Chinese and Russian Visas Waivers Approved

October 21, 2009

According to the Pacific Daily News the Department of Homeland Security announced today that Chinese and Russian visa waivers for the CNMI will be allowed after November 28, 2009. This is welcome news for the tourist industry and struggling CNMI economy.

The Department of Interior released this statement:
"During the period from Nov. 28, 2009 (the transition program effective date), until the date of publication of the final Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver Program (VWP) rule (or other date that the Secretary of Homeland Security may determine), the Secretary of Homeland Security will exercise her authority to parole into the CNMI, in the Secretary’s discretion on a case-by-case basis, visitors for business or pleasure who are nationals of the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China who present valid passports and who are not inadmissible except for the lack of a valid U.S. visitor visa. Parole, if granted, will be permitted for a period generally not to exceed 45 days and may be revoked or terminated upon notice. Parole will be authorized only for entry into the CNMI and will not extend to other areas of the United States. Visitors who are paroled under this authority may not engage in local employment or labor for hire."

"Under U.S. immigration laws, the Secretary may grant parole to applicants for admission “under such conditions as [she] may prescribe only on a case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit," according to Interior.

With CBP assuming immigration functions in the CNMI, new security features including:
· notice of entry via Advance Passenger Information data transmissions to CBP prior to flight take-off;
· clearance of security watchlist vetting prior to entry; and
· compliance with strict exit controls upon departure from the CNMI
will be in placed for all travelers entering the CNMI from outside the United States, including Chinese and Russian visitors.
DHS will continue to evaluate the comments received regarding the Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver Program interim final rule and will work toward issuance of a final rule, according to the Interior Department.


Anonymous said...

This is good news in a sea of uncertanity. Our Russian and Chinese tourists seem to be good folks and the Russians spend, spend, spend. We need more DDD. Daily, Direct, Daytime.

Anonymous said...

I want to thank Governor Fitial for this good news! What do you say, Wendy? Don't think the Governor deserves the credit?

Anonymous said...

anon above: it was NOT an effort ALONE by your beloved governor.! helloooooooooo????
FITIAL (pitty you all!)

Anonymous said...

Fitial will win this election.

Anonymous said...

I think I'd like to thank Secretary Napolitano for this good news. I'm glad that she exercised her authority in a way that was favorable toward the good people of the CNMI, and didn't hold it against us that we happen to have a Governor who accused her and her department of lying about being ready for Nov. 28, who listens to the advice of the nuts who surround him, and who is presently suing her so he can continue to keep guest workers under his control.

She may very well be aware that he won the election with less than 28% of the vote in a four-way race, and that the good people of the CNMI are counting the days till they can democratically oust him from public office -- forever.

Thank you, Secretary Napolitano.

Anonymous said...

More like the rooster taking credit for the dawn.

Anonymous said...

And the US District Court will rule in favor of Governor Fitial's lawsuit against the Federal Government soon.

Who shall we thank for this? Ron Hodges or Wendy Doromal??

Anonymous said...

This is great for the CNMI. A job well done for Governor Fitial and Delegate Kilili for working together on the visa waiver. Congratulations.

Anonymous said...

I just hope and pray that this is really for the good of CNMI economy and will not create any harm to the people in any way!

Anonymous said...

Ironically, Fitial's "anything goes" policy on illegal drugs and immigration scams makes it likely that visa waivers for Chinese will be short-lived.

Anonymous said...

You can thank Sen. Bingaman, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, and Rep. Bordallo and Rep. Sablan. Unfortunately, Fitial has no credibility in Washington.

Anonymous said...

I am so grateful Ben had the strength, courage, and fortitude to stand up for his people in the face of vicious opposition by the likes of such self-annointed activists as Bitter Ed, Two-Timing Glen, and Labor Radical Ron.

captain said...

I will wait until the rest of the comments come out before I get into this one.
But,I am curious what now the Admin will use as an excuse for the bad economy,and against the Feds. But it will be all over for the present admin. by the takeover date, it will only be a "lame duck" until Jan. So all they will try to do is "rape and pillage" any remaining funds that can be abscounded and put their backers under "Civil service" status while hiring many more personnel and converting them to "permanent hires, not unlike the past admin on their way out. (not unlike all of the past outgoing admin.

Bota Covenant! said...

Speaking words of wisdom, let it BE!

Biba Cinta Kaipat!

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

True leadership includes the ability to interact and dialog with others, across the entire spectrum of public policy options -- from litigation to negotiation -- to achieve the best outcomes for the community that are available during these times of trouble.

I am grateful that the governor works so well with others so as to be a catalyst for this kind of success.

Win or lose, he has brought us safely through another storm -- a modern-day master navigator for our people.

Anonymous said...


True leadership includes the ability to be honest and put the constituents' needs before your own. The governor is not capable of doing that.

The governor works well with others? Like suing the federal government? He is a master liar and manipulator. He is surrounded by thugs and criminals.

Safely through a storm? The CNMI is in a state of complete disrepair. HE MADE THE STORM!

the teacher said...

Thanks should go to Kilili, DHS, and other US Congresspersons.

I do not understand how the Governor could not take any bows over this, as he is still opposing federal intervention and may have less credibility than Jack Abramoff in Washington DC.

Although I have been very critical of the Saipan Chamber Of Commerce in the past, the statistical data they provided to DHS handed them a simple economic picture which greatly contributed to DHS's decision making process.

Anonymous said...

Governor Fitial is the main reason this visa waiver materialized! Plain and Simple!

He is a true leader! He is not taking credit for this success! I know some other so called leaders are!

Anonymous said...

Take one look at the debate with Heinz and you tell us Fitial is a leader?

Anonymous said...

How do we guage a true leader? Through lots of Hot Air (Heinz) or true performance (Fitial). You make your choice!

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Juan Nekai Babauta, the CNMI's 6th Governor, spoke English with an American accent, was a master debater, had extraordinarily close relationships with the feds, had a progressive political outlook, and is a really nice guy, to boot.

But he was a miserable failure as a governor, presiding over a high-water mark of corruption, offering no solutions, and leaving a mess in his wake.

To the contrary, Ben gets things done. He is a man of action.

The CNMI's 7th Governor has been blessed, and is the right man to get us through these times of trouble that have been decades in the making.

Speaking words of wisdom, let it BE!

Biba Cinta Kaipat, too!

Anonymous said...

Cinta and Ben... NEPOTISM at its finest. A prime example alright. An example of what happens when you elect corrupt and self-serving individuals. Cinta lost the election to Tina and so the Governor (her uncle) hired her at Labor.

Let it BE in your house not ours. Get out of the CNMI!

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

We spin it the best.

Please contribute to educating the CNMI.

Wendy said...

If you want -repost your comments without the profanity. I took them down.

Anonymous said...

Thought I had censored them enough to get by. Sorry.

And if you question Fitial's performance at all just take a look at his record:

- CHC failing
- CUC teetering on failing, he destroyed and brought back just barley to life
- DPS musical commissioner chairs and major issues
- CPA - without a director and about to be in major bond trouble
- AG - a year without one
- DPL - no idea who is incharge? fault and corrupt land deals, no land plan, mistake in marpi, etc

WOW. Fitial is not at all Hot air. He is action and performance alright. BAD action and TERRIBLE performance.

4 more years?


Anonymous said...

and the other:

In case you accuse me of lying and spin, Mr. Baka, here is a link you may like:

AHHH the leadership... NOT!

BYE BYE you slimy, self-serving, useless, vengeful, unintelligent, worthless GOVERNOR!

Anonymous said...

You sure sound like Bitter Ed!! Why, Ed do you hate Governor Fitial so much? Just because you did not get the job you wanted?


Anonymous said...

I heard a reliable information that Governor Fitial's lawsuit will soon have a decision. So what if Governor Fitial prevails on this lawsuit? Who shall we give credit to? Bitter Ed? Tina Sablan? Ruth Tighe? Or Maybe Wendy Doromal?

Anonymous said...

Noni 2:39,

I've never heard Greg accuse anyone of lying, and "spin" is not Baby Boomer slang. Guess again.

Or better yet, don't, and refrain from further such personal attacks, please.

Anonymous said...

If Governor Fitial prevails in the lawsuit (which he won't) he takes the credit with Willens, Siemer, O'Connor, Horey and the anti-fed, self-government supporters. Everyone will suffer and will pay. Well, mostly U.S. taxpayers will pay because these self-government proponents idea of "SELF_GOVERNMENT" is that they maintain their corrupt local programs and fund them with U.S. taxpayer money.

Anonymous said...

Fortunately, the efforts of Governor Fitial to preserve our Russian and Chinese tourists have paid off.

Unfortunately for his Covenant Section 903 lawsuit, this concession by the Feds takes away one "arbitrary and capricious" exemplar in favor of granting the Preliminary Injunction prayed for.

So while he wins, he loses. That is not to say it is a total loss, because without the firm resolve Ben showed in standing up for his people -- and capitalizing on his personal relationships with former Governors Napolitano, Palin, and the Utah governor now ambassador to China -- it is unlikely DHS would have backed down from their plan to close these markets for a few years until they were ready. With all due credit to Kilili, too, of course, and everyone in the community who stood behind Ben and Greg in urging the Feds to do the right thing.

United we can accomplish a lot more than by indulging in the internecine struggles so many CNMI bloggers relish.

By the way, anyone who "knows" when Judge Friedman will rule is talking through his hat, because courts, judges, law clerks, and staff don't give such info out. It is among the most closely guarded of judicial secrets.

Maybe the judge was waiting to see how federalization would play out, or waiting for the belated DHS regs (that worker and employer alike have been equally impatiently anticipating), to see if there is any actual infringement of CNMI self-government contained in them.

These umbrella permits are part of that same dance.

Anonymous said...

Right, Noni. People who say they know how a judge will rule are either lying or they have engaged in unethical ex parte communications with a judge. The governor's advisors wouldn't do either, would they?

Anonymous said...

The CNMI got the Russian and Chinese tourists approved IN SPITE of what the government did and did'nt do. Fital has been a miserable leader. The CUC and CHC falling apart. His former Lt Governor doin time for, yeah, you guessed it, ripping of the Government. He is suing the Government with money his misappropriated (talk about lack of transparency). His driver is a drug dealer.
Honestly, can anyone tell me anything that he has done to help the island in the last four years? There is probably one I am overlooking.
Maybe things would be much worse if not for his swift and decisive leadership. Yeah, let's go with that one.
The CNMI does not need more political parties. Just have one and we will call it the "Alleged" party.

Anonymous said...

tic toc tic toc tic toc

The gangsters are seating and on the run.

Fitial is a disgrace, theiving Oscar Rasa isn't any worse.

He is the shame of Carolinians.

Bota Covenant! said...

With only 14 days to go, the opponents of Ben and Eloy are becoming increasingly desperate that their proven experience will carry the day against the voices of empty talk and incessant self-promoting criticism.

The success in retaining those tourists so vital to our economy -- in the face of those many who didn't care or even wanted Russia and China used as a "bargaining chip" against the CNMI -- is a testament to why we really need the leadership of Ben and Eloy.

Anonymous said...

Bota for change.

Who is so stupid to vote for Covenant? Only people who want more corruption lies and evil. Maybe people with a government job only. The only way Covenant can win is if they cheat. Fitial is a corrupt liar with a bad reputation in DC. He had nothing to do with keeping tourists. If he keeps up schemes with Chinese and Korean investors the US will pull that waiver from the CNMI. Better vote for someone who isn't a crook and making back door deals with Chinese and Koreans.

fcaptain said...

The Chinese and Russian Tourists amount to less than 20%. I am not saying that they are not important, but the Chinese all go to Dynasty on Tinian (which is a big help for Dynasty) These Tourists where coming before they got the "free status". Dynasty is the one that promotes and brings the "Charter Flights" for 99.5% of the Chinese tourists. The Chinese are all prepaid and there is not much "liquid" money when they come. most stays in China. (Same as in the Hawaii and the US)
The Russians make up less than 7% (forgot the figure and number from MVA) You are talking about these minor numbers. What about the Japanese and the Koreans. There should also be a "drive" on to keep these larger numbers of this group coming back.
Hawaii stats show that Japan and Korean spend an average of $125-150 a day in Hawaii. Chinese travel in prepaid tours and are "billeted" in the same place (as required for their tourist visa's) they spend average less than $25 or less a day as everything is prepaid in China.

Anonymous said...

All this negative campaigning about "lies, corruption, and stupid voters" is a reflection of how truly deperate HA! and Tina have become.

If "change" means imputing ill motives to honorable citizens who respect professional management and proven experience, then that "change" is not a direction in which we should embark.

Anonymous said...

This debate just shows how incredibly ill-informed most voters remain. Any one who knew the former governor, NOT FITIAL, would know that the accusations against him are ridiculous. But for his knowledge and connections in D.C. federalization would have happened when the Dems took the House in 2002. Voters who think Fitial had any in-put into the Chinese/Russian visa waivers are as delusional as Willens/Siemer. Fitial cannot even manage a meeting with anyone. DHS met with him just to be polite - the decision was already made by then.

Fitial is a crook and so are all of his cronies.

Anonymous said...

The above comment shows how ignorant some of the anti-Fitial bloggers are. The voters will do quite fine, thank you.

The Democrats did not take over the House until 2006 (not 2002), so Governor #6 (Babauta) had nothing to do with preventing Federalization in the House. It was only during the term of Governor #7 (Fitial) that the Dems regained power and Rep. George Miller (D-Martinez, CA) was in a position to take his vengeance and punish the CNMI without even the benefit of an economic study or environmental impact statement.

Every voter in the CNMI knows this, even if some mainland bloggers do not, and some CNMI bloggers ignore this brutal reality.

Fortunately for the CNMI, Ben, Eloy, and Kilili have never forgotten this central diktat in CNMI-Federal relations, and have governed accordingly, putting the economic well-being of their people first.

Those who accuse others of being "crooks" are likely frustrated by the ineptness and inutility of their own candidates who may, however, like Babauta, be well-intentioned and talk a good game in American-accented English.

Anonymous said...


..."putting the economic well-being of their people first." Several problems here. The adult "people" in the CNMI are about equally divided between residents and nonresidents. The overwhelming majority of the people who are nonresidents do not like Fitial. Or maybe you don't consider the nonresidents "their people"?

Yes, they put the economy first. First before law. First before a fair labor program.

You also attack a person because he has an accent. Classy.

When the public programs like CHC, PSS, and other services are robbed to fund a bogus lawsuit that was not sanctioned by the CNMI congress that is being a CROOK.

Anonymous said...

What law does it violate? According to Tina's OGA case, the sole source of funding for the Section 903 lawsuit is the Governor's Office appropriation, not any of the other agencies you list. He has every right to use his limited discretionary funds as he sees fit to protect the interests of the CNMI citizenry. What did Tina use her discretionary funds for?

Nowhere in the country is a lawsuit subject to approval by the legislature. That reflects a gross misunderstanding of the role of the three branches of government.

If anyone lacks class, it is those who disrespect the office of the Governor by baseless allegations unfounded in fact or common sense, or who expect communication to meet their own prejudices.

Ben & Tim said...

Ben and Eloy...please remember that the Covenant ticker was Fitial and Villagomez...who is resting confortably in club fed.

How could anyone in the CNMI support this party unless they have a job at stake? The Covenant Party has such standard bearers as theiving Oscar Rasa, Willie Tan yes man Ben Fitial, prisoner Tim Villagomez who Fitial approved paying for a year after the facts were out, Villagomez's brother who we are still paying to do a worse job at CHC than Tim did with CUC, and many other do nothing thugs or money grabbing parasites.

Anonymous said...

This is getting very far afield from Russian and Chinese visa waivers.

But it was Fitial's own OAG that forwarded the Rydlyme investigation to the FBI. Check the USAO press release giving due credit to the OAG.

Ben is a public-spirited, visionary, self-sacrificing leader who does the right thing regardless of personal or political consequences.

If we must speak of Lt. Governors, better a fiscal expert, or someone who poaches endangered species from the Northern Islands?

Anonymous said...

Noni 11:23

Babauta had a lot to do with preventing federalization. In meetings back in D.C., one CNMI critic after another expressed willingness to hold off on legislation because they knew and respected the former Washington Rep, and because he had chosen Pam Brown as his AG, whose labor advocacy credentials were well known. Babauta and Brown also had some solid accomplishments along the way that showed they walked the walk: establishment of a refugee protection program that brought the CNMI into compliance with international treaties, comprehensive revision of the Labor regs, a very cooperative relationship with federal enforcement agencies including the ombudsman, and exponential improvements to the LIIDS and BMS.

Anonymous said...

11:23 "Babauta had a lot to do with preventing federlaization." So we can thank him AND Fitial, P. Tenorio, F. Tenorio and the followers for keeping a terrible local labor system that caused a lot of harm to innocent OCWs. What's the point? He sucks too?

Anonymous said...

No, the point is that the system was being improved under Babauta,

Anonymous said...

All fine and dandy, but the House Democrats simply didn't have the votes then even if they'd wanted to -- not with DeLay's endorsement of the "Petri dish of capitalism."

Ultimately, it was about the votes in the U.S. House of Representatives.