Laws in U.S. and the CNMI To Be Challenged

June 29, 2010

The Supreme Court has agreed to take on the debate between state and federal governments' battle over immigration authority by looking at a 2007 Arizona law that penalizes employers who hire  undocumented workers. The ruling may have an impact on the new controversial Arizona law, as well as the CNMI's overstepping law, PL17-1.

The USDoJ alleges that the Arizona law imposes stricter penalties on aliens than federal law does, and there are no provisions to prevent discrimination as there are in federal laws, which that could lead to employers refusing to hire minorities.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports:
The case that the justices will hear in the term that starts in October offers a preview of the legal clash over Arizona's newly enacted criminal penalties for migrants illegally present in the state. The Obama administration asked the court to review the Arizona employment law and has indicated it will sue to block enforcement of the state's broader immigration law, scheduled to take effect July 29.

The issues in the two disputes vary somewhat, but both center on the extent of a state's authority to enforce immigration-related laws without intruding on exclusive federal power to regulate the nation's borders.

At least five other states have laws similar to Arizona's 2007 statute. It requires employers to determine their workers' immigration status through a federal database, and targets the business licenses of employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants - a license suspension for a first offense, revocation for a second offense.

A federal appeals court in San Francisco upheld the law last year as an exercise of a state's traditional power to regulate businesses. The court noted that federal law allows states to use business-licensing laws against employers of illegal immigrants.

But in arguments filed with the Supreme Court, the Obama administration said the Arizona law is a hiring ban, not a licensing law, and uses business licenses solely for punishment.
Arizona's newest evil law, which mirrors Pl 17-1, has been said to be broader than federal law and "violates the federal government's sole authority to regulate immigration." That law is being challenged by the U.S.  Chamber of Commerce and the American Civil Liberties Union.  There is an effort to get the U.S.  Department of Justice to include the CNMI's PL 17-1 in any forthcoming lawsuits and a petition will be going online soon.

What is happening with PL 17-1, the CNMI's own version of the Arizona law?

There are reports from sources in the CNMI stating that the CNMI Department of Labor has a campaign to go after aliens and business owners who are not complying with their controversial provision requiring every alien in the CNMI to register with DOL to get a CNMI national identification card.  We already know that the federal authorities have said that they would not recognize those cards and only valid umbrella permits and/or federally issued permits will be recognized.

DOL reportedly will be conducting business by business "inspections" to "interview" all aliens as to status. Reportedly, DOL has also stated that it would be conducting house by house "interviews" of all aliens.  This sounds much like the warrantless raids on private barracks and houses carried out by then Secretary of the CNMI DOLI, Mark Zachares under Governor Tenorio and acting AG Maya Kara.  How truly Gestapo-like.  If the Fitial Administration is attempting to be known as the most anti-federal and lawless administration in the history of the CNMI, they probably already earned that honor without conducting these outrageous proposed acts.

It was also reported that Alcohol and Beverage Control and the CNMI Department of Commerce is denying renewal of alcohol licenses for any establishment that cannot prove that each of its alien employees has registered at DOL. Additionally, it has also been reported that the CNMI Department of Finance is refusing business license renewals for any business unless all foreign owners, operators and/or shareholders have foreign national identification cards.

Is it true that the federally funded CNMI Public School System will not register a foreign child who does not have a CNMI foreign national ID that is not recognized as valid by the federal government? Is it true that Nutritional Assistance and Medicaid are refusing services to any alien with US citizen children who does not have a DOL-issued foreign national identification card that is not recognized as valid by the federal government?

Is the CNMI national identification card just another attempt to fill empty coffers on the back of foreigners?  Isn't this how the CNMI has prospered for years?  First by using and abusing the garment workers and now with this desperate attempt to maintain control of immigration and the foreign workforce?

I am seeking testimony and documentation on all of the above reports. Please contact me by commenting on this site or through email: (Your email will go to spam blocker unless I have corresponded with you previously.  If you receive a message that you were blocked, just ask to be taken out of spam blocker.)

Apparently, concern over DOL's threats and actions has resulted in a flood of parole in place applications.

The Ombudsman is receiving information from USCIS that it is overwhelmed by the sheer number of parole in place applications, which is delaying its processing of worthy requests for such status for aliens without umbrella permits and applications for advance parole. Aliens with umbrella permits will be denied parole in place by USCIS since the Federal government will not recognize any revocation of a permit by the CNMI after November 27, 2009. Aliens need to stop sending applications to Guam and if they have a question, they need to report to the Ombudsman office.


Captain said...

I agree with most of your "points" related to the NMI but in the mainland situation concerning the States trying to "take control of their borders" I do not agree with you.
NMI CW are legal, (as many time pointed out by you and us)

Since the Feds have put the US border town residents in "harms way" by not enforcing the "immigration laws" I believe, out of "frustration" many states have/will take control of their borders and to try and mitigate the damages to thier citizens.

This local NMI, DOL's new regs, are completely out of control and indeed are "illegal". This agency it trying to keep the "status Quo" and to try and justify their paychecks. (along with collecting more revenues from the poorer workers)
I do hope that this CNMI law does get in this court,BUT not as a "rider", but something that will be ruled by it own "constitutionality" question but, I believe that there is nothing unconstitutional with the Arizona (and other states)law concerning the border control, since it was written following the Fed. Immigration laws concerning border control, and is a mild law in comparison to the Feds...
I "respectfully disagree with you"
Take care.
(hope the oils spill does not get further up the East Coast)

Wendy said...

Hi Captain

I understand and respect your opinion too. I work with migrant farm workers in Florida and have had some students whose parents were migrant workers. It is a complicated situation. Since the US Congress failed to correct the broken immigration system it has spiraled out of control.

About the oil spill-sigh -I heard there were tar balls found on the East coast in Brevard County (below Daytona Beach). I hope that it is unrelated. With Hurricane Alex stirring up the gulf now we can only imagine how bad it is going to get.

Anonymous said...

The US has the right and responsibility to protect it's borders and it's citizens. There is really not a good comparsion to the CNMI workers, who are here legally and the illegal workers in the US. In fact, it might not be a good idea to even attempt to link the two. It seems that what the US might be heading to is a guest worker system, somthing like what exists here now, and that might not move forward the local cause.
On another note: Does anyone think the recent Russian Spy scandal might affect our Visa Waiver program with Russia?

Anonymous said...

It should.

Anonymous said...

States and Citizens have a Constitutional right to question, challenge and sue the Federal Government Wendy. This is the basis for what our Country was founded. The highest court in the land just rued in favor of Gun rights. Thank you United States Constitution.

Wendy said...

Anonymous 5:34

You said, "States and Citizens have a Constitutional right to question, challenge and sue the Federal Government Wendy." Yes, they do -did I say they did not? While citizens have the right, they often lack the resources to sue. That is why governments like the CNMI get away with so much corruption and get away with violating laws like the open government act.

Gun rights -oh yes. Let every individual have a gun and then let the tax payers pay for the law enforcement and all the other expenses related to crimes, murders, and shootings committed with them. Let innocent people die from armed criminals and let their families mourn the senseless loss. Arm every gang member! Arm all the skin head, militia, and hate group members! Let the NRA continue to influence members of Congress o the detriment of the American people.

Maybe when the constitution was written gun rights were necessary; are they now? Do they make our country a better place?

Anonymous said...

Your attitude is that anyone who challenges Federal Law is wrong. Arizona and many other States will take their own actions on illegal Immigration with or without the Feds help. Democrats have always wanted a huge bloated Government with far reaching powers that control virtually every aspect of a Citizen's life. This is wrong. Nearly all "immigrants" who flood Arizona are drug mules, gangsters, etc. Most are not innocent deprived Mexicans trying to make a better life for themselves. Liberals will turn a blind eye to this problem and avoid discussion about it.

Anonymous said...

Guns??? Firearms are permitted in the CNMI but with weird limitations. The largest caliber shotgun you may own is a 410 gauge. This is perfect for Bats but not much more (Not enough stopping power to deter a would be attacker). The largest caliber rifle is in the 22 cal family. 223 is the most common as the largest. Many of these are considered ASSAULT RIFLES and can be modified to full automatic. NO HANDGUN is legal except for law enforcement personnel and only to be used in the line of duty or training.

I had a nice basic gun collection when I lived in Georgia. We moved back in 2002 and out of my 40 some weapons, I was forced to either sell or store 37 of them.

You are required to obtain and maintain a Firearms and Explosives Permit from DPS prior to owning any firearms. The first time you apply, you must attend a class on firearms safety.

You say give guns to criminals, gangs, skinheads etc. These are the only people on island that have these types of illegal weapons and plenty of them. I can not own a handgun for home protection when crime here in the CNMI is at an all time high. If you have ever tried to wield a long gun (rifle, shotgun, etc) in a confined area like a hallway or doorway, you would know that they are clumsy and potentially more dangerous to the user and family members. Home invaders, thieves, rapist, murderers, etc. know you do not have a hand gun, they know how hard it is to wield a long gun, they know they have the advantage when they enter you home to do you harm.

Most criminals are outright scared to attempt to commit a crime against someone that they know potentially have a handgun but are not experienced at using it. These people are more likely to shoot and ask questions later. An experienced gun owner will hesitate to fire, sometimes too long, and it gives the criminal more chances to succeed.


Wendy said...

Anonymous 4:01

You said, "Your attitude is that anyone who challenges Federal Law is wrong. Arizona and many other States will take their own actions on illegal Immigration with or without the Feds help.

First, that is not my “attitude.” I think many Federal laws should be challenged. I also believe that both the Arizona law and CNMI law are racist and overstep authority, preempting federal law.

You said, “Democrats have always wanted a huge bloated Government with far reaching powers that control virtually every aspect of a Citizen's life.” That is not true, but is a line that is parroted by conservatives who attack Democrats.

You said, “Nearly all "immigrants" who flood Arizona are drug mules, gangsters, etc. Most are not innocent deprived Mexicans trying to make a better life for themselves. Liberals will turn a blind eye to this problem and avoid discussion about it.”
Can you provide evidence in the form of data and statistics before making such ignorant remarks? No you cannot because your statement is a baseless untruth that has been repeated to support racist propaganda and add fuel to anti-immigrant debate.

It is propaganda that has even been ignorantly repeated by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer. In response, Attorney General Terry Goddard said Brewer "does not understand the difference between illegal immigration and the organized criminals who are members of the violent drug cartels who pose a very a real danger."

From AP:
"Unless Gov. Brewer can provide hard data to substantiate her claim that most undocumented people crossing into Arizona are 'drug mules,' she must retract such an outrageous statement," said Oscar Martinez, a University of Arizona history professor whose teaching and research focuses on border issues. "If she has no data and is just mouthing off for political reasons, as I believe she is doing, then she must apologize to the people of Arizona for lying to them so blatantly."

Sen. Jesus Ramon Valdes, a member of the Mexican Senate's northern border affairs commission, called Brewer's comments racist and irresponsible.

"Traditionally, migrants have always been needy, humble people who in good faith go looking for a way to better the lives of their families," Ramon Valdes said.

T.J. Bonner, president of the union that represents border agents, said some illegal border-crossers carry drugs but most don't. People with drugs face much stiffer penalties for entering the U.S. illegally, and very few immigrants looking for work want to risk the consequences, Bonner said.

"The majority of people continue to come across in search of work, not to smuggle drugs," he said. "Most of the drug smuggling is done by people who intend to do that. That's their livelihood."

A spokesman for a human rights group said Brewer's comments were "an oversimplification of reality."

Wendy said...

Anonymous 5:21

You said, You say give guns to criminals, gangs, skinheads etc.

Hello -that was sarcasm! In fact, the entire paragraph was sarcasm.

Guns don't kill people, gapping holes in vital organs kill people!

Anonymous said...

There will be no immigration reform anytime soon. Not for four years. The oil spill and unemployment trumps guest workers in the CNMI. Granting any improved status now would cripple any politician's future given the fact that the Gulf States are on the verge of bankruptcy. So, bring up another subject.

Wendy said...

Anonymous 8:53

You are extremely uniformed and out of touch. President Obama will make an immigration speech tomorrow at 10:30 EST. Please listen.

Anonymous said...

He needs to do that now before November and more Change occurs. Otherwise, the immigration agenda is DOA.

Anonymous said...

While it is not true that most of the illegal aliens in the US are connected to the drug trade, every one of them is involved in a defacto illegal act--The act of being illegal in America.
Although there are no really simple solutions there is one that few people really want to do until now. That is punish the heck out of the employers of illegals. Yeah, maybe they don't get rid of all of them, but if the law has teeth then the employer, and illegal, would think twice, which they should. Who in their right mind would say that employers SHOULD hire illegal aliens and ignore the needs of legal Americans. The old chestnut of "they won't work" or "we have to pay to much" should play right into the liberal union view of the world, which I don't agree with, but at least it would fit.
Hire American or Face the
Consequences. Who could say "Well, the illegals aliens need a job too". NO THEY DON"T!! Not at the expense of Americans. Maybe they have to pay them more. Fine. Deal with it. The Employer is the one that decides who gets the job. Let's put them in the right position to make the right choice--or else.

Anonymous said...

3:44 Please show us the Americans who will work their fingers to the bone in the fields for pennies. Where oh where are they? Are you one?

Anonymous said...

obama said nothing in his immgration speech. it was made solely for political purposes, to attract the growing hispanic frustration with his severe lack of leadership on immigration.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:57

Why should anyone slave in the fields for pennies? Pay a fair wage for the work you want done, and you may find some citizens willing to work. Or, bring in your cheap foreign worker, but make him a citizen, so he can vote and participate in the democratic process. You can't have it both ways any more.