More on Status


















May 13, 2010

Despite the adverse reaction from the Fitial Administration and the CNMI Legislature, the large percentage of the comments in the Marianas Variety under the stories concerning the DOI Report supports status for the long term foreign workers. There have also been an assortment of letters to the editor. Two of the best letters are from attorney Jane Mack and from foreign worker, Malou Berueco.

Jane's letter looks at some common myths about the foreign workers and granting status including: indigenous people becoming a minority in their own islands; losing control over self-government; foreign workers' taking jobs from locals; foreign workers' reducing social service benefits for locals; rewarding illegals who broke the laws; foreign workers leaving if they are granted status; and foreign workers being greedy.

Here is part what what Jane wrote (Please take time to read the whole letter here.)
Yet we are all human beings with dignity and grace. When we permitted foreign workers to stay for five, ten, fifteen, twenty and more years, we knew they were putting down roots, making themselves at home. We share food with them. We entertain each other. We live side by side. Is it greedy for them to want to be like us?

Forty-some years ago, we were not US citizens and we wanted to become US citizens. We negotiated for ourselves alone and not for the rest of the Micronesians in the Trust Territory. We were called greedy because we wanted to secure our own rights. Are these men and women who have worked beside us for years, who have nurtured our children, nursed our sick, built our homes and lived with us any more greedy than we were?

I hope the U.S. Congress will act quickly and pass legislation in conformity with the recommendations of the U.S. Department of the Interior. I hope that people in this community will let the CNMI Office of Indigenous Affairs, our local legislators, our Congressman Greg “KililiSablan, the U.S. Congress, and the U.S. president know that you too support rights for our foreign brothers and sisters in the commonwealth.
An equally powerful letter from another perspective was written by long-term foreign worker and advocate for workers' rights, Malou Berueco:
We the legal aliens who lawfully resided and worked in the commonwealth for five, 10, 15 or for more than 20 years would like to thank the CNMI for the following:

1) For inviting, welcoming and allowing us to stay and work to support the local workforce.

2) For allowing us, though aliens, to compete internationally and represent the CNMI in the area of sports and arts; and oftentimes end up winners.

3) For choosing our children, both U.S. and non-U.S. citizens to be the CNMI’s representatives in competing internationally in the areas of academic, arts and sports.

4) For trusting that we could attend and take care of your sick people.

5) For your faith in us that though you are not home or you are at work, we can assist your elderly parents and relatives and most especially, can look after your children and provide their needs.

6) For giving the privilege to assist, serve and entertain your most valued tourists for them to enjoy their visits here and make sure they would not regret the money spent and convinced them that it was all worth coming back.

7) For acknowledging that our professions and skills are much needed in your government agencies.

8) For allowing us to fish and cultivate your land so that there are fresh fish, vegetables/crops and fruits on your tables.

9) For believing that we can nurture your children and instill in them Christian values, especially the love and respect for one another.

10) For trusting that we could build and/or fix your roads, sewers, buildings, houses, cars, office equipment, home appliances and/or furniture, office machinery and industrial machines.

11) For trusting that the food being cooked and served to you are clean and best.

12) For allowing us to be your neighbors, komaire, kompaire, members of your family and relatives in-laws

13) For reading this newspaper, because those who printed this and delivered it to the stores/outlets near you are mostly aliens AND if you are reading this through your computer, trusted the hands and brains of aliens in fixing and up grading the computer you have right now.

14) For choosing to be part of U.S. where democracy reigns!

MALOU BERUECO
As Gonno, Saipan

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I agree but I don't think this would change anything...CNMI government wanted a STATUS QUO.

Anonymous said...

Philippians 2:3-4 (New International Version)
3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Anonymous said...

1 Chronicles 28:20 (New International Version)

20 David also said to Solomon his son, "Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the LORD is finished.

Anonymous said...

1 Chronicles 28:20 (New International Version)

20 David also said to Solomon his son, "Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the LORD is finished.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we should ask the lord to give us status.