Breaking News: Statement from DOI Assistant Secretary Babauta

A statement has just been released from DOI Assistant Secretary Tony Babauta:








Date: March 12, 2010

Statement by Interior Assistant Secretary Tony Babauta
on the Federal Labor Ombudsman’s Public Comments Regarding Alien Employment

During this past week, the Northern Marianas Labor Department has taken great liberty in its public criticism of Federal Labor Ombudsman, Pam Brown, for guidance she provided at an open forum to educate the public on the impact of P.L. 110-229 on employing aliens in the Northern Marianas. In preparation of this forum, Ms. Brown and I discussed the issues in great detail with the Department of Homeland Security to ensure there was a consensus between our respective Departments on the implementation of Federal law and local law. I am confident that the guidance provided by the Department of Homeland Security, has been properly expressed by Ms. Brown during her forum. I am further encouraged that in the very near future, the Department of Homeland Security will issue its guidance on employing aliens in the Northern Marianas. I expect that the information which Ms. Brown has thus far conveyed, along with the guidance, will provide a greater measure of clarity to the Northern Marianas government, local employers, and aliens.

www.doi.gov/oia


Now let's see if Fitial, Kaipat and Buckingham have the integrity to apologize and retract their previous statements.

Please see the questions and answers from the DHS concerning umbrella permits, status and employment that echo exactly what the Federal Ombudsman Pamela Brown stated last week. (posted below)

40 comments:

malou berueco said...

thanks for this info...this will definitely answer ALL the questions and will stop the confusions of some...

Anonymous said...

Ms wendy thanks for the answers to our prayers. Ms. pam we pray for your recovery. god bless you.

yho r. villavicencio said...

my circle never doubted Ms. Pam's statements and previous advises.

i hope that finally, this issue is put to rest and that all will proceed accordingly so as to help rebuild the cnmi economy. it would not be a speedy one, but it needs to start soon with everyone being on the same page.

Anonymous said...

Let the games begin! Ah never mind, the feds won!

red october said...

The FEDS PRINTED IT VERY CLEARLY lets move on folks and start over again.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Tony Babauta for backing up your ombudsman and for clearing up the confusion that Labor tried to create.

Anonymous said...

hurrah!!!checkmate!Ms. Cinta Kaipat!!,,We never doubt Ms. Pam..all she said even before was..YOU'LL FINE,,DONT WORRY..YOU'LL BE FINE,, and that suffice one's heart leaving the ombudsman's office with a snile and confidence..True Justice prevail!!

Anonymous said...

thank you for the information, congrats Pam, now lets hear it from the side and apology of the opposing body. Mr. Tony Babauta, start sending your people to close their labor department-so that corruptions will be stop. cinta ask seimer to make your comment on the statement that Interior Department made.

Anonymous said...

is the CNMI DOL will still be in operation?... i think they should close it, mostly of the folks working in there are often seen downstair puffing cigars, that simply explained no work on their desk except the solitaire on their monitor...

flametreeman said...

They cannot stop what will happen, all will be equal and no lazy 40 percent obligatory law.

malou berueco said...

to flametreeman:you said "They cannot stop what will happen, all will be equal and no lazy 40 percent obligatory law."
i am sorry to tell you this, we are in a democratic place, we can always say what's on our mind & share our opinions. we can always criticize the government since we are tax payers, but please, let us stop saying that the locals are "LAZY"...they are not lazy...they just need to be trained to compete in the market...
tina sablan is a local and there are a lot of locals like her who would want to make cnmi a better place...let's not forget that we are still guest here...we could always REQUEST but not DEMAND...we could always criticize the government because we are tax payer here...but please, NEVER that we should put them down....
just a piece of advise! PEACE!

Melberlin said...

Is there anybody here can tell me what's "GK" means in the permit of two of my relatives that has "240E(GK)". - Thanks

Anonymous said...

Melberlin:

240E (IR of alien) permits are subclassified based on what kind of alien you are an IR of.

These subcategories all begin with G, followed by the letter of the permit held by the sponsor.

For example, IR of a diplomat (a 240F holder) is GF. IR of a foreign investor (a 240G holder) is GG, etc.

GK, therefore, is an IR of a foreign national worker (240K).

Most of these types are pretty rare. The most common are GK and GT (IR of citizen of Free Associated State).

Most 240E's have historically not been authorized to work under existing CNMI law. There has always been an exception, however, for the GT's. The recent statement from Interior does not appears to recognize that. it allows people to work who never could before (like students), but disallows people who always could work before (like FAS IR's).

Anonymous said...

Malou:

What Flametreeman said is what a lot of non-locals think. Hiding the rampant contempt for locals that exists among both the nonresident workers and the Americans won't make it go away, so you might as well let him air it out, and reveal the vicious anti-local racism that underlies the whole federalizing agenda.

And while you try to say the right thing here, you are not free of it yourself. You say: "They are not lazy...they just need to be trained to compete in the market." Do you have any idea how patronizing that sounds? You say: "Let's not forget that we are still guest here...we could always REQUEST but not DEMAND." You and your allies forgot that when you started demanding federal takeover.

Anonymous said...

One item that we're forgetting here is that these are Filipino Citizens. Quite a few had children in the CNMI, probably to maximize their 'status' or whatever. That's ok but they did it know they may never become US Citizens. Why are they so willing to give up their country? What better status are we talking about here? Economic status? Freedom from a Manila ghetto? What is it? When the vigils started and the blogs followed I heard the chanting, Federal, Federal, Federal. Well now the Feds are upon the CNMI. What now? What better status are we talking about here and should the United States Department of Homeland Security grant citizenship to a people who so easily give up their crown.

Anonymous said...

Well. A lot of use we have from our delegate in Washington on the issues huh? Silence from Kilili? Can't say anything because it is election time? Before he had all the answers now quiet as a mouse.

malou berueco said...

anon above: me & my allies demanded federal takeover? really????? we are that powerful???? really????

Wendy said...

Anonymous 11:52

You are wrong. You are implying that those of us who supported federalization were anti-local. What a twisted lie. I know that I supported federalization with the hope that it would end labor and human rights abuses and establish a just and democratic guest worker program.

No one "demanded" federalization.

I saw my share of "lazy" locals, guest workers and mainland Americans when I lived in the CNMI. So how did the label "lazy" get aligned with local workers? Could it be that many want to have a coveted political position, which often translates to big salary, little work? That some rejected work in the private sector because of low salaries? Perhaps the government sector is not bloated today, but when I lived there it sure was. There were offices where three or four people were hired to do the work of one person. There were people collecting government paychecks who never went to work! And many of the government jobs were tied to votes. A system like that does not promote a strong work ethic.

As for your put down of Malou, are you denying that the local workforce does not need job training? Then why do you see an army of foreign workers who have skills that the local population lacks currently working in the CNMI? Why is job training included in PL 110-229? Why did Mr. Pellegrino establish a trade school?

Captain said...

This Federalization thing started many years previously but could not get done because of the millions of dollars annually in payment to lobyist by the mostly same people in the NMI Govt now. (although they were in different functions over the years.
Also from within the private sector, then and now.

These CW had nothing to do with any of this Fed. thing. The Feds had warned the NMI for so many years (from about 1980's) about the ratio of contract workers to resident workers was dangerous fopr the economy and would lead to a melt down along with all of the abuses(among other things)

They (Feds) also warned and encouraged the NMI to "train" the "locals"
The original intent of these contract workers was to train the "locals" to take over the jobs they were brought in for.

How can anybody "blame" or credit these workers for the Feds takeover?
Many just jumped on the bandwagon, many just sat back and watched.

The workers, for most, would not be "giving up their country" as they would be "dual" citizens and have the benefits of two countries.

Wendy said...

Anonymous 1:14

You said: One item that we're forgetting here is that these are Filipino Citizens. Quite a few had children in the CNMI, probably to maximize their 'status' or whatever. That's ok but they did it know they may never become US Citizens. Why are they so willing to give up their country? What better status are we talking about here? Economic status? Freedom from a Manila ghetto? What is it? When the vigils started and the blogs followed I heard the chanting, Federal, Federal, Federal. Well now the Feds are upon the CNMI. What now? What better status are we talking about here and should the United States Department of Homeland Security grant citizenship to a people who so easily give up their crown.

You are without a doubt truly ignorant and misinformed. Are you seriously suggesting that the Filipino workers had children "probably to maximize their status?" No wonder you sign as "anonymous." I have to believe that anyone who suggests that is just trying to enrage people.

Why are they so willing to give up their country? First, no one gave up their country. Many foreign workers will return to their homelands after they have put their children through college or met other financial obligations. However, some have lived longer in the CNMI than they have in their homelands and they consider the CNMI their home. A home county is where you are born. Who says it is where you will remain always?

The CNMI was built physically and economically on the backs of the foreign workers. Foreign contract workers went to the CNMI to earn money to support their families. You should be very glad that they came to work in the CNMI and are still in the CNMI. There is a demand for highly skilled workers worldwide and many other places treat their foreign workforce much better than the CNMI does. Other places also offer clear pathways to citizenship for those who want to establish roots in a country that offers more opportunities than their homelands.

What status? You seriously don't know what status foreign workers are asking for? If these same foreign workers had been working in the U.S. mainland they would have been granted green cards years ago, decades ago for many. They want a pathway to US citizenship. Duh.

Wendy said...

Hi Captain:

You are right that the quest for federalization was a long process. I started asking for federalization in the early 1990's. A few rallies and, of course, the Unity March demonstrated that a huge number of the guest workers' backed federalization. Even long before that most quietly supported it while some had the courage to speak out. I can remember when workers were so threatened that they would have never written a letter to the editor or publicly spoken up, fearing that they would lose their jobs. (Unfortunately, with good reason.) Happily times have changed, and foreign workers are unheard no more!

What a great point about dual citizenship. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Just to remind everyone here in this blog that the "foreign nationals" that we are talking here are not only a representation of Filipinos. Please be reminded that there are other foreign nationals here like the Chinese, Koreans, Japanese, Thais, Bangladeshis, Napalese, Indians, Burmese, Australians. These nationals are few of the people I knew personally working here in Saipan. Needless to say, a contributors to CNMI economy aside from being a taxpayer.

Wendy said...

Anonymous 8:12

I am certain that the anonymous writer (1:14) and others who single out Filipinos may be doing so because they are racist. They know that there are foreign workers of other nationalities. You should see the crap that I receive every day that my screener (Nani) and I don't post.

yho r. villavicencio said...

anon 11:53 - if Malou is being patronizing, then so is the CNMI government. it is in every foreign national's employment contract that employers need to train a local to replace the foreign worker. so many other government officials and prominent local figures have stated that local citizens need to be trained.

why is it that no matter how sincere a statement is, if it is coming from a guest worker, then it is probably papalatong?

as has been said in this thread and in many other previous posts on the subject, i reiterate - we can not demand, we can only request. we are very much aware that only the U.S. Congress can decide on whether to grant us any sort of improved status. we tried to appeal to the local government in the past, now it's in the hands of the feds, thus we direct our pleas to them.

we mean no disrespect, we are just exercising our freedom of speech, we voice out our thoughts and requests with the hope that somebody out there might care to listen and say YES.

the teacher said...

I demanded federalization and it is working out quite well here.

The broken and failed system tied workers to a job and now the regulations are:

"Under the federalized immigration system, contractual arrangements between an employer and an employee do not affect the worker’s stay on the islands, DHS said."

Workers here had no representayion or leadership for many years and in a federal ststem they may not need either. In an American system, workers immigration case can survive on its own merits.

Anonymous said...

Only some countries allow for Dual Citizenship. It would be in everyones best interest to see if your home country is pro or con on the issue. Yes, you may have to renounce your home country to be a U.S. citizen. Are you willing to do that?

Federalization has its pros and cons. Pros is that Labor and Immigration are not under federal law and should be standardized.

Cons is that guest workers are on a countdown to going home. Nov 2011 is coming faster than most want to acknowledge. I suggest every guest worker prepare for this departure date and quit thinking that you will be given something that might not come.

If employers are not trying to supplement their workforce with Locals in order to train them and pass on the knowledge of the guest workers, then they will have a harder time later. But then again, how can employers afford to add to their workforce in these economical times.

And yes, I agree that many Guest workers had children only to improve their status or chance of gaining U.S. citizenship. If you deny this is the case, you are truly looking at that issue with blinders.

Anonymous said...

How may Nepalese, Burmese, Thais, Australians (!), or even Chinese do you see now, or have you ever seen, actively involving themselves in federalization, status, or other such issues?

Granted, there are a few prominent Bangladeshis. But to deny the overwhelming prominence of Filipinos, and cry "racism" any time anyone else notices it, is to close one's eyes to an important aspect of the whole developing socio-political scene -- one which strongly impacts the kinds of issues that are given prominence, the kinds of changes that are sought, and the kinds of reactions that emerge.

Anonymous said...

Malou:

Yes.

Wendy said...

Anonymous 6:47

No one is asked to renounce his/her country when they become a citizen of another. What a spin!

You said, "Federalization has its pros and cons. Pros is that Labor and Immigration are not under federal law and should be standardized" Immigration is under the control of the U.S. And under federalization, local labor deals primarily with local labor issues, not with foreign nationals. They do have the authority to replace lost or stolen umbrella permits.

You said, "And yes, I agree that many guest workers had children only to improve their status or chance of gaining U.S. citizenship." I suppose you took a survey? What do you base this on?

Anonymous 8:20

Over a thousand Chinese signed the petition for status. Many Nepalese, Bangladeshi and others did also. The commenter singled out Filipino, spoke of Manila as a ghetto and claimed that Filipino workers had children for the purpose of status. It was a racist comment. I think people who make such statements and hide behind "anonymous" labels are just slinging stones. Otherwise, why not sign their real names? You too? Why anonymous?

Melberlin said...

To Anon March 14, 2010 10:28 AM,

Sorry for the delay, although late response from off-island.. Thanks

MALOU BERUECO said...

ms. wendy & yho: thank you! that is exactly i wanted to say!
YHO, as i told the audience before, you are my dictionary now, in the absence of my english vocabulary!...

Melberlin said...

Anon 3/14 1:14 PM

If YOU think that aspiring citizens are renouncing their citizenship, why is it that CNMI did that too? (Remember you are not US citizen before) and now they are knocking us about renouncing ours.

Improving ones status is one of the patterns of human's behavior to response to specific event to arouse action to alleviate his/her life and family. If you don't act to do anything by improving your life, then you are a futile. Aspiring citizenship to another country as long as it is being offered by that country means a win-win arrangement to both sides, else the providing country will not provide at all.

There are many positive essence of it why US is doing that ever since.

We the aspiring aliens are not forcing the providing country to give citizenship and at the same time renounce our original citizenship; there are billion of reasons for each billions of people who already changed their citizens of another country.

Most reason is the economy.

To Anon this may concern, why did you gave up your crown earlier than us?

Anonymous said...

Melberlin:

Thanks for intelligent postings and speaking in defense of the silent majority.

Anonymous said...

True or false:

On the average, US citizenship is valued, sought and glorified by Filipinos to a degree unparalleled in any other country of the world.

If the relative proportion of Filipinos and Chinese, or Filipinos and Thais, were reversed, acquiring US immigration status would never have become a pre-eminent goal of the CNMI's nonresident workers.

Just food for thought.

Anonymous said...

Puking up on your food for thought.

yho r. villavicencio said...

anon 8:40

let me ask you- of late, from what country are those who got caught trying to skip to Guam? nope, not PI!

just a food for thought.

Anonymous said...

ai a dai! why is it that when talking about citizenship, they are attacking filipino guest workers, only a few remember that even locals want the citizenship also. locals can denounce their US citizenship if they don't want to, but they don't because they love (US citizenship)having it too.

my husband says "same difference" (his phrase makes sense now!)

TAGLISH said...

Anon 8:40 FALSE!!!!!! "On the average, US citizenship is valued, sought and glorified by Filipinos to a degree unparalleled in any other country of the world".

Maybe you are a Chamorro citizen, is there such? Why don’t you go out of your island so you would see the real world. Maybe you were right, US citizenship is sought by most Filipinos but not anymore. We’re not like Saipanese who entirely depends on US grants for subsistence.
My aunt is an Australian citizen, my brother is a Canadian citizen, some of my cousins are Italian, New Zealand and France citizens, all of them were granted citizenship by those countries in less than 5 years because of their dedication to their jobs. They are happy and enjoying their prosperous lives and still cherish and proud to be Filipinos. Mind you, it’s my sister (who is now in Seattle just got married to a US citizen) and me (here on CNMI) who are in the midst of impoverish situations. Choices in life really matters, it can destroy you! That’s what I have realized. Just like what my brother said “my two sisters are stupid”!

TAGLISH said...

Anon 8:40 FALSE!!!!!!
"On the average, US citizenship is valued, sought and glorified by Filipinos to a degree unparalleled in any other country of the world".

Maybe you are a Chamorro citizen, is there such? Why don’t you go out of your island so you would see the real world. Maybe you were right, US citizenship is sought by most Filipinos but not anymore. We’re not like Saipanese who entirely depends on US grants for subsistence.

My aunt is an Australian citizen, my brother is a Canadian citizen, some of my cousins are Italian, New Zealand and France citizens, all of them were granted citizenship by those countries in less than 5 years because of their dedication to their jobs. They are happy and enjoying their prosperous lives and still cherish and proud to be Filipinos. Mind you, it’s my sister (who is now in Seattle just got married to a US citizen) and me (here on CNMI) who are in the midst of impoverish situations. Choices in life really matters, it can destroy you! That’s what I have realized. Just like what my brother said “my two sisters are stupid”!

Anonymous said...

anon 10:33 AM

don't worry, you and your sisters are not alone. im stupid too, wasted 20 (going to 21)years of my life here, been a loyal and a dedicated employee, been the shock absorber of my employer's shortcomings. but what do i get? nothing!!!!!i was treated like a used rag.

there's more of us here! welcome to reality!