Stating the Obvious


















May 11, 2010

I received this eloquently written statement today from Speaker of the Truth.

Stating the Obvious

Even a child can figure out what the CNMI government, and most CNMI locals want – to keep the political and socio-economical power which they have abused throughout the years.
In the CNMI, most of the locals have a mentality that they make the law and therefore they are the law. For so many years nepotism and corruption has been a common practice in our society. The CNMI is one place in the world where you can have high-school graduates as hospital directors so long as he is a local, and somehow related to some high-ranking official. No wonder people in the CNMI are afraid to go to hospitals.

In the CNMI, many alien workers have been abused in one way or another by their local employers. Most workers are paid lower than the minimum wage; some don’t get paid at all. Workers are asked to work overtime without pay or they will be terminated. Most workers are not given the compensation stated in their contracts and required by law. Some workers get terminated without notice. Most companies are forced to hire locals to act as a “dummy” just to uphold the CNMI local law for acceptable ratio of aliens to locals. These “dummy” hires are basically locals that have no education, don’t do anything for the company but still get paid high wages.

Nepotism and corruption is practiced by almost every public official. This is another reason why they are so afraid of the federal government to completely take over the CNMI. They are afraid that they would be investigated, put into trial, and eventually proven guilty. They are afraid to lose power, a power which they do not know how to use for the benefit of everyone, and a power which they have abused for so long.

The CNMI locals are power tripping because they can, we can. This is the exact reason why the CNMI economy can never really progress without external help. The locals know that if the alien workers are given U.S. citizenship and therefore equal rights and opportunities, then the power tripping is over.

They say that they are afraid to lose their culture, fellow locals, open up your eyes, what is our culture? We know that we will not be able to survive without alien workers in our society. They are the ones that brought upon economic success and development to our economy during the peak in the late 1990’s. When most of them left the island after the garment factories closed, we all felt the horrendous impact in our economy.

We do not want them to leave, yet we do not want them to have improved status. Open up your minds, these people are not slaves, they are all dreaming of a better and brighter future and are all working very hard for it. Giving them the improved status which they seek is long overdue. It is for the better of everyone, not just them but even us.

I am among the CNMI residents which the congress and the governor claims to represent. I am among those that wish to speak, but holds back for I know that expressing an opinion which is against the higher official’s opinion can lead to dire consequences for me and my family.

I am pleading to the U.S. congress, to the U.S. president, and to all those who are concerned. This is the real situation. Please make the right choice. Put an end to the all the tyranny on our small island. Please grant U.S. citizenship to all legal alien workers present in the CNMI!

-Concerned Citizen of the CNMI

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bravo!

Right on target....

malou berueco said...

WISH I knew who you are!
One thing I know for sure, you are guided by your good heart!
MARAMING MARAMING SALAMAT PO!

Anonymous said...

.....with Liberty and Justice for all...I guess this is the American way if you raise the American flag and possess American passport.

God Bless America !

Saipan Writer said...

I agree with much of this, until we get to the power-tripping part.

History plays its part and has a long reach. The Chamorros and Carolinians have not had self-government for more than 400 years. If they abuse power, it is because they have learned this from the Spanish and Japanese and even Americans. If they abuse power, it is because we have not done enough to inculcate our democratic values.

Yes, some may have let their newly-returned power go to their heads. Some are "tin pot despots" and worse. But the majority of local people are like people all around the world. They want to do be good, do what is right, face their Maker with a clear conscience.

Some are confused. Some are misled by the rhetoric of others. Some are insecure and afraid.

I think we can and should keep talking; keep trying; and believe that few people, if any, are completely bad. Most have signed on for democracy and just need time to come around to the full view.

It's good to talk about the mistakes we make and how to fix them. That's what we need to be doing.

Anonymous said...

Wow, going from 'improved status" to "grant them Citizenship now" is like going from a moped to Cadillac. Yeah, I don't have much of a problem with improved status, but I can give you several reasons you need to get the citizenship thing out of your mind.
1) Feds are not going to let the "slaves become the masters" with a stroke of a pen. This just won't happen. It will happen over time.
2) The Mainland immigation debate is hotter than ever, so the relatively few contract workers are going to held hostage by that debate. Oh, you can count on that.
3) Don't confuse political and religious meanings of "social justice". American can and will do what is best for Americans. This is what we do. This is what we will continue to do and if the contract workers can find a way to fit into that then more power to them.
The CNMI will change. Local people are going to have to get use to losing their political power over time. And over time it won't be a big deal. But this will not be granted overnight.

Anonymous said...

Noni 4:25,

Wow. So are you saying you think the feds are ok with slavery?

human said...

Oh common!eversince! even long long time ago,US hated and fight all the slaverers!freed all the slaves and gives freedom for all..My grandfather also knows about that!!US cares to all the people..any color,race,religion...

Anonymous said...

What does I support "improved status", but not citizenship really mean. You can stay and still be my maid for $300 a month or you can stay and continue to work as an accountant, nurse, engineer, or teacher at $4.55/hr.

Why hasn't there been any h1b-visa applications in the CNMI since April 1st? H1b visas will give workers are path to citizenship now now? Why hasn't there been any h2 seasonal visas for the summer hotel and tourism industry? If the CW visa regulations come out in September, watch how many employees are suddenly "needed", and see how many off-island hires come to the CNMI.

Only at slave wages are guest-workers "needed", and not until the average local people realize that status quo actually hurts their personal economic success, will there be any change.

The Saipan Blogger said...

The local people will not lose political power; they will share political power.

Anonymous said...

Many Contract Workers (Not Guest workers, not immigrant workers, as these terms are not appropriate) feel that they are and have been abused. Well so have we. Since Contract workers were hired for the garment factories, our corrupt government officials have held the indigenous captive with low wages (actually lower than Contract Workers as there were no benefits included) and the constant fear of retribution if you objected. Yes, the indigenous are worst off than the Contract workers. There are a select few families that have leeched off those with little money or education. They buy every piece of property that people are forced to sell to feed their families and pay their bills. They inflate prices on goods simply because they can as they are sole source. There is a movie being released soon called "Casino Jack and the Money of the United States". Alot of eyes will be opened by the content of that. I believe the indigenous have finally seen that their government need an enema to flush all the crap that is plugging our system. The common people have nothing to say when it comes to legislation as the legislators do not communicate with there districts. They simply vote on what they want to and how they want to. Well, the answer is not to put a new government in power consisting of Contract Workers. The indigenous will not stand still and watch their home being taken over. The contract workers have pushed us to the point that we, the indigenous are now going to stand and object publicly with the same if not more demonstrations of their objection and of course, a love love, hate hate atmosphere will begin to show itself and worsen as time goes on. You will see a few activists arise in the near future and rally the indigenous. All we can hope is that this conflict (and yes it is turning into a conflict as we are fighting on opposing sides) will stay peaceful. The contract workers in general say that they have made the CNMI what it is today. I say yes they helped in some ways, in others I would say they have such a large negative impact on the economy. The primary reason I say this is that the majority of the money they have made during the years of work, has been sent off island and drained our economy. With no spending here, there is no money flow. You wanted to be part of the CNMI but you sent money home, you voted for your home country elected officials, and defaced our homeland with many shacks. That is right, shacks, not houses. Look around, these shacks are an eyesore for any that see and are in no way in compliance with codes. There are a select few that would benefit from the Contractors staying just like there are a select few that benefit from the government and local monopolies. The majority of us would rather see all the contract workers leave, by whatever means possible, repatriation, Green Cards so you will go elsewhere, or U.S. Citizenship so you can again go to the U.S. Not all fall into one of these categories but the majority do. Your threats to take over this Government and take our homeland are not being ignored. The U.S. Politicians see this. The President sees this. The DOI sees this. I don't believe any of these are willing to give away the CNMI. I know I am not.

Anonymous said...

Tick! Tock! Tick! Tock...soon a new breed of true leaders will be in the government. Pure and mixed bloods for the benefit of all and not only for few. Tick! Tock! Tick! Tock!

Anonymous said...

Hey racist anonymous two comments up. Your, yes YOUR, indigenous brothers and sisters were PRIMARILY responsible, no SOLELY responsible for setting up the system that was in place to allow the supplanting of resident workers, the abuse of non-resident workers, and the low wage - cheap labor system. YES your INDIGENOUS leaders who you VOTED for did this. Now that these good folks have been here as long as they have... as the saying goes, "too bad so sad". The days of keeping a disenfranchised, unempowered group of slavelike workers is OVER. The ramifications, whatever they may be are on YOU. They are not on them. You elected the crooks, and cronies and corrupt. You kept electing them. By sitting on your hands, you SUPPORTED their wrongs. So sleep now in the bed you made. Sleep now in your fire.

TAGLISH said...

Anon 8:30

Very well said!

HUGE mess, isn't it? But who are to blame now? Is it sole mistake of the few greedy government officials? Is it the local people themselves who sat silent for a very long period of time, allowing these officials for their personal interests to represent them?CWs play their roles too! We are in the same boat!!!And it is SINKING!

CNMI workforce as a whole CWS or locals are in the same predicament. The only difference now is CWs were HEARD and locals are still DAMN SILENT!!!

Captain said...

Yep, it happened in Hawaii in the early days,and now it will happen in the CNMI.
After the Missionary families deposed the Queen with the help from the US Navy and Marines.
The controlling parties brought in the foreign workers.

The foreign workers were abused, the time came for them to get status, and the "locals" were up in arms because they "feared" what would happen when they got status.
The Locals did not speak up or try and do anything about the corrupt Govt. and the ones that controlled the jobs and owned the majority of the land.


The workers, to subsidize their small wages, had put up small stores and business and the "connected" even frequented these places and where amazed at how low the prices were and that these people could operate on such a small profit margin.
But when the time came for these workers to get a status there was conflict in the streets.
The gravy train was over for the "connected" as these workers could now come and go as they pleased and work where they wanted.
Now the business had to raise the wages to keep the "skilled" workers there. The Locals had to start to learn how to work as so many of the workers were leaving and nobody knew how to do the "skilled" jobs.

But all "local" demonstrators had shouted for all to "go home, we don't need you, we can do the jobs ourselves".
The ones that controlled the Govt were scared they would lose control.
Now, today, the foreign minority and many outsiders from the US Mainland control the Govt. Second, third and fourth generation born in Hawaii. Their roots are from all over the world.
Sound familiar,the word is "Progress",like it or not is is on the horizon, join or get out of the way as it is coming.
(True story condensed, but not condoning the overthrow of the Monarchy)

Anonymous said...

I don't know why anyone would think that this is about race. Contract Worker is not a race. If I were or anyone else was to make a racist comment it would be directed at a specific race, not a group of mixed races. You are blinded with race and your hatred for the indigenous people here. No wonder we are against improved status.

The Saipan Blogger said...

I disagree with the idea that a new crop of leaders will pop up. The young politicians are just as bad as the old ones.

Anonymous said...

you calling us slave?,slave that help to build your economy, slave that take good care of your sick because only a hand full of your nurses pass the nclex,slave that bags your groceries,slave that .........etc, now slave my ass!

Anonymous said...

The "predicament" will be solved when all workers, resident and non-resident alike, are treated equally. Then employment will be based on ability, competition will force pay to go up over time, this will make the private sector more attractive to government employees, elections will focus more on workers and the economy, elections will represent the wide populous and not be representative of only a select few. This will be good for everyone. Now if we can just get past the racism.

TAGLISH said...

Anon 8:30AM

Now that you talk, it’s a good start but not good enough and you’re barking on the wrong tree! Telling all those things on the face of CWs will make no difference.

Why not send copies to the Governor's Office, and all other elected CNMI officials to remind them that they can fool you no more and that they will get your true concerns, that they talk about your real situations before they speak on your behalf. Let them know that you are now talking and fear no one of their retaliation, that all you said is true and nothing but the truth, that you will send copy of your above letter to the US Congress, that you will sign your name on it because you're a true US citizen and a proud Chamorro!
With that, I salute you because you have the true concerns for your fellow indigenous people, and you are doing the right thing for them. CNMI hero emerge in you!!

Anonymous said...

HJR 17-4 Shows no love to all contract workers. This resolution is only being used by the CNMI Elected Officials to cover their faults in using federal money; Once The U.S. Congress grant improved status to all legal Aliens and if they get the chance to vote, Those politicians who aren't corrupt will have a big chance to win the elections, but those who are corrupt will cower to the thought of being investigated by the Federal Government. That's Why this resolution is obvious.

Anonymous said...

that was one of the more truthful things I have read in a long time.

lets move forward.

Anonymous said...

This is very inspiring comments ! Thank You for telling the truth . Hope you will post it in the newspaper so that LOCAL people will brighten their minds and face the reality. Contract workers are not enemies.

Anonymous said...

Noni 12:50 pm:

You say this is not about race and people need to stop turning it in that direction. Then you say it is about contract workers and they are from everywhere in the world so it can not be about race. And then you end with this

"indigenous people here. No wonder we are against improved status.

Uhm. Think. IT IS ABOUT RACE. You want and expect better and favored treatment for us indigenous. That is a racist mentality. You want to prevent outsiders from infiltrating a US Commonwealths government and our democracy. That is racist.

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.

Anonymous said...

I am a contract worker here on saipan,in 14yrs of my stay here on your beutiful island,there is only one thing in my mind,that is i have to keep my name and my performance clean and good!no matter how hard the job is!i'll do it!even though its not my job!why?coz i love to learn new things,and that is one of the reason why our contract is renewed!just imagine, that one of the hotels here will take out all the contract workers!? MATAY NA!!

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the words in the above comment. Does improved status mean that you can become a permanent resident of the CNMI? That you can compete equally with other residents for jobs without a contract? That you would have basically a 'CNMI Only" green card? No? Is that not good enough?
Why would you want to ABANDON your home country to move somewhere most contract workers have NEVER BEEN. Although I understand your reasons, look at it with no names.
"I moved from Country A to Country B with a contract to work in Country B. Country C now controls who gets in and out of Country B. Right now, I am not allowed to just pick up and leave to Country C. From the perspective of Country C, which has only been in control for a few months, the ONLY reaason I deserve to move to Country C is because I lived in Country B for at least five years. Any other reason good reason you can give Country C? Any?

Anonymous said...

Noni 1:10pm

Your analogy is so far off.

Country B is Country C.

There is was no takeover of ownership after the contract was signed with worker from Country A

The worker cam from Country A to and island in Country B. Country B did not extend full immigration controls to the island in Country B. this happened later.

The worker has always been contributing to the betterment of Country B.

The worker has been living for 5+ years in Country B.

There is no Country C.

That is the problem with all of the arguments against long=-term status. You are all assuming that we or were a Republic of the CNMI and now we are part of the USA. There is no CNMI Citizenship. There is no Country B Citizenship from your model above.

Anonymous said...

To Anon May 14, 2010 1:10 PM

What I know is you don't have a country. CNMI is not a country so you don't know how it resides in a country. You don't deserve to make advice if you never experienced things being advised.

Anonymous said...

The Captain's example of Hawaii is not a good analogy. If the CNMI guest worker's us citizen children didn't leave for the mainland in record numbers, the Hawaii situation would happen eventually in the CNMI as well. In Hawaii the worker's descendant us citizen children voted the local plantation controlled government out of office.

Most children in the CNMI care about petitioning their parents at age 21 from California, and absentee voting is the farthest think from their mind. Most think that they had to wait 21 years for for their parents to get status, why should the next one only wait 5.

I keep making comments about how the CNMI needs to increase private sector wages, but the current system in which only the connected locals get jobs in which they can live comfortably, actually keeps guest worker descendants from staying on the island and keeps the status quo. Tricky.

Anonymous said...

The CNMI is not a stand alone Country. It is a Commonwealth. This is as close to a State Status as all the other States in the United States. It has self Government up to a point, and Federal Rules, Regulations and Laws. Not every U.S. Citizen can vote in our elections. A U.S. Citizen must maintain residency physically in the CNMI for a given time in order to be eligible to vote.
That being said, Look at Arizona. They have enacted extreme immigration laws as the federal government was not enforcing existing federal laws. This is their right as a State.

To ask the U.S. Government to give U.S. Citizenship to a group of contract workers that with family members will outnumber the indigenous (U.S. legal voting) people by 2 to 1 would be devastating to the Indigenous.

You say that the Locals have basically enslaved contract workers for many years. There have been some injustices committed but not by the majority of locals. You came here with the intent to work, make money, send money home, go home. You were allowed to renew your work contracts many times as it was beneficial to all. It is no longer beneficial to all as there is no longer industry on Saipan to support the vast number of Contract Workers as before.

The Federal Government is just as or more responsible for the conditions the contract workers endured in the past as they are the ones that set Federal Law which were the guidelines for contract workers. They allowed minimum wage to be suppressed for all those years and even now, it is still not equal to the Continental U.S.

If any action is taken, I would like to see the issuance of Green Cards to those that can pass the application process with restrictions to work only in the CNMI. Once you gain the Employment Equality you so desperately desire, you will see that competing with Local workers will not be as easy as it is now. With no contracts, there will be no extras, housing, food allowances, medical, etc. You will be given the same as the locals, a wage more than likely equal to minimum wage. There is no welfare or unemployment here, only Food Stamps and WIC which every U.S. born child takes advantage of.

Our voices will be heard by Congress during the discussion on your request for improved status. We are asking to not allow a hostile takeover of our local Government. We are asking that the Congress not freely give away that of which we have fought so hard for and lost so much to, our Citizenship. We do not want our Heritage, customs, beliefs to be diluted. We do not want to lose our Identity. We have maintained laws for many years to prevent this very thing from happening, Article 12 is one of them.

Contract workers cashed in during the Garment Factory Boom, but that boom is over. The need for mass contract workers is over. The time for work permits is over. The Federal Government has already put a deadline of 2014 for -0- Zero contract workers in the CNMI.

Hopefully, next week, Congress will see the truth and DENY any improved status to Contract Workers and put this to rest finally.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anon 6:34m

"the Federal Government has already put a deadline of 2014 for -0- Zero contract workers in the CNMI."

Zero because the present CW's will be a permanent resident, green card holder or US citizens or somehow thier status will be adjusted..and therefore 0 (zero) contract workers in the CNMI"...thats what the CNRA implies right?

Anonymous said...

The Governor can request a five year extension to allow contract workers pass the 2014 date. There is no limit on the amount of five year extensions if they can be justified.