DOI Report Will Not Be "Withdrawn"

August 1, 2010

U.S. Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar refused the request of Governor Fitial to withdraw the Department of Interior's Report on the Alien Worker Population in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

The report, which the DOI was mandated to submit to Congress by May 10, 2010, contains recommendations on granting status to the alien workers in the CNMI. The governor and members of the CNMI Legislature found the report objectionable because they wish to maintain control over the alien population to keep them as a disenfranchised underclass lacking social and political rights, even though the CNMI now falls under U.S. immigration law.

In May Governor Fitial's sent an extremely disingenuous  seven-page letter with two appendices to Secretary Salazar attacking the DOI report and asking to have it withdrawn.  Some of the arguments within the letter and appendices were outright lies, others manipulated facts, and still others were unjustified attacks. The appendices, which appear to be written by DOL "volunteer" Deanne Siemer, made outlandish and nonfactual statements.  Many of the baseless statements echoed the same unfounded arguments used by the CNMI DOL and Siemer to support their dysfunctional system in previous letters and reports.

In a letter dated July 22, 2010, Secretary Salazar responded that the report fulfilled its obligation under the Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008 and it will not be withdrawn.  The report stated:
"Consistent with the goals of comprehensive immigration reform, we recommend that the Congress consider permitting alien workers who have lawfully resided in the CNMI for a minimum period of five years to apply for long-term status under the immigration and nationality laws of the United States."
According to The Marianas Variety, Secretary Salazar disagreed with Fitial's statement that he was not consulted, just as I had outlined in the post, The Lie.  The Variety reported:
In his letter, Salazar assured Fitial that “Interior devoted a great deal of time and expense in developing” the report, which the governor and CNMI lawmakers have described as “seriously defective.”

CNMI officials have also claimed that Interior never consulted them before submitting the report to Congress.

“Thereafter, department officials began to gather the information requested by…Congress by several means, which were utilized in the report. In addition, the assistant secretary of the Interior for insular affairs personally consulted with you on this report before it was submitted for clearance.”

The governor was critical of the data and analysis used by the report, but Salazar said “process and methodology aside, there does not seem to be substantial difference between the [report’s data]…and information contained in the CNMI’s 2009 Annual Report of the Secretary of Labor…published in January 2010.”
Salazar disagreed.
“The cooperation of your administration was sought by [Interior’s] Office of Insular Affairs, but denied,” he said.
In fact, Fitial and DOL officials have intentionally played the role as obstructionists, blocking all statistics and data from federal officials as was reported in the press and verified by the recent GOA report.

The secretary forwarded Fitial's letters and appendices to the House Committee on Natural Resources and the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.  A report that I am preparing which counters Fitial's misstatements and gives credible arguments to support granting status for the alien workers will be submitted to the same committees and other U.S. officials.


Anonymous said...

Yep, Wendy said it and now Salazar confirms Fitial is a LIAR!

Anonymous said...

Why do we continue to nothing about having a governor who is so embarrassing to us all? Can someone stop the madness or control these crazies?

Anonymous said...

Wendy,in a recent past article, you had the dates, times and people party to the meetings and other instances concerning the contacts and attempts involving the DOI's to get info prior to their report. (That the Gov. and other state never happened)

Is it possible to put that on your side bar. I was going to refer some people to that as many still believe what the Gov. and his cronies say did not happen.

Wendy said...

Anonymous 9:18

The information is located in the post, The Lie

Anonymous said...

As long as Fitial is in power the CNMi can't move forward. Kilili must be embarrassed.

Wendy said...

Anonymous 9:18 It's now on the left sidebar.

Anonymous said...

The longer we wait for the Fed regulation for foreign workers more and more workers are being victimized by some employers by not paying them. These workers can not even decide what to do to have their salary due to them else employers will just terminate them of which these workers would not like it because it will cause them almost no-status before Nov 2011.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:31, These workers can file a Fed complaint for pay and/or labor abuse. Also if they get fired they can still remain in the NMI and look for another job.They can not be deported except by the Feds. And the Feds stated they would not do that unless convicted of a crime.I believe that is the gist of the thing.

Anonymous said...

I really have to laugh out loud at your antics, Wendy. Do you really think that casting aspersions and publicly defaming people as liars is going to solve the problems of the Marianas? Yes, you are safe from a lawsuit because Fitial is a public figure, but is what you are doing right, just, and in the long-term best interests of our industrious guest workers?

This whole brouhaha or tempest-in-a-teapot is all about the meaning of the word “consult.”

The CNMI government construes it as an opportunity for meaningful input, including a chance to comment on the semi-final or final draft, consistent with the standard procedural due process engaged in by such mature federal government agencies as the Government Accountability Office (GAO) or the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) attached to each federal department.

Instead, Tony Babauta and the Office of Insular Affairs adopt a colonialist view of “consultation” more akin to “trial by ambush” where if OIA tells you the general subject of the report, or “makes itself available to hear your views,” that is deemed meaningful “consultation.” Balderdash!

That is anything but the meaningful, transparent consultation that the U.S. territories have the right to expect from the Office of Insular Affairs, an office that exists to serve the U.S. citizens who live here and not “lord it over” or bully them like some left-over colonialist overseers, reflected in the term “oversight.”

Shame, shame, on American soil!

And you really should be ashamed of yourself, too, Wendy, buying into this propaganda and helping to spread it around yourself! Boo!

It might have worked for George Miller and the way he rammed the CNRA through Congress, but then we didn't have a Delegate to speak out against the grave injustices being perpetrated against the indigenous people of the Northern Mariana Islands.

We won't be silent about the political abuses anymore.

Wendy said...

Anonymous 7:19

If you continually state an untruth as a FACT, then you are a liar. Right? I'm sorry, so you like games? I don't. Should we dance around and say "untruth sayer?" What word or term do you use for those who deliberately and knowingly lie to advance their own agenda?

Please read the comments under the story Zaldy wrote in the Marinas Variety concerning Secretary Salazar's letter. Apparently, I am not the only person calling those who are knowingly not telling the truth liars! I guess the difference is, that I have the courage to sign my name to my comments? You don't, do you?

So does the OIA serve ALL of the people in the CNMI, or only those who can vote?

Yes, the actions of some elected officials, their consultants, and followers have made the CNMI a "shame on US soil." You are one, right?

Anonymous person who cannot even sign your own name, I don't "buy propaganda." I form my own opinions and based on research and facts. Read THE LIE and then explain why the advocates, guest workers, and nonresidents used the two years from the time the CNRA was passed in 2008 until the time the report was due in 2010 to express our opinions about status for the alien workers and the DOI report and the CNMI elected officials did little? Please explain that.

There was nothing - absolutely nothing "colonialist" in the DOI Report or Tony Babauta's view. That anonymous coward is just another unfact, untruth, lie, or insert the word you want. Defenders of the anti-federal agenda love to toss around certain words and phrases like "colonialist", "indigenous rights", and other crap to defend anti-federal, racist or xenophobic views. It's garbage. You are the one spreading propaganda.

Political abuses! Don't make me laugh! Too many of the CNMI officials are schemers, manipulators and don't care that their statements and actions are embarrassing to the people who live in the CNMI. That is what is shameful! The good people of the CNMI deserve better!

Next time sign your name, you coward! But then again the term "balderdash" gave you away...

Anonymous said...

Anon August 3, 2010 5:16 AM
I know they can still stay and look for another job; what I said is before Nov 2011 that if they cannot find job (not easy) no one can file for their status especially if you are still looking until Nov 2011 comes. So that is a difficult choice. That's the gist of it.

Anonymous said...

Noni 7:19 I have to laugh at your antics! Wendy is spot on and calling it like it is.

Where in the CNRA did it mandate that the DOI would co-write the report with the governor? NO WHERE!

Every time this administration doesn't like an outcome they cry colonialism or take the "poor little territory" stance. Our leaders act like children and I, for one, am sick of it. Grow up already!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 7:19 said: "Do you really think that casting aspersions and publicly defaming people as liars is going to solve the problems of the Marianas? " Maybe if the person was not a liar it could be called defaming, but hey, the people saying the CNMI gvt. wasn't consulted are not telling the truth.

You said: "Yes, you are safe from a lawsuit." Sweetie, 10,000 people would back up the fact that Fitial did not tell the truth and any lawsuit would be frivolous. Hope you're not a lawyer.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 7:19

Antics? Is exposing the truth now called antics? Defamation? Is having the courage to expose the truth defamatory? Is telling the truth in the best interest of the guest workers? Why yes, the truth always is good. It is you who is a propagandist and manipulator. Shame, shame, shame on you!

Anonymous said...


“Federalization: You asked for it; you got it.”

Kilili for Delegate!

Anonymous said...

Kilili is an idiot - look at the minimum wage issue and American Samoa; look at the trench issue and Guam; look at the improved status issue which he supported until Fitial scared him. Anyone but Kilili who cannot legislate his way out of his food

Anonymous said...

Kilili is actually the best candidate for the job. Your comments are ignorant. BIBA KILILI!!!!