Hearing May 18, 2010: Part III

Rep. George Miller (D-CA) Former Rep Hilda Solis (D-CA) current Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor, and Rep John Spratt (D-SC) photo by W. L. Doromal ©2007

May 19, 2010

I wonder if officials who testify before the U.S. Congress ever stop to think that they may be asked to produce documentation, name names, or otherwise prove allegations made in testimony. Here are a few statements that beg for documentation:

From Governor Fitial's testimony:
"The lack of federal worker regulations is being exploited by some federal employees and advocates for U.S. citizenship for all aliens in the Commonwealth, who are encouraging foreign workers to violate local law during the two year period ending November 27, 2011."
What federal official or advocate ever encouraged anyone to violate the law? It is only the CNMI government that is violating the law and the constitution with PL 17-1. The CNMI no longer has authority over the foreign workforce, but wants to continue to exploit the workers to keep minimum wages low and to fill their coffers.

An article in today's Saipan Tribune concerning the termination of Department of Public Safety deputy commissioner Ambrosio Ogumoro suggests that it is the governor that has been encouraging people to break the law: (emphasis added)
Ogumoro had a run-in with the DEA last Wednesday after DEA agents took custody of a Tinian police officer and two other men who were arrested by a joint DEA-Tinian police after a meth buy-bust operation.

Ogumoro, who appeared upset, was seen talking to DEA's Marquez for a few minutes outside the main entrance of Horiguchi Building in Garapan.

After his conversation with Marquez, Ogumoro told Saipan Tribune he does not need the DEA. “Mr. Marquez thinks he can come in and push people around,” he said.

He also accused a Tinian officer, who later came out of the Horiguchi Building, of betraying DPS and violating Gov. Fitial's order by leaking information to the DEA. Ogumoro threatened the officer with sanction.

“That officer is subject to reassignment. He betrayed DPS. He will be identified. I know the name,” he said.

He also branded Tinian Mayor Ramon Dela Cruz and Tinian DPS resident director Rey Pangelinan as incompetents.
Another statement that is untrue from Governor Fitial's testimony:
"... I was not consulted during the preparation of this report by Assistant Secretary Babauta or the staff in Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs (“OIA”) that prepared the report."
Then why is there documentation about a February 2010 meeting between Governor Fitial and DOI Asst. Secretary Babauta?

The testimony of Senate President Paul Manglona also contains some questionable statements. In speaking about the annual loss of $500,000 in fees charged to alien workers Senator Manglona said:
Public Law 110-229 authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security to impose an annual supplemental fee of $150 per alien worker on employers under the CNMI transitional worker visa program, which shall be paid to the CNMI Treasurer. However, the fees can only be used for the purpose of funding ongoing vocational educational curricula and program development by CNMI educational entities. Unlike the supplemental fees above, the CNMI imposed a $300 per alien worker fee that deposited into the general fund used partly for vocational programs and for the operations of the government. I recommend that the US Department of Labor grant the Governor of the CNMI authorization to certify temporary foreign labor certifications and provide funds and technical assistance to the CNMI Department of Labor to carryout the US Department of Labor responsibilities. This will ensure the continuity of the department and the employment of its employees.
The CNMI needs to identify other sources of revenue. The U.S. DoL will never grant the CNMI governor the authority to oversee the foreign workforce. This is a governor who has condoned and made excuses for labor abuses and millions of dollars in unpaid judgments owed to cheated workers.

Does Senator Manglona know who the Secretary of the Department of Labor is? She is Hilda Solis, daughter of Mexican immigrants who deplores human and labor rights abuses and supports comprehensive immigration reform. I stood on the steps of the Cannon Office Building with Rep. George Miller (D-CA), Rep. John Spratt (D-SC) and former Rep. Hilda Solis (D-CA) as they announced the Human Dignity Act and denounced the CNMI labor system. There is no way in hell that the CNMI Department of Labor-Slaver should or will be allowed to oversee any portion of the federal foreign worker program. Hilda Solis said, "I believe that the United States should enforce labor laws on all US soil."

Senator Paul Manglona stated:
I recommend this subcommittee to direct the Department of Interior to consult the Governor of the CNMI on matters pertaining to Public Law 110-229 and collaborate with the Governor in preparing and submitting to Congress a report that includes the Commonwealth government’s position and recommendations as to the future status of the alien worker population in the CNMI.
The law does not ask for a report to be prepared and submitted by the governor, but from the DOI and Obama Administration. That report was submitted as the law required. The governor was consulted as was outlined in the previous post, Lies.

The testimony of Frederick P. Deleon Guerrero also had a claim that I would challenge:
The recent report by the Department of Interior recommends a more permanent status for foreign workers who have been in the Commonwealth for 5 years or more. The report has caused confusion and misunderstandings in the community. A number of foreign workers have the misconception that an improved immigration status will in fact take place and have taken actions which may jeopardize their eligibility for any U.S. immigration status. Some foreign workers believe that they need not comply with their existing employment contracts, breaching their contracts and engaging in unauthorized employment.
I have heard nothing of the sort. He needs to produce documentation to back this outrageous claim. In fact, all of the undocumented allegations need to be retracted or proven.


Saipan Writer said...

When Governor Fitial complains that the feds are encouraging people to violate the law, what he is really saying is that the Feds are advising people that they now have control over foreign workers and their employment and the CNMI no longer has ability to terminate umbrella permits or otherwise "authorize" or "limit" foreign worker employment.

Because the CNMI has continued to enact laws that give it such "authority," the CNMI says that Feds' statements that the CNMI has no such authority is "encouragement" to "violate" laws.

See? Very logical. hmm?

Anonymous said...

It's difficult to wake up someone who is already awake... much as it is difficult to educate someone about the law when he himself doesn't know about the law or how to abide by the law.

The worst thing is --- He holds the topmost public position in the NMI! What a shame...

Anonymous said...

The bottom line in all of these is MONEY! Gov. Fitial and his so called "lawmakers" doesnt want to give ALL LEGAL alien workers in CNMI to become a US citizens because they dont want to lose the money that they are getting from the alien workers and investors. Imagine, if you are an investor you have to have a local counterpart. The problem is this "local counterpart" does not put any money! Their name is sufficient enough for the investor to get a business license even though they did not invest any single penny! Worst, this so called "local business partners" are getting a monthly salary. Another thing,they required all nusinesses to employ at least 20# "locals" or US xitizen. To comply with this regulations, foreign investors hired "locals" or US citizens in their "payroll" just to show that they are complying with the rules even though these "locals" or US citizens are not actually reporting for work. Mind you, they are receiving their salaries! All of these will be gone, eliminated if all LEGAL alien workers will become US citizens. These local/US citizen "ghost employees" will have to stretch their bones to earn a living. These what Gov. Fitial and his "cohorts" doesnt like to happen becaue they know deep in their hearts and minds that many of them can not compete with the alien workers becuse they lack the skills, knowledge, ability and dedication to their jobs. These are just some of the reasons why Gov. Fitial and his so called "lawmakers" doesnt like that all LEGAL alien owrkers in the CNMI to be given an improved status. It is because of MONEY, MONEY, MONEY and MONEY!

Anonymous said...

Anon..May 21, 2010 11:15 PM

You have the point...