January 6, 2010
As I was preparing my own comment to DHS I ran across the comment from the governor's "special counsel" Howard Willens. It states: "These comments define the changes to Commonwealth law to be made to accommodate P.L. 110‐229, Section 702(a), Section 6(f)."
I read the proposed changes to CNMI law and conclude that like the anti-federalization lawsuit and the DHS comment submitted by Kaipat, the changes to CNMI law proposed by Willens (or Willens and others) are yet another attempt for the CNMI government to maintain local control over the foreigners and, in particular, the foreign guest workers.
Section 1. Section 6(f). Section 6(f) of PL 110-229, Section 702(a), provides: “Effect on Other Laws: The provisions of this section and of the immigration laws as defined in section 101(a)(17) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S. C. 1101(a)(17), shall, on the transition program effective date, supersede and replace all laws, provisions, or programs of the Commonwealth relating to the admission of aliens and the removal of aliens from the Commonwealth.”The proposed changes to the laws include: a CNMI-run alien registration and identification system, changing the words "work permit" and "permit" to "identification card", and CNMI repatriation of foreigners.
This Convention defines the laws, provisions, and programs of the Commonwealth that are affected by Section 6(f). All other provisions of the Commonwealth Code remain fully in effect.
B. A new Part 1 (Registration) shall be added, as follows:
§4301 Registration of Aliens.
(a) Every alien who remains in the Commonwealth longer than 90 days shall by regulation be required to be registered. Registration may be renewable annually. The parents or legal guardians of aliens under the age of 18 are responsible for such child’s registration.
1) Registration of aliens who are qualified to work in the Commonwealth, aliens who are religious ministers and missionaries and work in the Commonwealth, and aliens who are immediate relatives of aliens qualified to reside in the Commonwealth shall be conducted by the Department of Labor.
2) Registration of aliens who are investors, business-owners, or students qualified to reside in the Commonwealth shall be conducted by the Department of Commerce.
3) Registration of all other aliens qualified to reside in the Commonwealth shall be conducted by the Attorney General
(b) Such registration information as the registration authorities may require, including but not limited to fingerprints, is confidential and may be made available only on request of law enforcement authorities in connection with criminal or juvenile delinquency investigations.
(c) Registration information required by the registration authorities may be taken on oath or by declaration. Persons employed as registrars are authorized to administer oaths for purposes of this section.
(d) Registered aliens will be issued an identification card, which will indicate date of expiration and nonimmigrant class, as well as such other information, including photographs, as the registration authorities may require.
(e) Registered aliens 18 years old or older shall keep their identification card in their personal possession at all times.
(f) Any alien who knowingly fails to comply with this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or fine of not more than $500 or both.
(g) An alien, for purposes of this section, is any person who is not a citizen, national, permanent resident of the United States, or a CNMI permanent resident as provided by Trust Territory or Commonwealth law.
Their proposal includes changing the words "entry permit" and "permit" to "identification cards":
N. Division 4 (Immigration), Part 3 (Employment), Chapter 6 (Employment of Foreign Nationals) is renumbered Chapter 3 and is amended to change the terms “entry permit” and “permit” to “identification card,” and as follows:Remember when Deanne Siemer and Cinta Kaipat said that anyone having a those DOL-issued "free" umbrella permits could remain in the NMI until November 27, 2011? Now they propose that anyone holding an umbrella permit must also have a CNMI-issued identification card:
1) Article 1 (General) is amended to:
a) Amend current §4911(f) to read: “Identification Card” means the card issued by the Department using the Labor Information Data System (LIDS) or comparable system and delivered to a foreign national worker or immediate relative of a foreign national worker pursuant to this chapter;”
b) Amend current §4911(h) to read: ““Immediate relative” means a parent, spouse, or child, whether natural or adopted, if adopted before his or her eighteenth birthday. A disabled child of any age qualifies as an immediate relative if in the continuous custody and care of the parent.”
c) Amend current §4911(j) to delete the words “whether” and “or by deportation.”
d) Amend current §4911(l) to delete the words “enters the Commonwealth pursuant” and substitute the words “is a party.”
e) Add a new §4911(m) to read: ““Umbrella permit” means a two-year permit issued prior to November 28, 2009 by the Department of Labor, the Department of Commerce, or under the authority of the Attorney General, to expire on November 27, 2011, that protects the status of the holder to remain in the Commonwealth until revoked or expired.”
f) Arrange the subsections of §4911 in alphabetical order as required.
2) Article 2 (Entry into the Commonwealth) is amended to:
a) Change the title of Article 2 to “Identification and Documentation”
b) Delete §4921.
c) Amend §4922 by –
i. In subsection 4922(b) by deleting the words “or part-time casual employment” and substituting the words “and provide for part-time casual and other employment.”
ii. In subsection 4922(d) by deleting the words “and forward it for immigration clearance”
d) Amend §4923 by –
i. Deleting subsection 4923(a).
ii. Amending current subsection 4923(c) to delete the first sentence.
iii. Amending current subsection 4923(d) to read: “Upon receiving notice that there is a medical reason any foreign national worker or immediate relative should not be permitted to remain in the Commonwealth for health reasons, the Secretary shall notify the foreign national worker and offer repatriation at the earliest date on which it is medically safe to travel. If repatriation is not accomplished, the Secretary shall forward the relevant documentation to the federal immigration authorities for deportation.”
iv. Renumbering the subsections as necessary.
v. Amend §4924 by amending subsection 4924(a) to delete the words “issuance of an entry permit for” and substitute the words “commencement of work by”e) Amend §4925 by –
i. Amending the title to read: “Foreign national worker status”
ii. Changing the term “entry permit” to “identification card”
iii. Amending subsection 4925(a) to read: “The Secretary shall cause to be issued an identification card which shall include the foreign national worker’s name, employer, citizenship, gender, birth date, expiration date of the card, and LIDS number.”
iv. Amending subsection 4925(b) to delete the last two sentences.
v. Adding a new subsection 4925(e) to read: “Umbrella permits issued by the Department to foreign national workers continue in full force and effect until revoked by the Department. Each holder of an umbrella permit must also hold a current identification card.”
f) Amend §4926 by –
i. Amending the title to read: “Immediate relative of foreign national worker status.”
ii. Changing the term “immediate family member” to “immediate relative.”
iii. Deleting subsection 4926(a).
iv. Amending subsection 4926(b) to read: “Each immediate relative of a foreign national worker shall be issued an identification card which shall include the sponsoring foreign national worker’s name, and the relative’s name, citizenship, gender, birth date, expiration date of the card, and LIDS number. The expiration date of the card shall be the same expiration date as the card held by the foreign national worker.”
v. Deleting subsection 4926(c).
Adding a new subsection 4926(e) to read: “Umbrella permits issued by the Department to immediate relatives of foreign national workersBy changing the word "deportation" to "repatriation" can the CNMI government control who is subject to repatriation?
continue in full force and effect until revoked by the Department. Each holder of an umbrella permit must also hold a current identification card.”
g) Delete §4927.Under the changes "deportation" is changed to "repatriation."
Amend §4964 by –Finally, what does this mean? Is the CNMI government proposing to delete the CNMI human trafficking laws and Anti-Trafficking Act? From the comment:
i. Deleting the word “deportation” and substituting the word “repatriation” and deleting the word “deportable” and substituting the words “subject to repatriation.”
Section 7. Amendment of Title 6. Title 6 is amended as follows:
A. Division 1 (Crimes Against the Person), Part 1 (Crimes Against the Person), Chapter 5 (Human Trafficking and Related Offenses), Article 1 (Anti-Trafficking Act), §1508 (Immigration Status) is deleted.