Guest Worker Meet-Up

February 20, 2010


Guest workers and nonresidents met Friday evening in front of the TSL Building where the USCIS Office is located to continue their campaign for improved status. About 150 nonresidents and supporters showed up where there were discussions and a barbecue. Some of the workers spoke on video camera to explain their situations and appeal for status. Rabby Syed, president of the United Workers Movement NMI said the tape will be sent to federal agencies.

The campaign is similar to the one done in 2007 and 2008 where I video-taped guest workers, FAS citizens and permanent residents to bring their messages to policy-makers in Washington, DC. (You can see one of the tapes that was distributed in the Congress and to federal agencies here.) Letters and video-taped messages put a face on the issue, which is especially important since the CNMI is thousands of miles from Washington, DC where decisions are made.

The final rules for the foreign investor and the transition worker program should be released this month. Workers and employers have been waiting anxiously for the final rule to be implemented. The comment period ended January 8, 2010 over one month ago. From the DHS web site:
On Oct. 27, USCIS published an interim final rule creating a Transitional Worker visa classification in the CNMI during the transition period—allowing alien workers currently ineligible for other classifications under INA and who perform services or labor for an employer in CNMI to receive nonimmigrant visa classification. However, on Nov. 25, 2009 a federal district court issued an order prohibiting DHS from implementing this interim final rule. As a result, the transitional worker visa classification is unavailable to CNMI employers, workers and their families until further notice. This court order does not affect any aspect of the transition to federal immigration law other than the specific transitional worker program that was the subject of this interim final rule.
The next gathering will be held on Saturday March 6, 2010. The United Workers Movement -NMI will be releasing more details on that event, which will focus on children.

Nani and I are leaving for Washington, DC this week to meet with staffers and officials concerning improved status and other concerns. If any other workers or worker leaders have petition pages to send, please contact Rabby Syed, Ronnie Doca or Itos Feliciano so they can be scanned and the originals can be mailed. You can sign the online petition until Wednesday.

Photo by Junhan Todeno ©2010

6 comments:

The Saipan Blogger said...

Enjoy the trip Wendy. Agnes McPhetres will be up there on Thursday to give testimony for the monument. Say "Hi" to her if you see her.

Also, would you be willing to do a post about the hearing? Please mention that we need testimony from CNMI residents.

Testimony should include:

1. Who they are
2. What they did to support the creation of the monument
3. What they want to see from the monument
4. And to request a Mariana Trench Visitors Center be built on Saipan

Wendy said...

Thanks Angelo: Nani and I are leaving very early Thursday morning so I can stop by and hear at least part of the hearing before appointments. Absolutely I will do a post about the hearing and your request for testimony. If you want to, you can write it (you sure know more than I do) and I will post it.

Itos said...

Thank you Wendy and Nani for helping us here in NMI. GREEN CARD FOR ALL NMI GUEST WORKERS...Good Luck and God Bless us all.

Anonymous said...

The US cannot afford more unemployment and welfare cases. No to Green Cards. Yes to job growth for US Citizens.

Anonymous said...

Noni 9:39:

"The US cannot afford more unemployment and welfare cases."

Are you referring to chamolinians?

Tom Cruz

Anonymous said...

Tom Cruz,

You rock!!