Kaipat: And the battle continues

March 8, 2010

Everyone was waiting for the response from DOL regarding the statement made Thursday evening by Federal Labor Ombudsman Pamela Brown. The expected retort from the Fitial Administration regarding the federal position on umbrella permits and DOL's authority has come from Deputy Secretary of the CNMI Department of Labor, Cinta Kaipat.

Kaipat claimed that the DOL will be turning over the names of some 300 deportable guest workers to ICE. The department did not release the names. Kaipat stated:

“Time and time again, the 300 some people were given the opportunity to clear their status but they didn't come forward. They know who they are. We will be referring their names to ICE soon,” Kaipat told Saipan Tribune right after the meeting with lawmakers.

She said many of the overstayers have been in the CNMI for years without legal status. She, however, said Labor could not release the names yet.
She stated that the figure of 300 does not include some 200 umbrella permits that DOL revoked. However, the federal government through the Federal Labor Ombudsman said that DOL has no authority to revoke the permits. Ombudsman Pamela Brown called for anyone who has had an umbrella permit "revoked" by DOL or has been denied a transfer to report to the Ombudsman Office on Middle Road.

Kaipat attacked the ombudsman claiming that she was "acting recklessly" and "creating confusion." Perhaps it is Kaipat who is acting recklessly and creating confusion? Kaipat said, “I want to caution workers not to jeopardize their status because Pam Brown is not DHS and she's not a federal judge." Cinta Kaipat is not DHS and she's not a federal judge either!

CNMI AG Buckingham also claimed that DOL had the authority to revoke the permits.

Their statements are questionable since the federal government, and not a local department of labor has control over immigration matters. Status permits are immigration permits and not labor permits. It makes no sense that they would think that the DOL could revoke what are immigration permits. You may recall that when they were issued DOL stated it would allow the guest workers to remain in the CNMI until 2011. Several of us question what authority DOL had to issue immigration permits at the time.

Buckingham also claims that the local labor department has authority over the immigration permits. From the Saipan Tribune:
Attorney General Edward T. Buckingham separately clarified that the CNMI Department of Labor has the authority to revoke umbrella permits, reacting to Brown's statement that seems to suggest that an umbrella permit cannot be revoked.

He said the CNMI retains authority through the Department of Labor for the management of umbrella permits.

“Specifically, the Department of Labor has both the authority and the duty to monitor compliance with umbrella permit holders. Should one or more conditions of the umbrella permit not be met, the umbrella permit is subject to being revoked,” Buckingham said.

Buckingham said if holders of umbrella permits believe they no longer need to comply with Labor standards, they may face revocation of the permit.

“This may affect their status in the Commonwealth and may lead to deportation proceedings. The Commonwealth and the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement have different roles to play. But, as a whole, we are part of the same government,” he said.
One certainly would have expected that the CNMI Attorney General would have communicated with federal officials before making such comments. Where does he get his information from?

What are the labor standards that the AG is speaking about? How can a local department of labor take on revoking what amounts to a permit that falls under immigration authority? Why would ICE deport workers if another branch of the federal government states that they are not deportable?

The AG also claimed that the US has control over entry and exit but not over DOL:
The attorney general said the federal government assumed control over entry and exit into the CNMI, but did not replace the CNMI Department of Labor for its activities.

“To take the position that someone could stop complying with requirements of the CNMI Department of Labor could mean that a person would be without employment. Such people would be a drain on the economy and present a risk of involvement in criminal activities or, because of not having employment, risk becoming victims of unscrupulous people taking advantage of their problems,” Buckingham said.

He said ignoring conditions set by the Department of Labor is, in his view, “unwise” and may subject the holder of an umbrella permit to “unfortunate consequences.”

“An umbrella permit can be revoked. Legal status can be lost. And, through coordination between the CNMI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an individual may be subject to deportation,” he added.
It is very clear that Pamela Brown was speaking on behalf of the federal government, was authorized to hold the forum, and was asked to convey the information. It appears that the DOL, Kaipat, and the AG are the ones acting recklessly. Kaipat and Buckingham should have consulted with federal officials before making such accusatory statements and confusing the matter once again.

Kaipat was quoted by the Marianas Variety as saying:
“The federal ombudsman and some other lawyers are consistently trying to undermine the umbrella permit program. Careful analysis prior to implementing the umbrella permit program confirmed that it is within the powers already granted to the Department of Labor by the Legislature,” said Kaipat in her written testimony.

“However, to dispel any doubt, Section 2 of [House Bill 17-25] provides: ‘It is the intent of the Legislature that the umbrella permits issued by the Department of Labor in 2009 continue to be governed under the department’s normal processes. All umbrella permits and the bases on which they were granted are ratified and approved…any other provision of current or former law or regulation notwithstanding…. Section 5(Q)(4) confirms the department’s authority to modify or revoke umbrella permits,” she added.

H.B. 17-25, or the Immigration Conformity Act of 2010, was introduced by Rep. Rafael S. Demapan, Covenant-Saipan.
According to the bill, the federalization of the islands’ immigration system “does not preempt the commonwealth’s labor laws.”
Since when can a local law over ride a federal law? Could Florida pass a law saying that the state has the authority to oversee the migrant farmworkers and collect revenue from them for a Florida ID? I don't think that would fly! Furthermore, neither of the bills has even passed and there is a question as to whether some provisions in them are even legal, including giving a local department of labor authority over federal immigration matters and compelling foreigners who are under federal immigration control to get CNMI-issued Foreign National IDs.

Who are these "other lawyers" that Kaipat claims are "consistently trying to undermine the umbrella permit program?"

The Variety reported:
It is the intent of the Legislature that this act shall exercise the authority of the commonwealth to regulate labor conditions and practices within the commonwealth,” H.B. 17-25 stated.

“It is the intent of the Legislature that the umbrella permits issued by the Department of Labor in 2009 continue to be governed under the department’s normal processes,” it added.

The bill requires every alien who remains in the CNMI longer than 90 days to register with Labor. This registration will be renewed annually.

Failure to register is considered a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $500 and imprisonment of not more than 90 days or both.
DOL and the Fitial Administration obviously have a problem with giving up power over the foreign guest workers and want to continue to use them to fill the CNMI coffers. Their battle for power over the foreign workforce is evidenced by Fitial's anti-federalization lawsuit, Kaipat's comments to DHS, and the so-called omnibus bills now being debated. This Administration is holding on by their nails. Isn't it time to let go and take on a consultative attitude with the federal government instead of continuing to fight and resist them?

Pending Legislation
Since January 2010 I have been writing about the draft legislation penned by Howard Willens that calls for changes to local law in order to conform with PL110-229. In fact, in my comment to DHS I strongly opposed the idea of the CNMI DOL having authority to issue a Foreign National ID.

I do not believe that any local government has the authority to make foreigners register with them. Only the federal government has this authority under US immigration rules. Again, this appears to be an attempt to maintain control and authority over the foreign contract workers and a way to continue to fill CNMI coffers by taking money from the poorest group of people in the islands. DOL wants to keep their long lines that end at the cashier where they have the workers empty their pockets for another permit, another form, or another identification card. Cha-ching.

Kaipat discussed the proposed local legislation:
Deputy Labor Secretary Jacinta M. Kaipat told the Senate Standing Committee on Judiciary and Governmental Operations during a hearing yesterday afternoon that despite the implementation on Nov. 28, 2009 of U.S. Public Law 110-229, or the federalization law, the CNMI government can still enact labor-related laws to protect its interests.

“We need to…prevent any disruption by federal preemption. When we take out the immigration and deportation language, then [CNMI] laws are beyond the reach of federal preemption,” said Kaipat.
It is definitely time for the Department of Homeland Security to grant parole to all of the legal guest workers who received umbrella permits or hold unexpired work permits. I have already requested this and I know that the United Workers Movement has also sent a letter to Secretary Janet Napolitano requesting parole. It is obvious that unless the DOL is forced to relinquish their authority this confusion and controversy will continue. The best way to accomplish this would be to grant parole to the guest workers and make the issue of umbrella permits moot.

For more information see these posts:
More holes in the umbrellas
Fitial Administration Grasping to Retain the Broken Local System?

61 comments:

The Saipan Blogger said...

One irony of this (massive government involvment) is that Fitial and Willens give a ton of money to mainland politicians who would call what they do in Saipan "Socialism."

Anonymous said...

"According to the bill, the federalization of the islands’ immigration system “does not preempt the commonwealth’s labor laws.”

The CNMI cannot legislate power that is no longer theirs.

Anonymous said...

Withdraw your swords Cinta and Buckie boy. You lose.

rocking chair lawyer said...

What makes these people so damn arrogant? Come on DHS, get those final rules published.

I like Wendy's idea to give them all parole. Settle this and end the stupidity once and for all.

Anonymous said...

Checkmate, Cinta. Game over.

yho r. villavicencio said...

poor guest workers (and employers), one day you are lost as to what really is going on, next day you feel relieved, only to wake up to another troubling statement from DOL. ayayay, when is this going to end?

why would DOL be so intent on revoking umbrella permits when their intention, supposedly, in issuing them in the first place was to ensure workforce availability WHEN the economy picks up?

when Ms. Pam Brown made the public announcement, i was glad because it was a signal that laborforce issues are getting better and that now businesses who have put some expansion plans on hold may now proceed which means that the economy may start to recover.

now this, again! how do we expect the economy to pick up when all DOL does is threaten the existence of these workers? do you really think it is only the guest workers who are affected by all of these? it has a rippling effect… to the businesses, to the government, and to each and everyone here in the CNMI.

Anonymous said...

I am confused again. Just when we get the good news now this. We need to go to the ombudsman to ask questions. Ms. Pam? what does this all mean now?

Wendy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wendy said...

Yho, you are right. It would be in the best interest of the CNMI government, the business community, guest workers and all residents of the CNMI to work together to ensure that the economy improves. How can the economy move forward when the CNMI refuses to do anything but fight the federal government? Their current stance is exactly why I questioned the umbrella permits from the beginning.

Anonymous said...

The Supremacy Clause and Federal Preemption
State Law versus Federal- Which rules?

[THE SUPREMACY CLAUSE Article. VI. "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding .]

Anonymous said...

Not sure if it's legal to withhold the names of illegal aliens. Immigration is now Federal. The names of all the documented illegals should be turned over to the Feds ASAP for deportation proceedings. 300 is a lot so perhaps two charted planes to their host country. Their host country needs to pay for the charters of course.

Anonymous said...

What good is federal takeover if we stay under the thumb of DOL? PLEASE!!

Anonymous said...

Noni 8:56

Let the last employers of record pay. Most of the "overstayers" stayed to collect debts owed by criminal employers.

Anonymous said...

why would DOL be so intent on revoking umbrella permits when their intention, supposedly, in issuing them in the first place was to ensure workforce availability WHEN the economy picks up?

DoL wants to keep good industrious workers, not those who have violated the terms of their permits. The U.S. has no interest in aiding and abetting such overstayers either.

The U.S. should protect legitimate workers, not scammers. No way is Guam's delegate going to support legalizing all CNMI overstayers so they can move to Guam. Even if Pamela S. Brown and the Department of the Interior so recommend to Congress.

Anonymous said...

11:14 DoL doesn't give a crap whether workers are industrious or not. They don't give a crap whether employers screwed the workers. DoL wants money. There was never anything honest about the way DoL operated.

Guam's delegate doesn't even have a VOTE! If she wants to take credit for leaving the CNMI with no workforce she's not too smart is she?

the teacher said...

The CNMI has always had two glaring economic problems. The recent news shows no economic answers for either sides(meaning the current administration and advocates or workers).

1. One half of the adult population is foreign nationals remitting money abroad to feed their families, something we can't afford to do.
2. Our local banks take our depositors money, borrow at a low interest rate from the federal government, and then loan our money throughout Guam and Hawaii to stimulate their economies with commercial, residential, and business development.

Federalization will correct our first economic concern with the well thought out investor visa regulations and the transitional CW guest workers program.

I have always been sympathetic to the plight of abused and underpaid workers, but to imply unemployed workers are entitled to a US investor visa is spinning the case into the twilight zone. It is one thing to want decency and justice for all, but something else to think that America owes anyone anything.

I think the CW program should be executed without bias, so that employed workers at the end of the transition period will gain permanent residency. If DHS grants investor status to 10k unemployed workers here we will be in an economic disaster and locals will have lost the CNMI.

If unemployed workers can freely operate businesses here without funding or capital, we will literally have hand carts lining beach road selling noodles and vegetables. We are a tourist island trying to encourage affluent persons from cold weather east Asia to live in our beautiful commonwealth similar to the way people from Chicago, NY, and Boston support Florida and the Carib. How can we entice investors to purchase property or businesses here to earn a US investor visa (500,000.) when an unemployed worker, flat broke, can get one FREE?

If this idea is advanced, the CNMI economy will not recover in the next generation.

Anonymous said...

Cinta, cinta, cinta. Was she really an attorney?

The Saipan Blogger said...

There is a middle ground. Is anybody claiming that no contract workers are scamming the system? I know several people that had/have scam sponsorships. Everyone on Saipan does.

Anonymous said...

Turning over names of deportable workers to the feds is treason to the CNMI.

the teacher said...

Angelo is correct, there should be some middle ground, but like Zaldy said" you have to keep the story real".

There are 20 year CGws that have legally labored here and should be made permenent residents. There are others operating clandestine businesses, freelancers that haven't had an employer in a decade, and others commiting immigration fraud.


The CW transitional guest worker and transitional investor visa programs will sort it all out.

Anonymous said...

Pam Brown doesn't know what she was talking about. She gave out false information and then skipped to avoid the fallout. If DOL issued permits (umbrella or whatever) then they should have the authority to revoke them, not the federal government. Immigration is the federal government's business not the hiring and firing of the workforce.

Ben

Anonymous said...

God bless u Ms. Wendy, we are (UWM) and other leaders are really working so hard to fight against the plight of guest workers here,,We pray that Employee-Enterprise based parole be granted similar to the bill of CNMI HUMAN RESOURCES of 1977..Thank u very much!!

Anonymous said...

God bless u Ms. Wendy, we are (UWM) and other leaders are really working so hard to fight against the plight of guest workers here,,We pray that Employee-Enterprise based parole be granted similar to the bill of CNMI HUMAN RESOURCES of 1977..Thank u very much!!

Anonymous said...

Cinta was never an attorney. She can't practice law because she hasn't passed the CNMI bar or any other jurisdiction's bar exam for that matter. She is only a law school graduate.

Melberlin said...

In basketball when the referee (Ombudsman) whistle to toss the ball, both center players will jump and toss it to another player and then the game play ahead; if another referee (DOL)follow to whistle shortly... nobody will jump of course.. the same as everybody including businesses... how can we rebound?

There are millions of illegals (entered illegally) in the US, why bother with those here that most of it are victims under the state of being controlled by another person and working under harsh conditions for little or no pay?

I am sure CNMI have also these kind of persons during World War 2 wearing mask and pointing fingers to those who are against the Japs. We understand that it is your obligation (before) to deport these people but why only now? there are a lot of them already in your list before Feds but you just ignore and not deport them, why only now?

Also, about paroling aliens to have business, not everybody will establish their own business (where did the Teacher get this assumption), I don't have that reference too but by nature anywhere in the world, not everybody are business minded. There are many people here who can freely establish their own business legally but have you seen all of them putting business? Nope.

Again, by nature, only those who have capital and like being in business will do... It's my personal opinion.

Anonymous said...

Who cares what Buckingham says? Does anyone respect him after his defense of massage gate? He doesn't even follow the law himself. He doesn't have integrity or any commonsense either. Why else would he accept a position with Fitial? If he knew the law he would advise the legislators that their ploy won't work. Federal law trumps local law.

Anonymous said...

Teacher
If we went to the states, we would have got our green cards and what we do with our lives would be up to us. Why do you want to deny deserving peoples freedom? Its not our fault that the CNMI government brought in investors who are scammers. or gave business licenses to workers and illegal recruiters. Why don't you go to the FBI and tell them about the scammers and leave us to raise our families.

yho r. villavicencio said...

Teacher -

"1. One half of the adult population is foreign nationals remitting money abroad to feed their families, something we can't afford to do."

this matter is being given much weight now because of the current economic situation in the CNMI. it was not a big concern before when things were fine and dandy for businesses.

most of us GWs leave our countries for better earning opportunities to support our personal and family’s needs. this is a fact that those importing our services were/are well aware of. foreign countries who hires off-island workers expect to profit from GWs’ services. it was and is to be expected that non-citizens would bring home their earnings at the end, isn’t it. especially now that it seems most of us will have to be sent home. at present some, if not most, of us are barely able to send enough for our families’ needs back home much less to save for an eventual retirement to our home countries.

don’t get me wrong. i hear what you are saying, but then again what do you propose we do about remittances to, as you say – feed our families? forget about them and try to spend all we earn here so that we can help keep the economy afloat? we already are helping in our own way, through our services. it is up to the businesses and government to do their part.

Anonymous said...

The more the Teacher posted here the more I analyzed him.... id**t, not a teacher at all. I pity on him that he doesn't know where he belongs to..

Anonymous said...

How accurate is the number given by cinta/DOL? With those contracts being renewed over and over for very long years, yet they can not even give the exact number of legal workers here, how do you think cinta/dol can manage to keep track of the illegal workers here? Is she saying she has the records of illegal but not the legal workers? Ooops! is her list of illegal workers the one posted before that some people I know listed is either dead or has already left Saipan?

Wendy said...

The teacher is not an idiot. He is a fine person with strong views. Sometimes I agree with him. Sometimes I don't.

I don't think that the teacher meant his statement as a put down to the guest workers. It is really no one's business how an individual spends his/her paycheck unless they are doing something illegal with their money. Of course, the workers are sending money to support their families. That is why 99.9% of workers travel away from their families taking their chances in a foreign country -for economic reasons and to help their families survive. Most come from economically distressed countries where there are no jobs or very low pay. At any rate the CNMI government cannot rely on the guest workers to lift up their economy. They purchase essentials and just that is a huge boon to the economy. The CNMI also takes a large chunk of income from the workers with their permits and they aLso pay taxes even though they are disenfranchised. Take away 20,000 people and then see what the CNMI economy looks like!

Anonymous said...

8:21 How did Buckingham ever break the law? Stop saying things you can't back up!

Anonymous said...

The CNMI needs to protect the American workforce. That is priority Wendy. There are not enough jobs to go around and things are going to get much worse with the economy in the next few years. Cheap labor has been a double edged sword for the CNMI and the United States. The change needs to begin in the Philippines where people are actually a commodity and basically property. The export workforce coming out of the PI is staggering and the faucet needs to be closed. US workers need jobs now.

Anonymous said...

What in the **** is any CNMI official -- especially one in this supposedly anti-federalization administration -- doing even suggesting turning people over to the feds for deportation?

Forget about "overstayers." If we can't deal with them under our own laws, then to hell with it. Let them stay. All they ever did was break the immigration laws. The feds, by contrast, overthrew the whole duly enacted system of immigration laws. Who is the greater criminal?

If we have to choose between helping the overstayers overstay and helping the usurpers in the enforcement of their usurpation, the choice is easy. Biba overstayers!

Anonymous said...

Guest Worker. What exactly does that mean? Basically it means that you as a guest worker were granted a 1 year entry permit to perform work under a contract with an employer. Near the end of that contract, the employer would decide if a renewal was needed or desired. If it was not extremely beneficial for a guest worker to go through this process, they would not attempt it.

A blanket green card issuance would be so ignorant to grant. Guest workers came here to work, not become citizens of the U.S.

If justified, the issuance of a "Green Card" or citizenship should be given after an extensive investigation into the applicants work history, criminal activities if any, political activities etc.

If I were to go to any country of our Guest workers and demand what most of the Guest workers are demanding, I would be thrown in jail and deported in an instant.

I believe many of the current problems with guest workers are not those deserving and entitled, but is those trying to catch a ride on the Green Card highway. Every case must remain individualized to prevent scamming or abuse of the system.

Wendy said...

Anonymous 5:03

You said, "The CNMI needs to protect the U.S. workforce. There are not enough jobs to go around." Please go to the DOL website and review the list of jobs. I look at it every once in a while. There are jobs listed there. Could it be that some jobless U.S. citizens are not qualified to fill the open jobs, or do not have the skills, degree or experience required? Or that the U.S. citizens don't want to accept some of the open jobs such as those listed for maids or club dancers? Or that they don't want to work for $4.55 an hour? I agree that it is important to employ all U.S. residents. Training and education should be a priority.

As long as the economies in labor exporting countries are staggeringly low and the jobless rates are staggeringly high, countries like the Philippines will continue to export labor. As long as there is a need for the people to fill jobs, the labor receiving nations will continue to welcome them to fill jobs that their own citizens don't want to fill or are not qualified to fill. One reason that they are treated as commodities is because there is no pathway to citizenship and the CNMI views them as replaceable and disposable.

Anonymous 6:46

Actually, many in the CNMI do not treat the guest workers as guests at all, but as commodities. Yes, they came to work. No one imagined that they would be working for 15, 20 or 30 years. After 5 years a "guest worker" would be granted a green card in the States.

You said, If I were to go to any country of our Guest workers and demand what most of the Guest workers are demanding, I would be thrown in jail and deported in an instant.

What? What are they demanding? No one is demanding anything. Thrown in jail and deported for what? Expressing First Amendment rights? Please!

You said, I believe many of the current problems with guest workers are not those deserving and entitled, but is those trying to catch a ride on the Green Card highway. Every case must remain individualized to prevent scamming or abuse of the system. There is no green card highway in the CNMI or in the States. Anyone who is qualified for and applies for a green card is thoroughly screened.

What I notice about these comments is that many point fingers at foreigners who are alleged "scammers and law breakers." Why is it that no one is mentioning thehundreds of criminal employers who have ripped off the foreign contract workers? Never paid what they owed, took illegal deductions, made them pay for their own medical expenses and renewal fees and on and on. And then faced no consequences. Thousand of workers never got the pay that they worked for. Look at all of the U.S. citizens in the CNMI that have been involved in illegal recruitment, human trafficking, false imprisonment and other violation of labor and other laws. My point is that bad people are bad people. There are unlawful foreigners and unlawful U.S. citizens. They all need to face consequences.

You talk about scamming and abusing the system, but think about it. A system that allowed millions of dollars in unpaid judgments to be excused is abusive and is scamming the workers.

the teacher said...

Regarding remittances, I believe anyone can spend their money any way they choose. As a society, America should not choose an economic strategy that sends potential economic capital abroad and would be well advised to heavily tax remittance income. As a small community, the CNMI would be planning economic suicide to keep 10k impoverished unemployed workers here, and the idea of letting foreign nationals operate businesses here knowing they are unfunded is ludicrous. If those workers can show substantial assets then they should follow the normal procedures like everyone else. Noni bloggers can call me names if you wish, but I doubt the US or local citizens here will ever support an economic plan that would guarantee we become a barrio.

I support improving the status of legal workers but I don’t believe America or the CNMI owes anyone anything, certainly not illegal fraudsters and scam artists that have been guilty of immigration fraud for years. The “plight” of freelancers and fake business operators has hurt the case for legal guest workers. The primary reason for federalization was to end our dependence on foreign labor and to create a better labor market for US citizens, and the laws of supply and demand coupled with wage increases will do just that. The unique CNMI CW transitional workers and investors programs will enable our community to make right here, what was long wrong.

I support a plan that would allow CNMI CGW’s to travel to Guam, but Delegate Bordello doesn’t support that at all. I would think it is reasonable for unemployed workers here to seek employment there but she doesn’t want poor and low skilled workers, she represents Guam and wants to improve it with highly skilled workers or deep pocketed investors…so again, call me names if you like, but this is not my fault.

US immigration policy a century ago (in America) was wide open to attract poor workers to keep labor and cost of goods down for industrial growth. The new immigration model allows two categories of foreign nationals to become Americans: 1) Affluent persons because affluent persons or businesses employ citizens that in turn stimulate the economy 2) Highly educated, skilled, qualified, or talented because a more educated society is a stronger one.

So while the sign reads “give us your tired…” it should now read give us you’re wealthiest and your brightest.

Anonymous said...

Wendy you said:

"Could it be that some jobless U.S. citizens are not qualified to fill the open jobs, or do not have the skills, degree or experience required?"

Sure it could but there are millions of qualified US workers that would relocate should have the option of relocating to Saipan for work.

The vast majority of Filipino "Engineers" are nothing of the sort. What advanced degree? From Manila! Plumbers in the US make $65 an hour because people have a higher standard of living. Plumbers in Saipan make $4.00 an hour maybe. BTW those vacancies are usually nothing more than contract renewal schemes to keep cheap labor cheap. Filipinos are always more than willing to work for the minimum always have always will. Time to raise our standard of living.

Wendy said...

Anonymous 9:39

You will not find "millions" of qualified U.S. workers to relocate to Saipan as long as the minimum wage is so low, as long as the cost of living is so high, as long as U.S. quality housing is nonexistent, as long as health care is so poor, as long as the infrastructure is problematic, and as long as corruption is thriving.

Filipino engineers are hired in positions all over the U.S. and their education and skill level is on par with U.S. trained engineers. Go to any major hospital in the U.S. and you will see hundreds of Filipino physicians, nurses and physical therapists. Our Filipino uncle is a physician here. I have two Filipino nieces who are nurses in the U.S. and one nephew who is a physical therapist. They were all trained in excellent colleges in the Philippines. Our dentist is Filipino too. All of them make the same wages as their "American" co-workers. Well, except for my dentist. He owns his practice.

Anonymous said...

Maybe not millions but US Citizens will have the opportunity. As long as you have workers willing to scrounge for next to nothing you will always have an economy dependent on "guest" workers. The Filipino engineers trained in the PI are not on par with their US counterparts or their Western European counterparts. Most if not all need additional training in the US to succeed. Same goes with their doctors who almost always have to do some sort of remedial training in the US before being employed. Many NEVER make it that far. It's not an intelligence thing its their educational system. The United States holds their professionals to a much higher standard. That's why the Filipina who cleans my teeth is a practicing dentist in Manila.

Anonymous said...

JFYI,recently in the Phil. there was a push to raise the minimum wage up by P75 a day. The EMPLOYER'S would not accept it. This would have put the minimum wage in manila over P400 per DAY.(average peso/dollar rate is P46)
Many of the business and farm owners are elected officials and their families like the Delgado Families. They control the politics and business sector along with the electoral votes.

The Delgado family and other big families are in the news almost daily for labor abuses in the household and other places.Then any charges are "bought off'
Does this sound familiar?
Read the online Phil newspapers,the NMI mirrors much of what is happening in that and other countries, including the political scene.

Anonymous said...

People! People!

Listen please! I am currently working in one big wholesale company here in Saipan. One day we have a job vacancy announcement in one of the newspaper here. Guess, who showed up and applies? All FSM!! where do u think the locals?? do the math idiots.

tom cruz

Anonymous said...

10:26 Do you suppose people in PI will start remitting us money if their min wage increases?

The answer is no, as they didn't donate a dime to Haiti after the earthquake...give us free...give us free.

Anonymous said...

Noni 10:26

You spin like c Cinta neh.

"The Delgado family and other big families are in the news almost daily for labor abuses in the household and other places.Then any charges are "bought off'"

I want to see the link of the above you liar!

sick of stupid said...

11:06 You are RACISTand IGNORANT. PI did donate to Haiti and to many natural disasters.

http://www.redcross.org.ph/Site/PNRC/appeal-haiti-earthquake.aspx

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view/20100115-247398/RP-bishops-call-for-prayers-donations-for-Haiti-quake-victims


Give us free, give us free. sounds like my employer. work for free, work for free

Anonymous said...

11:06 Why the h--l would Filipinos remit money to you? What are you talking about?

Wendy said...

I don't know who the Delgado family is, but there are labor abuses in the Philippines and in every other country. It needs to end. There is also corruption in every country and that too needs to end. It's sad that the people with money and power continue to keep the workers down to keep their profits high --whether in the CNMI, in the Philippines, or in the U.S.

Melberlin said...

To Anon 3/10 10:21 AM,
It is not that PI professionals such as dentist, engineers, doctors, etc. who cannot practice in the US is considered that PI have low quality education to you... that's is the thinking of an adult person having a mental age of three to seven years old!

Even US registered engineers, doctors, dentist and other professionals that require registration cannot also practice in the PI, they will have to be under the supervision of registered local Pro. or have to take prof exam and that is the legal setting and rules of every country governing a particular kind of professional activity anywhere in the world.
Countries worldwide are hiring PI Pros because they believed them else you cannot see them every corner of the globe.

Guam and the US have lots of PI Prof who passed the exams because they were given chance to take the exam.

There are more PI grad Registered Engrs in the CNMI than local Engineers; if you are doubt, check this http://www.guam-peals.org/ and contact them if you want a list.
Certified PI Pros in the US and Canada alone outnumbered the total CNMI population.

Read this article "Pinoy engineer builds railways to the world" and it was mentioned here:
"The Filipino's skill, talent and expertise are definitely at par with the best of the world," says by a registered professional engineer in the United States and Canada, and an affiliate member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Association of Professional Engineers in British Columbia, Canada.

Wendy said...

Thank you Merberlin. Medical personnel -physicians, nurses and physical therapists from abroad must pass the same professional tests as U.S. citizens in order to practice in the states.

captain said...

JFYI, The Delgado family is a very large controlling family from Mining to power, construction, wholesaling etc. "Ricky" Delgado,(and family Phil) Saipan just bought out Shell Pacific recently, they also bought out Verizon years ago,started the call center in Saipan etc. (remember the attempted block from the Gov and Leg.at that time that went on for years concerning Verizon?)

Read the online papers,Manila Times, Philippine Star,and go to the side links.
It is true, there have been many incidences about house worker "escaping" from one of the compounds and having the cops come and "rescue" other workers that have been imprisoned in the house.
A few months ago, while I was in the PI, a young girl "escaped" that had been kept locked in the house for almost five years.
She was "recruited" from the province from a poor family (she was 12 at the time) to work to support her ailing father and she never heard from again.
Many time this particular family (very large,and all well to do)is in the news in similar insistence (along with other "noted" families)
Usually a large amount of money is given to the families (and cops)involved and
"thing just go away"

It is the same with the drug deals when "connected" are caught.
It is nothing unusual in the Phil.
There has been a big deal of 5 individuals that were set free and then rearrested again. been going on for a long time now.
You "unbelievers" should also read these Phil papers online daily.

I (and others) have much involvement there so I have to keep up with the news on some of the families, politicians and people that we deal with.
None of these other countries are "clean" (as Wendy points out)

I think that the point that was presented was, "Look at you home country before condemning the CNMI and it's politics"
I got that point, but maybe I am wrong on the intent.

Captain said...

By the way, on the educational system in the Phil.
High school ends oat the 10th grade. Then on to college. So the first two years of college is only the last two years of High School. There for 4 years of College is only in actuality 2 years.

In regard to many of the "professional" trades, this means that they have to go on another two years of training to qualify for a US certification on such thing as a Doctor, Engineer, Nurse, etc. Unless they can pasS the tests,

Wendy said...

Hi Captain

Thanks for the background information. I was hoping you would weigh in!

I was interested to learn that there are some districts considering reducing the number of years for high school in the U.S. also. Students would be able to test out after 11th grade. It will be interesting to see where that leads.

Pam said...

I would simply like to respond to a few points:
1. I did not skip out. I am here in the CNMI but broke my pelvis and was not able to attend the hearing to which I was invited on Friday, March 5 at 4:30 p.m.

2. What I stated at the forum and to any employer who inquires regarding employment of aliens in the CNMI post November 28, 2009, are not my views/interpretations/opinions, it is the consensus of all the Federal agencies involved in implementation of P.L. 110-229.

3. I do not speak without authority from DC.

4. I am a licensed attorney who can and has practice law for a lot more money than I earn here where I have lived for over 20 years.

5. The CNMI can take whatever action it chooses regarding umbrella permits. The Federal government simply will not recognize its actions that attempt to alter the expiration date November 27, 2010.

6. P.L. 110-229 recognizes the status of aliens present in the CNMI for the duration of any authorization issued by the CNMI prior to November 28, 2009 and recognizes the work authorization for any such alien issued prior to November 28, 2009. The umbrella permits extended both authorization for all 240 K, L, M, G, E, D, P, B, H, and F, to name a few, permit holders. This was the CNMI's chosen action and not the Federal government's. Therefore, under the plain reading of the law, any holder of an umbrella permit is allowed to remain and work pursuant to the umbrella permit until November 27, 2011. This is the Federal position.

Thank you. Pamela Brown, US Labor Ombudsman

Captain said...

Wendy,
There is also an off and on push in the Phil. to extend the High School for the extra two years to try and put the Phil on a sort of "standard" with the US and other Asian countries.

Melberlin said...

Captain,
I disagree, even US engineering grads ABET accredited school , they have to be at least 4 to 6 years acceptable experienced in engineering before allowing them to take Prof Eng'g Exam depending on states. To qualify for applying for PE license, you as grad from US or PI should have accumulated a certain number of years of experience in the engineering field. The experience typically has to be under the supervision of another PE.
If you grad from foreign school it should be evaluated if acceptable. There are lots of ABET accredited school in PI (check the local licensing and the US) and the same as US grad. You must have a minimum required experience to qualify to a exam.
Some of the states have waived this requirement of evaluating foreign degrees while some states have a provisions to replace academic qualifications with work experience.

Regarding nurses from PI, all they have to do is to take exam for the NCLEX (if they are ready), because that is the requirement to practice nurse in the US. There is no diff either you grad from US or PI. There is an NCLEX center in PI now.

These professional are considered "without borders" now a days because they learned math and sciences, where theories are all the same in the world. There are no different mathematical formula of a certain application that are different from other country. 1+1 is always 2 anywhere you go, same as science, water is always H20.
The only Prof persons that have big differences are lawyers because each country have its own legal systems of rules; unlike math and sciences.

No further comments on the rest of your posts.

Wendy said...

Hi Pam

We were so sorry to hear about your accident and hope you will recover quickly. Everyone has been very concerned since we head the news. I will post your remarks in a separate post to give them prominence. Get well soon! Best wishes and hugs to you from afar from Boy, Nani and me

yho r. villavicencio said...

Captain,
“So the first two years of college is only the last two years of High School”

That is not the case, because in college we take subjects entirely different from high school learnings. These subjects give us credit to qualify for U.S. board exams in our chosen field of profession.

Also our 4-year high school term is sufficient to cover all necessary preparations to a higher education. we have longer school hours so we have longer instructional time to cover what is required to prep us for college.

it is not how long you stay in school, it is what you are taught and what you have learned and how well you apply your learnings.

just my opinion...

Anonymous said...

DOL & the Guvnah can't touch the feds. They turn around and hit the poor contract workers again. DOL please stop milking these poor individual they're only making $4.55/hr.

Capatain said...

To Melbern and Yho,
You are correct in many things, I am only generalizing as I have children gong to school in the Phil. and am going by the Feds as they will pay 100% for their College (Anywhere in the world) once they Grad from High School (12th grade)up from 18 until they are 26 years of age.

One Graduates this year in the Phil. from school and cannot get into U of H (Hawaii) or other US college even though her grades average is 3.8. because she has not completed 12 years of school and has a recognized High School Diploma.

The Feds wont pay for her college in the Phil., until she is 18 or graduate from the 12th grade.
So now I have to pay for her first 2 years of "college" in the Phil. so she can make 12 years and go on.

I agree on some things you say,ex. the Algebra and Trig. is far advanced for the 9th and 10th grade (engineering course)from when I was in school (from what I can remember then)
There are many subjects that are not normal for Guam and CNMI and Hawaii high schools.(even the Pacific Islands schools)

My oldest Daughter and grand daughters had to go to many years of schooling for their nurses degree (after 12 yr High school)and post advanced specialty training in Hawaii. Both granddaughters are still working as RN's and going to school night time for their advancement in their particular chosen fields.

My statements where not meant to be minimizing education in the Phil.or demeaning to the profession trades of the contract workers.
But it is a general fact from a US and Japanese qualification and requirements for certain trades.

Notice I also stated about passing the required tests.
Thanks for your input as I may be able to make use of your comments to help my daughter get into college early and have it paid for.

By the way JFYI, last year the Phil Govt closed about 140 Nursing schools. (forgot the exact number).
The passing percentage of applicants, past and presently on most college tests like nurse, engineers,doctors etc are only averaging 38-48% on the whole. (first sitting)
Some colleges are higher. (Manila Times and Phil Star, online editions)
There are also averaging over 400K qualified nurses available for employment.
Saudi Arabia recently took over 4K and also Great Briton took thousands. (Manila Times)

the teacher said...

Captain is correct on the 10 year graduate instead of 12. HS grads from PI may not enter NMC until they have completed the two years of high school. Many children of CGWs here enter the CNMI after their graduation in PI and enroll in our public high schools at an older age of 19 or 20.

We have many outstanding students of PI ancestry here (because they were raise and educated here), but sadly, those who were moderately educated in PI are always challenged.

mberueco said...

to teacher, you said "but sadly, those who were moderately educated in PI are always challenged"...it is really challenging & surprising...especially when people from philippines like my husband, who only graduated high school & took only 200 hours to study his field of interest is a u.s. certified in his chosen field and earning much higher than the u.s. minimum wage!...i therefore conclude, that whether one finished schooling in pinas or u.s.or any where else, it would not matter...what matter is that, one should have the passion in what s/he is doing!...haven't you noticed teacher, some of your students that excelled academically, do not exactly excel in their jobs?...cause there's a lot of areas in our life!...
good day to you!