain in the islands for decades without ever given them a voice or even an attempt at a voice. We lobbied and paid large sums of our hard earned taxpayer dollars to stave off any attempt by the federal government to assist us by ending the problematic guest worker program. We elected leaders that would use the controls over labor and immigration in an attempt to personally enrich themselves and garner personal with big business from foreign countries. We did it. The federal government tried numerous times over the past 20 years to tell us we were erring. They tried to pass legislation to help our citizenry break from the ungodly laws of the corrupt local officials. Our corrupt officials brought in the big guns (Abramoff and other lobbyists)and fought them with massive amounts of money. Our local officials coerced our citizens into believing that the guest worker program was our RIGHT and that any attempt to end our reliance on low cost guest workers was an attack on our self-government rights. Give me a break. We messed up. We ALL messed up. I messed up because I could not personally stop this system from being developed. I messed up because I could not stop the influx of thousands of foreign workers. I messed up because I could not grant long term workers a voice even after they had been here for 20 years. I messed up because I sat idly by and watched the economic catastrophe unfold and did nothing to alter it. I messed up.

We have before us today a broken system that was once labeled by corrupt individuals as a petri dish for capitalism. This was a petri dish for corruption. Putting so much power in so few hands. Pushing so much money through the small hole into local officials pockets. All at the expense of OUR LOCAL RESIDENTS at the EXPENSE OF OUR CHILDREN. It is us today that are reaping the consequences of our fathers actions. The squalor we see today is our own doing.

I am doing something now. I am fighting against it. I should hope that in 20 years my children do not live a CNMI that I live in today. I want a CNMI that rewards people based on merit and pays them accordingly. I want a labor force that has a voice and that is made up of a vested resident population. I want my kids to learn the meaning of hardwork and diligence. I want them to take on minimum wage jobs as they enter the workforce and get paid a living wage and be able to negotiate and compete with other workers for those positions and not be undercut by the ability for business to pull in underpaid foreign laborers to replace rather than fill a gap.

I want the CNMI that was envisioned when the founders signed the COVENANT. The founders did not want a historical population increase and that was spelled out in the notes. The founders did not wish to see the CNMI overrun by foreigners and the residents to become a minority in their own lands. WE OURSELVES, through our leaders and our laws, PERMITTED THESE THINGS TO HAPPEN.

It it time to MESSING up and to start CLEANING up.

the teacher said...

The above comments are superb!!

Chamberonomics 120...shame and disgrace

Delaying federalization would be a disaster. Forcing the impoverished children of our homestead areas to suffer another year should not be considered.

Congressman Kilili Sablan says he now favors a one year delay in federalization because the DHS is not ready to takeover. We are thankful the CNMI finally has representation in the US Congress but delaying federalization would harm the residents of the commonwealth. The economy would be paralyzed from uncertainty and it would guarantee another year of pain and loss.

The Saipan Chamber of Commerce, HANMI, and the Fitial administration want to stall this law. The Governor wants control of the gate as long as possible. The NMI needs someone to stop ice shipped to and transshipped through our ports. The NMI needs someone to deport criminal foreign nationals operating here.

This issue would have ended a long time ago had the federalization fighters not colluded with Jack Abramoff to bribe members of the US House of Representatives, and today, after twenty felons have been indicted or convicted in that sordid affair, the conspiracy to block federalization continues, and by the original architects of the scandal.

This has become the never ending story of shame and disgrace.

Governor Fitial says DHS is not ready, but given his adversarial relationship with the US, how would he know whether or not they are prepared? The Department of Homeland Security effectively mobilized international airports worldwide in remarkable time after 911. We had only 9K voters in our last election, so thinking DHS can’t handle this simple job is foolishness.

Some chamber members said the law was rushed, which is a ridicules lie. This law was publicly debated in newspapers, blogs, and halls Congress from early in 2007 until it was signed into law in May of 2009, so there was no rush to judgment. Chamber members supported Abramoff and even hold US and world records for fines involving labor violations. Polls showed our citizens overwhelmingly in favor of reform here and both branches of the US Congress passed this bill by a landslide in favor of the decent citizens of the CNMI.

This law should be enacted as prescribed without delay and federal authorities should continue to investigate and prosecute everyone involved with Jack Abramoff’s bribery to block federalization conspiracy.

captain said...

There does not seem much of a chance to be able to pass anything in congress before this Takeover date of Nov. 28, 09.
Even Kallili acknowledges this. He has not even gotten back to his office to draw up his request.
There is only about 10 weeks left at this moment, so by the time any draft is submitted, maybe another two weeks will pass. So his is only semantics.
I doubt seriously, as one commenter suggested, that killili figures Fitial will win on this election.
I do not think that Kililli reversal of his previous stance on the Federalization has anything to do with this election.
It may well be Sablan has learned a few things in Washington, namely "how to play the game" This stance will appease certain organizations.
But there is a possibility, like in many cases that the feds are involved in they will show up without any warning so as not to tip off anybody or anything that may be going on.
Anyway we shall see what we shall see.
When is that suit to be decided on anyway?? Could that decision have anything to do with anything???

Anonymous said...

The Covenant Section 903 lawsuit decision could come at any time.

Judges have to submit periodic reports to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts with a breakdown on how long their cases were under advisement.

One of the category demarcation thresholds is six months. So if the judge is concerned about his performance statistics -- many are not because of their life tenure -- the six-month date from oral argument would be September 12th.

cactus said...

Teacher: You are repeating that line about "polls showed our citizens overwhelmingly in favor of reform," without ever explaining it, as our bovine friend above requested.

Part 2: You are mired in a masochistic wish for self-punishment for the mistakes of the past. Snap out of it and do something constructive for the future.

Both of you: Federalization is not "reform." Reform is active; federalization is 100% passive. Federalization is the antithesis of reform; it is a distraction from reform now, and it will prevent reform in the future. It is founded on the premise that we are incapable of reform. It is "reform" only in the same sense that a lobotomy is a "cure."

the teacher said...

Welcome back Cactus.

Polls showing overwhelming support for federalization were conducted on the Saipan Tribune, Marianas Variety, Middle Road, Marianas Pride, Rep. Joe Camacho's web page, Mustbethehumidity, and Washington Watch (all laws), and pro federalization won on every poll.

Beyond that, the Unity March garnered about 8k compared to Fitial's anti-fed parade which drew somewhere between 8 and 50, depending on whether or not you count the 40 fourth graders that received candy bags to attend.

Anonymous said...

Captain,

"Something constructive for the future"

Construction is ongoing. Why don't you stop holding the picket signs by the road and throw on a hard hat and gloves and come work with us. We are demolishing a terrible system at the moment. We did have to rely on the Federal Government to aid in this demolition. But do not think of it as outside pressure. We are part of the U.S. and it was clearly planned and drafted out in our Covenant that at a later date (US Congress choosing) the could mandate control of immigration by passing a law to do so. Many have been working for this to happen for the past 20 years. It didn't till now because of folks like you, captain, that kept pushing them back and paying big bucks to lobbyist to aid us in stopping REFORM.

We are also moving towards ending the corrupt practices that our leaders and officials have been engaging in with full control over immigration. No more under the table kick backs and blind eyes paid for and so much more.

Reform CAN come from the Federal Government. Last I checked we are still a US Commonwealth. You make it seem as though we were Iraq and the US was flying sorties over us. WE ARE PART OF THE U.S. When we become detached from the US (if you have it your way) then you can speak of "takeovers" and
"outsiders" forcing reform upon us when or if we are made to abide by Federal Rules.

We clearly stated in our Covenant that the US was our sovereign (Def.SOVEREIGN = A chief ruler with supreme power; one possessing sovereignty.) WE stated in that same document that we would abide by Federal Laws and that document allowed for a delay in implementing Immigration and Wage laws. We are working on implementing that now.

In regards to your labotomy reference, so would you say we are a hallowed out cadaver by now... I mean come on let's use your logic.. walk with me:

The CNMI follows...

Federal EPA Laws = Like having our heart ripped out?

Federal Money Laundering and Wirefraud laws = Having our spleen removed?

Federal OSHA Regulation = Having our lungs removed?

Federal EEOC = Having our brain lifted out of our skull?

Federal USFW Endangered Protection laws = There goes our appendix?

I can go on and on.

Captain, stop the rhetoric and the spin. We are a part of the U.S. It is our country. No one is "taking us over". We WORKING on creating a better future for our CNMI by implementing provisions of our Covenant that we agreed on.

We are capable of reform. You are not. You seem to believe we are an independent Nation that must protect ourselves from the evil US empire.

Take your passive self and do something. Burn your passport at least to make your statement against the US.

Right now we are actively participating in finalizing the immigration reform. At the moment it is switching watch over to our Federal Government. Reform will continue as it always does and that new system will also be tweaked for years to come.

Anonymous said...

Here is a poll similar to the ones Teacher is talking about. Every poll i have ever seen results on ended this way. All favored Federalization.

http://www.mvarietynews.com/index.php?option=com_apoll&task=view&view=apoll&id=10:do-you-favor-the-granting-of-improved-status-to-long-term-guest-workers

Anonymous said...

Much apologies to "Captain".

The post at 10:45am should be addressed to CACTUS.

Captain said...

Noni,11:13, not a problem, I like your response and I agree with it and did not notice to who you addressed it to, until later.
I am sure glad that we are on the same side, I do not know if I could out write you in a conflict.
But I truly hope thing will come about face after the elections, I do have much hope.
Poor Cactus. I will also await his response.
Should be interesting.

Anonymous said...

Those online surveys are easily manipulated, answered by a self-selecting sample, and are clearly not representative of the voters as a whole.

the teacher said...

Noni above 9:55

I agree that a blog poll is not scientific and there could be many variables to consider...but, when numerous polls by different sources all draw the same conclusions, there is substance in the results and weighed with multiple polls, they have merit.

Early in the federalization discussion, the fed fighters portrayed public opinion as all locals against a takeover and CGWs in favor of reform, but that was never the case and is a myth. a closer look at the facts showed locals 2 to 1 in favor of federalization and CGWs split.

Congress Watcher said...

These polls are all from the same source -- a small community of CNMI online bloggers.

Compare the results of the 2007 elections with the prior online polls.

Way off!

This issue is no different. Why do you think Kilili has back-tracked? Through his August town hall meetings he has figured out and knows where popular sentiment lies.

He has personally taken the closest thing to a poll on our islands.

Other than the one on November 7, 2009, of course.

Anonymous said...

Congress Watcher,

the question was raised as to what polls. The link was given. You are not happy with the way the poll is conducted. That doesn't negate the answer to the question "which polls?".

All the 2007 polls I saw showed a close race between the candidates. that is what occurred. you can not get a true poll unless you have everyone participate (only occurs on nov 7).

Kilili, may not have "back-tracked" he may be playing middle of the road (try and satisfy everyone without backing anyone) politics. It works for a short while but if he keeps it up eventually those taking a middle of the road approach for too long get hit by a car.

cactus said...

Captain, you are normally a sensible guy, so I am surprised you are so impressed by the comment of Anonymous 10:45 (Sept. 5), which amounts to no more than a compendium of the cliches most commonly hurled against me and others of similar views, replete with the usual straw-man arguments (Where, for example, did I ever advocate that we "become detached from the US"?), and finishing off with that all-time redneck classic "burn your passport." It is remarkable only in squeezing so much of this kind of thing into a single post.

But such comprehensiveness comes at the price of consistency. Anonymous claims that the US is our "chief ruler with supreme power," and at the same time that we are "part of the US." But both of these things cannot be true. You cannot be both the slave and member of the same family, both employee and shareholder of the same company -- and if you try, one of those roles is inevitably going to supersede the other. To be part of something is to participate in its operation -- to participate in the ruling and in the power of ruling, not just be ruled. The CNMI people, even those who have advocated federalization for years, did not participate in its enactment, any more than (to stick with your example) anti-Saddam Iraqis participated in the US's decision to invade Iraq, and there is no provision for them to participate in any of the future "tweaking" of the system that Anonymous anticipates.

For my part, I do not believe either that the US is our "chief ruler," or that we are "part of the US." I believe that we and the US, together, are part of something larger and greater, in the management of which we have the right to a meaningful participatory role. We must protect ourselves, not from the "evil" US empire, but from the US's recurrent impulse to be a "good empire," and from our own all-too frequent willingness to be no more than subjects of a good emperor.

captain said...

Well Cactus, I said that it would be interesting to see your reply. Indeed it was not disappointing.
Also I was not the one "picking" on you. Your answer should have been directed to the Noni that put my name on his response to your statements. But no problem,have a nice day.

Anonymous said...

Cactus,

We have participated. you may not have but we have. We negotiated the Covenant. We have participated.

We are part of the US and they are our sovereign. If you don't think the same then you need to relinquish your US passport if you hold one.


Cactus, why not try reading the Covenant (the only document that determines our relationship with the US)? Here are some highlights.


-----
"The entire relationship between the United States and the Commonwealth is governed by the Covenant."

"The Covenant is not a unilateral enactment by the U.S. Congress. It is not an organic act, which Congress may unilaterally change at its pleasure. Because the Covenant is a binding bilateral agreement between the U.S. and the people of the NMI, neither party may unilaterally amend Covenant's fundamental provisions without the consent of the other. To do so would constitute a material breach of the Covenant."

" The people of the NMI entered into the Covenant to become a self-governing commonwealth in political union with and under the sovereignty of the U.S."

"Whereas, for over twenty years, the people of the Northern Mariana Islands, through public petition and referendum, have clearly expressed their desire for political union with the United States; Now, therefore, the Marianas Political Status Commission, being the duly appointed representative of the people of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Personal Representative of the President of the United States have entered into this Covenant in order to establish a self-governing commonwealth for the Northern Mariana Islands within the American political system and to define the future relationship between the Northern Mariana Islands and the United States. This Covenant will be mutually binding when it is approved by the United States, by the Mariana Islands District Legislature and by the people of the Northern Mariana Islands in a plebiscite, constituting on their part a sovereign act of self-determination"

"The relations between the Northern Mariana Islands and the United States will be governed by this Covenant which, together with those provisions of the Constitution, treaties and laws of the United States applicable to the Northern Mariana Islands, will be the supreme law of the Northern Mariana Islands."

"The United States will have complete responsibility for and authority with respect to matters relating to foreign affairs and defense affecting the Northern Mariana Islands."


-----

Anonymous said...

Cactus:

You said: "For my part, I do not believe either that the US is our "chief ruler," or that we are "part of the US.""

You best re-check your "beliefs"... you are completely incorrect. The US Government is our Sovereign and we are part of the US as clearly stated in the Covenant that was entered into between the CNMI and the US.

Anonymous said...

Cactus:

You said: "no provision for them to participate in any of the future "tweaking" of the system"

Give PL 110-229 and the recently draft regulations a read. There are multiple provisions that provide for our participation in the future "tweaking". Heck the law itself created a US Congressman from the CNMI.

Anonymous said...

Cactus:

You said "The CNMI people, even those who have advocated federalization for years, did not participate in its enactment,"

Of course we did. Hello, we participated in the creation of the Covenant. The Covenant CLEARLY states that at the time of US Congress choosing Federal Immigration laws CAN be made applicable to the CNMI by the passage of law by congress.

WE AGREED TO THIS therefor we did participate. We agreed to retain control for as long as the US government deemed appropriate and we ALLOWED them the ability to UNILATERALLY apply federal immigration laws when they so chose.

WE PARTICIPATED. ENOUGH with your lies and B.S.

Anonymous said...

Cactus:

Here is the section from the Covenant in which we participated and agreed that relate to the application of Federal Immigration laws int he CNMI:

"Section 503. The following laws of the United States, presently inapplicable to the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, will not apply to the Northern Mariana Islands except in the manner and to the extent made applicable to them by the Congress by law after termination of the Trusteeship Agreement:

(a) except as otherwise provided in Section 506, the immigration and naturalization laws of the United States;

(b) except as otherwise provided in Subsection (b) of Section 502, the coastwise laws of the United States and any prohibition in the laws of the United States against foreign vessels landing fish or unfinished fish products in the United States; and

(c) the minimum wage provisions of Section 6, Act of June 25, 1938, 52 Stat. 1062, as amended."

...


Stop with your twisting of the truth and your lies.

We were not conquered and we are no where near similar to IRAQ.

We, the NMI, a sovereign at the time entered into a political association with the USA a sovereign at the time. We together drafted the Covenant. Our people in a plebiscite overwhelmingly accepted that agreement. The result was us ACCEPTING the USA as our sovereign from that point forward and ACCEPTING that our control of immigration was limited and could be changed at anytime the US Congress decided to by law (unilaterally as specified above).

Anonymous said...

Cactus:

You don't believe the US is our sovereign?!

WTF

it is clearly spelled out
to a tee
in the Covenant
no question
no gray area
no doubt

You say you don't believe it?!

lol

So we all should just go with your BELIEF?!

We all should just disregard the Covenant?

lol

Cactus what on earth did you read to arrive at your BELIEFS?

Anonymous said...

Cactus:

Here is great article you should read:


http://jgpo-guam-cmtf.blogspot.com/2007/08/covenant-and-federalization.html



lol

Anonymous said...

http://www.state.gov/www/regions/dependencies.html


yep... USA is still our sovereign.

no changes have been made since the Covenant.

maybe in Cactus' make-believe world they made some changes.

Anonymous said...

Tina for Delegate!

captain said...

Why not let Tina get elected to Senate first.I think when the time comes she would be more useful as a Gov, than as a delegate.I think she could help the NMI better at home than abroad until this mess at home is up and running.Only my thoughts at this time.

cactus said...

Well, I stirred up a hornet's nest with that one, didn't I? Or are you all the same person? Hard to tell. Anyway, it has long been my observation that a given proposition is actually clear in roughly inverse proportion to the vehemence with which its proponents stress how clear it is -- and at least the following propositions are a whole lot clearer to you than they are to me: that, by "sovereignty," the Covenant means "chief ruler with supreme power" (an expression it never uses), rather than "within the American political system" (an expression it does use); that, by "the United States" (in the phrase "under the sovereignty of the United States"), it means the federal government (which does not include us) rather than the people of the United States (which does); and that, when questions of lawmaking authority arise, the "sovereignty" provisions of the Covenant hold all the answers, and the "self-government" provisions none. Is all this really as clear and obvious as you seem to think it is?

Anonymous said...

it is a lot clearer than the layer of obscurity that you are attempting to paint over it.

while i understand your legal position you are taking, i do not embrace it.

as for the definition of sovereignty their are many but one thing is adamantly clear in all the definitions and that is that the sovereign never means a lesser power or someone without control or oversight.

sov·er·eign (svr-n, svrn)
n.
1. One that exercises supreme, permanent authority, especially in a nation or other governmental unit, as:
a. A king, queen, or other noble person who serves as chief of state; a ruler or monarch.
b. A national governing council or committee.
2. A nation that governs territory outside its borders.
3. A gold coin formerly used in Great Britain.


we do have a unique relationship with the US but it isn't that terribly difficult to grasp. states have local governments yet abide by federal laws that trump their state laws. although we are not a state one can see similarities.

pl 110-229 created a US Congress seat from the CNMI. granted it is non-voting but we are still part of the federal government. we vote to elect a delegate from the CNMI.

the issues you are raising about how much "right" we have over our sovereign US can be addressed if an alteration is truly desired. i believe our current arrangement is in-line with what the Covenant states.

we are self-governing. we have a local government elected by our residents and we pass and maintain local laws. if preset definitions needs to be adjusted it may be yours when taking up the term self-governing and self-determination. we the NMI can at anytime reevaluate the Covenant and our political status. that makes us self-determined.

we controlled out immigration as set forth in the Covenant. the same document clearly states that when US congress decides they can remove our local control and replace it with federal control. we read this and agreed to it and voted for it. now we are not happy with it and we wish to stop that. no problem just be honest about it. say that you wish to alter the Covenant and reassess our political relationship. don't play the victim.

a reading of the Covenant clearly states that prior to the acceptance of the Covenant we the NMI were a sovereign entity as was the US. after the Covenant was ratified we lost our sovereignty and the fell under the US. is this good? is this bad? who knows? but it was our agreement.

Cactus, what are you after? would you like to reevaluate
our status? remember this federal immigration control may appear to be an unequal effect of our agreement to you but not to everyone else. i see all the various unequal advantages that weigh in our favor in this agreement (no federal taxes, close to $200 million per year in governmental assistance, etc).

that being said, do we want to be more state-like? why? because a few are mad that they are taking away their personal cash cow (control over immigration)? give me a break. we openly agreed to that. we also have been following federal laws up until this point. why now the issue with how much control the US may have over us?

Congress Watcher said...

The U.S. needs to start by honoring Covenant § 701 (“The Government of the United States will assist the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands in its efforts to achieve a progressively higher standard of living for its people as part of the American economic community and to develop the economic resources needed to meet the financial responsibilities of local self-government.”), 48 U.S.C. § 1801 note, both in the laws they pass and in the behavior of executive departments.

The federal failures in this regard dwarf their utter failure over three decades to provide effective federal law enforcement.

Without our garment industry self-help, we would still be mired in poverty like the FSM. Sure, that gig is over, but what have the feds been doing all these years?! Treating us like a reed warbler zoo, that's what.

Anonymous said...

Cactus,

it appears that your main gripe is that the federal government is applying immigration control without the CNMI's express consent. you feel for some reason that even though the covenant explicitly states (as quoted in a comment above) that US Congress can do so at anytime of their choosing that because we are self-governing they would have had to consult with us and get our approval before doing so.

you would rather just not read the section of the Covenant in which we as a people actually agreed after consultation at the time to allow for the extension of federal immigration to the CNMI at a time of US Congress choosing and by US Congressional law.

again, why are you okay with the application with all the other federal laws that apply in the CNMI? OSHA, EPA, EEOC, etc?! why are these acceptable to you and palatable? because the Covenant deemed at the time of signing that they would apply and that trumps your self-government argument? that is illogical.

also, if you follow you train of though and apply your premise that we are self-governing and therefor should not be subject to federal laws without out outright consent why have you only focused your efforts and animosity at the federal control of immigration in PL 110-229? what of all the many many many laws the federal government has passed since our Covenant was signed that were made applicable to the CNMI by simply adding our name to the FEDERAL LAW?

why are yo not protesting this provision in the Stimulus Law:

"Increase in Cap on Medicaid Payments to Territories
• The amounts otherwise determined for Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, the
Northern Mariana Islands and American Samoa shall each be increased by 30%'
"


the CNMI had no say so in our inclusion in the stimulus FEDERAL law. why are you okay with that? are you not? i don't see anyone up in arms about it.

or PL 109-59 that amended the Small Business Act to designate Guam, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands as historically underutilized business zones

or

the Public Law that created the US Quarter with our islands on it... they never asked us for permission and we didn't vote to give it to them?

or

the many many PL that contain grant provisions for the multitude of federal programs that have been made applicable to our islands... such as PL109-248 that included the CNMI without our permission in the grants for programs to protect children from sexual exploitation. we never asked to be included in that.

or

this FEDERAL PL 105-17 that helps individuals with disabilities and included the CNMI without our public consent.

i can go on and on...

where was your public outcry at these laws that have included the CNMI? there was none. why? because your argument isn't against our relationship with the US and their right to apply federal law... your argument is that you are upset about the loss of immigration control.


"Section 502.

(a) The following laws of the United States in existence on the effective date of this Section and subsequent amendments to such laws will apply to the Northern Mariana Islands
"

-----

Anonymous said...

Congress Watcher (GB):

you are out of your league here. garment industry was not self help it was self maceration of a thriving tourism industry and destruction of pristine environment. prior to garment industry we were not mired in poverty and now without their presence we are not mired in poverty. your gig is up.

you sound like a selfish spoiled brat. the federal government has given us millions upon millions of dollars since we became a commonwealth. we wasted those funds and thumbed our noses at any type of support or help. we are doing that right now. they are trying to correct our problematic and economically and socially destructive CMNI guest worker system and we are fighting tooth and nail against it.

last year the federal government gave the CNMI close to 160 million dollars to go towards governmental operations. we tossed in around 80 million locally. when we first became a commonwealth we had governmental budget that did not even come close to 1 million dollars.

the only entity that has not been upholding their end of the Covenant goal indicated in section 701 is the CNMI in our misuse of federal funds and our arrogant behavior in terms of accepting federal planning support and management.

Anonymous said...

If federal funding has been "misused," why have there been so few prosecutions in thirty years?

The feds have not done well by the CNMI. Kilili is right.

Anonymous said...

misused does not allows mean illegal.

expand on your statement:

"the feds have not done well by the CNMI"

also where did Kilili say that?

i say, the feds have done well by the CNMI. lol

wth?

Anonymous said...

kilili and madeline should not have the authority to overide or change this law

they could have been bought or have personal political interests in supporting the anti-federalists here

perhaps tan has influenced them as they sure seem to be tight with ben and juan pan

cactus said...

Sovereignty was established by the Covenant, and its meaning must therefore be consistent with the rest of the Covenant. It cannot confer "supreme" federal powers beyond those that the Covenant delegates, since the Covenant is itself supreme, by its own terms. It also cannot mean sovereigny inconsistent with self-government, since the same Covenant that establishes sovereignty also establishes self-government. The same is true of the Section of the Covenant regarding immigration laws -- of course it is there, but it is not there all by itself; it too must be read consistently with self-government.

But how? Not by analogy to the states, since the states, unlike us, are represented in the federal government. The enactment of federal law is thus an exercise in self-government by the people of the states, but not by the people of the CNMI. (A non-voting delegate is not representation similar to that of the states, by the very reason of his being non-voting, and also by his having no counterparts in the Senate, the bulwark of the small states.) If the application of federal laws to us is to be justified as consistent with self-government, therefore, it must be on a different basis than in the case of the states -- i.e., by providing more limited, qualified and conditional application of federal law, and conferring greater local control over its application, than in the states.

Since I understand the Covenant in this way, I do not think we need to change or re-evaluate our status, because our current status, correctly understood, already provides for true self-government. Only if a contrary understanding of our current status ultimately prevails will such re-evaluation be necessary.

Finally, I am not per se "okay with the application with all the other federal laws that apply in the CNMI." The fact that I make an argument about immigration does not mean I would not make the same argument about something else should the occasion arise. But the laws you mention have their uses, and mostly enjoy popular support. So long as the application of such laws does not become so broadly intrusive and objectionable as to create a major public controversy such as we now have with respect to immigration, I regard their application as being by continuing popular consent. On the other hand, if Congress were to enact legislation tomorrow outlawing the official use of any language but English in the CNMI, or nullifying Article XII, or mandating legalized abortion, or providing that all US nuclear waste shall be dumped here, etc., etc., you can be sure I would object to it for the same reasons as I now object to the immigration laws.

Anonymous said...

in your selective interpretation of the Covenant you have failed to realize that WE a sovereign at the time of agreeing on the Covenant ACCEPTED fully the application of Federal Immigration laws at a time so chosen by US Congress and would be done so through passage of US FEDERAL LAWS.

if you read the Covenant it states that WE were both sovereign entities engaging in this new partnership. the result was us allowing the US to be our sovereign. it is clearly stated.

Anonymous said...

the drafters of the Covenant and those that voted to ratify it were okay with the extension of Federal Immigration Laws at a time deemed appropriate by US Congress. they drafted their "okayness" into the Covenant.

cactus said...

Hmmm...Well, time will tell. After 200+ years, they're still arguing about the meaning of the US Constitution, so I don't suppose we're all going to agree about the meaning of the Covenant right here and now. The good news is that we have a Covenant to argue about, which is more than a lot of folks can say. And so long as we are arguing about what the NMI and the US did or did not agree to, we share the unspoken common premise that it matters what they agreed to, which is itself no small thing. So let the disputes rage.

Anonymous said...

i agree with you, cactus. this has been a very healthy exchange and i have been able to understand your perspective a bit more. i can clearly see where you are coming from. i still don't fully agree with your interpretation but at least you are basing it on factual documents and not simple "beliefs".

i tried taking a look at the Covenant from your stance. even if i look at the Covenant as an agreement between two sovereign entities. and even if i come to the conclusion that every federal law that would be made applicable to the CNMI should have to get some kind of approval from our side in order to fall into accordance with self-governance, i still can not agree with the current stance in regards to federalization of immigration.

why? because in the document that established this self-governing CNMI we also put in a provision in regards to 3 specific areas of federal law that we AGREED we would allow to be made applicable to the CNMI at a later date by such extent as Congress saw fit at a time of their choosing. In other words, we two sovereigns, already decided on those 3 areas and our population upon ratifying the Covenant OKAY'd it. one of those 3 sections EXPLICITLY laid out in the Covenant is/was the extension of FEDERAL IMMIGRATION LAWS.

so even from your stand point i think it is extremely difficult to negate the fact that immigration control by the federal government at a later date was already discussed and agreed upon by both parties. if that is the case, it is us who are violating the Covenant and we would NEED to amend the Covenant if we would like to have a say so in the application of federal immigration laws.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.