Resolution Opposing DOI Report

May 9, 2010

The CNMI Senate and House are proposing a joint Resolution protesting the DOI Report. There is no surprise in this news.

According to the Saipan Tribune:
House Resolution 17-4 "calls for Congress to “reject” the recommendations until such time the U.S. government and the CNMI government “meet together pursuant to Section 902 of the Covenant to formalize the DOI Secretary's report.”

Section 902 of the CNMI’s Covenant with the U.S. allows for periodic consultations between the Commonwealth and federal governments “on all matters affecting the relationship between them.”
The CNMI government usually calls for 902 talks when they oppose the U.S. position on an issue.

The joint resolution was drafted by the governor's "working group." The resolution supports the governor's faulty memory claiming that there were no discussions on this issue. I sat in the hearing last May and heard discussion. There was a Codel that visited the CNMI last summer and many meetings between the governor and DOI's Nik Pula and/or Tony Babauta both in the CNMI and in Washington, DC.

Additionally, the recent GAO report outlined how the CNMI government has refused to cooperate with the U.S. government to ensure a smooth transition to implementing the CNRA. The CNMI government is fighting with the federal government instead of working with them as was witnessed in arrogant testimony, the anti-federalization lawsuit, enacting laws that conflict with federal law, refusing to cooperate in providing airport space, sharing data and negotiating an agreement for using the prison. Congress will be looking at this also. It may just decide that it would be easier to grant citizenship to the foreign workforce than to try to oversee an expensive foreign worker program with a uncooperative local government. Maybe the fact that the so many of the elected officials are incredibly stubborn, uncooperative, hostile and arrogant will work in our favor.

There will be many resolutions, letters, petitions and testimony submitted to Congress. Most will support the DOI Report. Already the committees received the petition calling for green cards and status that was signed by almost 6,000 people. There are more indigenous people who signed the petition calling for green cards and a direct pathway to citizen then signed House Joint Resolution 17-4. Congressional Committees also received hundreds of letters from foreign workers and hundreds more from U.S. citizen children of the foreign workers.

According to the Saipan Tribune the "CNMI Senate and House of Representatives passed separate resolutions urging the U.S. Department of Defense and Japan to consider Tinian as the best relocation site for up to 4,000 troops from Futenma in Okinawa."

How are these people going to convince the U.S. Congress that they don't want the long term foreign workers who lived and worked in the CNMI for years to have status, but at the same time they want 4,000 voting members of the U.S. military to relocate to the CNMI?

More Voices
TTT'S Greg Cruz has a ghostwriter again as is indicated by his recent letter to the editor. Who do you think helped to pen this letter? (Hint: Look for phrases that have been used in other recent public statements made by someone else.)

Someone named Keith Brooks suggests that the CNMI should follow Arizona's example. Guess what, they did! It's called PL 17-1 and both laws will be challenged in the courts.

He said, "I think that the CNMI should take Arizona’s lead in forcing out illegal immigrants." Does he realize there is actually an extremely low number of illegal immigrants in the CNMI?

Workers United to Support Status
Meanwhile, at the working group session of the foreign workers of the CNMI held at American Memorial Park's Theater on Friday evening the attendees agreed to circulate further petitions and solicit support from the community including employers, businesses, government officials, and the churches. (The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops supports comprehensive immigration reform and a pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens.)

Former Representative Tina Sablan announced that she, her family and many friends support the Department of Interior's recommendations.

Motorcade and Rally
The foreign workers are planning a rally and motorcade to show their support for the DOI Report and to urge the U.S. Congress to act quickly to grant status. The foreign workers and their supporters will gather Saturday at Kilili Beach at 2:00pm and drive to American Memorial Park for a rally.

Rabby Syed, President of the United Workers Movement-NMI said that the guest workers are worried that many of them may not benefit from any favorable U.S. congressional action because the umbrella permits which are recognized as valid entry permits by the U.S. will expire in November 2011. Those who do not get U.S. work visas will have to exit the CNMI.


Anonymous said...

"The CNMI Senate and House passed a joint Resolution protesting the DOI Report."

they passed 3 resolutions attacking the Mariana's Trench Monument. look how far that got them.

they need to quit this nonsense.

Anonymous said...

No, it's better they keep acting like fools. It makes our case stronger.

Anonymous said...

i agree with u anon above!

Anonymous said...

Of course they passed a resolution. It's an attempt at job-protection. They know that a significant group of new voters will keep these idiots out of office for good. Looking forward to that day for sure.


Just let them behave what they want, there is a bright side of this debacles.

Anonymous said...

They haven't passed the resolution yet. The House and Senate have scheduled "back to back" sessions tomorrow. The House session starts at 2:00pm. Maybe we should all go up there.

Anonymous said...

One of the authors of this resolution is also the author of PL 17-1. Before he become a congressman you can see him everyday at DOLI. He earned his living from the fuest workers and their employers that is why he is not in favour of granting improved status for the guest workers.

Anonymous said...

The other co-author of the resolution just came from sick leave due to medical problem and seek help in St. Luke's hospital in the PHILIPPINES!

Saipan Writer said...

"How are these people going to convince the U.S. Congress that they don't want the long term foreign workers who lived and worked in the CNMI for years to have status, but at the same time they want 4,000 voting members of the U.S. military to relocate to the CNMI?"

Most of these military men and women won't vote in the CNMI. They vote in their home jurisdictions--where they can also vote for President.

Just saying.

The vote is today and there is a small article in the Variety that suggests the Republicans may actually not support the resolution.

Anonymous said...

Actually, the CNMI Government will probably have big say in what happens per the Convent provisions. They do make a good point about "self government" which does counter alien workers being granted instant citizenship. Don't get me wrong, the local people losing their political power is certanity over time, but I don't agree that this should happen overnight The Virgin Islands example is a good one. Like it or not their points do hold up. Washington is not going to favor the alien workers over the rights of the locals. Just won't happen. However, there are other statuses that don't allow of instant voting rights that might work nicely. Sometimes you need to fight the battles you can win.

Anonymous said...

The U.S. Congress will not act on the recommendations. They will be shelved and they will let Federal law take its course which is to reduce are dependency on foreign workers and have Americans working in America.