Alien Registration?

September 1, 2010

"An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law."
Martin Luther King, Jr
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It looks like the CNMI Department of Labor (DOL) has released their flying monkeys. You can almost hear the wicked witch screaming, "I'll get you my little pretty!"

The CNMI DOL announced that it will enforce P.L. 17-1's most obnoxious provision, which requires aliens to register with the local labor department. P.L. 17-1 states that any alien who fails to register or carry the alien registration with them could face a fine, jail time or both.

Sound familiar?  Think Arizona. The very same racist and unconstitutional provisions that District Court Judge Susan Bolton questioned in the Arizona law, are mirrored in the evil CNMI law.


Where are the CNMI attorneys to defend the rights of the foreigners? Where is the United States Department of Justice?  The federal officials were notified about the proposed law in my January 2010 comment to DHS. In July 2010, I again wrote to federal officials about the unjust law, P.L. 17-1 and asked for the U.S. Department of Justice to take action. Are they waiting for the hosts countries to create an international uproar about the human and civil rights abuses of their citizens residing in the CNMI before they act?

Background
The CNMI no longer maintains local control over immigration matters. The DOL can screech on and on about how many years its corrupt and evil system mandated that aliens had to register with CNMI immigration, but the nonresidents are now subject to federal law.

Before the transition period began on November 28, 2009, the CNMI government issued "umbrella permits" to the foreign contract workers and all categories of aliens in the CNMI. The "umbrella permits" allowed aliens who were in the Commonwealth before the transition period to remain legally in the CNMI for the two year maximum allowed under the CNRA or until November 27, 2011. The CNMI government stated that these permits would provide security and stability for the foreigners including the contract workers, investors, long-term business owners, immediate relatives of nonresidents, and students for the stated two-year period.

The “umbrella permits” are regarded as evidence of lawful presence and authorization to work under CNMI laws, and the federal government recognizes these permits as an extension of the expiration date of those who have CNMI-issued entry permits. Therefore, according to the federal government, all aliens who were issued an umbrella permit may remain in the CNMI and may work in the CNMI until November 27, 2011.  

The Federal and CNMI governments have conflicting opinions on the conditions and authority of these "umbrella permits." The CNMI government claims that the CNRA only preempted the admission and removal of aliens, but not internal matters including alien workers' ability to work in the CNMI. The CNMI government argues that the "umbrella permits" were issued under the CNMI’s ongoing authority over the terms and conditions of employment of foreign workers in the CNMI. The CNMI Department of Labor, which has been a corrupt and negligent body regarding rights of the foreign contract workers, claims that it maintains authority and control over the “umbrella permits,” including the right to revoke them for a violation of any conditions that it may impose for maintaining valid permits.

The federal government (USCIS and ICE), regards these permits as evidence of lawful presence, and has stated that pursuant to the CNRA, holders of "umbrella permits" may reside in the CNMI until the expiration of the permit on November 27, 2011, even if the CNMI government has revoked the permit. It is unclear what the CNMI government would do after revoking a permit because it no longer has the authority to remove any foreigner.

The power struggle between the CNMI and federal governments escalated with the passage of CNMI law, P.L. 17-1. On March 22, 2010, the Immigration Conformity Act of 2010 amended P.L. 15-108, the Commonwealth Employment Act of 2007, and on June 1, 2010 CNMI P.L. 17-1, the Employment Rules and Regulations (ERR) went into effect. Human rights advocates, foreign contract workers and attorneys have opposed provisions within the laws that deny foreign contract workers constitutional rights. The laws are also in conflict with P.L. 110-229, the CNRA, which authorizes a federally administered CNMI-only guest worker program and applies U.S. immigration law to the CNMI.  

Provisions of P.L. 17-1 give authority to the CNMI government to revoke “umbrella permits,” which are recognized by the USCIS and federal government as valid permits under federal law until November 27, 2011. Another provision requires a CNMI non-citizen to repatriate because of medical reasons. 

Especially troubling is the provision that orders all foreign nationals and their family members who have been in the commonwealth for 90 days or more to register with the local CNMI Department of Labor for the purpose of receiving a Foreign National Identification Card. The provision requires that any person over the age of 18 "shall keep their identification card in their possession or control at all times." Failure to comply with the provision could result in a fine of $500, imprisonment of up to 90 days, or both.  It appears that the law applies to any non-citizen within the CNMI including those who possess a Federal visa.

The law provides that any employer who employs a non-citizen worker without going complying with procedures set forth in P.L. 17-1 may be sanctioned $2,000 per non-citizen employee and be barred from further employment of non-citizens.

Additionally, the law raises equal protection concerns because it contains a provision stating that the percentage of U.S. citizen employees, U.S. legal permanent residents and special CNMI legal residents employed by a business must equal the percentage of U.S. citizen, legal permanent resident and CNMI legal resident workers in the private workforce.

There are provisions in the law that provide for searches and “inspections.”  The CNMI Department of Labor (DOL) officials have stated that they will be inspecting businesses, and may be going house to house to insure that all non-citizens register with the CNMI Department of Labor (DOL) to obtain a Foreign National Identification Card.

The law also creates several new “work permits” including a Service Provider Permit that allows non-citizens, who have lived in the CNMI for ten years or more, to work for more than one employer if the non-citizen meets certain “conditions.” The conditions include: registering at DOL and paying $300 to obtain a Foreign National Identification Card; providing “clearances” from the CNMI Department of Finance and the Commonwealth Health Center to verify that the non-citizen has no outstanding government debts; and posting a $3,000 cash bond payable to the CNMI. Supporters of the CNMI government, including attorneys, are circulating notices of this new “status” in various languages. Federal law already allows for holders of "umbrella permits" to work legally in the CNMI for multiple employers. This appears to be another ploy to manipulate and control the foreign workforce while filling the empty CNMI coffers on the backs of the foreign contract workers.

The Evil Monkeys Have Been Released
The Saipan Tribune published the DOL-issued press release about alien registration:
The commonwealth has been registering aliens annually since 1985. After the Immigration Division was disbanded, its former task of registering aliens was assigned to the Department of Labor.

“Every alien who has an ID card issued by the CNMI after Jan. 1, 2010 is already registered,” Deputy Labor Secretary Cinta M. Kaipat said. “Those aliens need do nothing further until next year.” Workers whose contracts are renewed during 2010 are automatically registered in the contract process and their new updated ID cards have been issued. The same is true for all foreign investors, foreign business owners, foreign students, and immediate relatives who already have CNMI-issued ID cards for 2010. Those persons are already registered and need not do anything further about registration this year.

“We are now working on registering all other aliens in the Commonwealth, including immediate relatives, common law spouses, minors, victims of crime and aliens eligible under the Violence Against Women Act, and all others,” Kaipat said. Registration is required of all aliens other than lawful permanent residents (green card holders), regardless of status. There is no fee for these registrations.

For aliens who do not have a prior-year registration or permit card, the documentation required for registration includes a passport-sized photo, a completed registration form, and personal identification showing birth date. The registration form is on the department’s website, www.marianaslabor.net.

The registration window will be open from 8:15 am to 4:15 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

The schedule for registration is as follows:

• Aliens in the 240K classification who are not already registered (current or former workers) — Sept. 7-24

• Aliens in the 240G, 240H, and 240N classifications who are not already registered (current or former investors, students, and business owners) — Sept. 27 to Oct. 14

• IRs in all classifications who are not already registered (current IRs of U.S. citizens, foreign workers, foreign students, foreign investors, and foreign business owners) — Oct. 18 to Nov. 3

• All other aliens regardless of status — Nov. 8-30

Alien registration cards will be available for pickup either at the time of the registration or within a few days after the registration form is filed.

“Aliens who register may also have their umbrella permit status problems addressed at the same time,” Kaipat said. “Those who did not make their report-back date for some reason or who have other umbrella permit issues may request to have their umbrella permits or existing permits updated when they register.

Registration is required under commonwealth Public Law 17-1.
Would I register with the local CNMI government if I were a nonresident? Absolutely not!  Why should thousands of workers and nonresidents line up once again to be used as pawns to fill the CNMI's empty coffers? 

P.L. 17-1 cries out to be challenged. Maybe the best way to challenge the law is for the nonresidents to refuse to register in an act of civil disobedience. If anyone is arrested by local authorities, then the law can be immediately challenged in court.

Disclaimer: This is not a legal blog. No opinion or statement should be perceived as legal advice. All posts are the opinion of the author or contributors who are expressing their First Amendment Rights.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

From the press release quoted on the blog post:

-----------------------

Registration is required of all aliens other than lawful permanent residents (green card holders), regardless of status. There is no fee for these registrations.

For aliens who do not have a prior-year registration or permit card, the documentation required for registration includes a passport-sized photo, a completed registration form, and personal identification showing birth date. The registration form is on the department’s website, www.marianaslabor.net.

The registration window will be open from 8:15 am to 4:15 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

-----------------------

There doesn't seem to be much harm in getting one of these free ID cards. If anything, it will help the feds in conducting the alien registration authorized by the Consolidated Natural Resources Act (CNRA), Pub. L. 110-229, § 702(a), ’§ 6(e)(3)’, 122 Stat. 754, 859, codified at 48 U.S.C. § 1806(e)(3).

Wendy said...

Workers reported having to pay fees for this "registration" which the CNMI DOL has been carrying out now for months.

Anonymous said...

Gee!!!!!!!!!!!! Labor People don't want to give up do they? Only the Feds can stop them. Black & White from the Feds should be laid down as soon as possible.

HELP!!!!

Anonymous said...

we are charged fees for everything. "Aliens who register may also have their umbrella permit status problems addressed at the same time,” Kaipat said. “Those who did not make their report-back date for some reason or who have other umbrella permit issues may request to have their umbrella permits or existing permits updated when they register." updated and charged fees! no matter what, they charge fees. The US says umbrella ok til 2011, DOL charging fees to extend umbrella permits. They will collect fees if anyone's stupid enough to go.

Captain said...

My own opinion only; to 7:46, the NMI does not "share" anything with the Feds.So anything they do is only to try and "justify" their jobs and leave all, at a later date, open to "illegal" search and seizure"
The same thing goes with the "new procedure" for all incoming flights, and fright etc.
They do not have a "need to know", Again, it looks like they are only trying to do something to keep their jobs, collect some money and to harass the feds and "flex" their muscles to try and keep everyone inline.
They threaten the business with fines and won't renew license etc.

If they "change" any umbrella permits, wouldn't this in effect be issuing a worthless document (after taking away the original) as it is not the original issued prior to the Fed take over.
Dole (NMI Govt.)has no jurisdiction over this and anything else that pertains to immigration and CW.
It is too bad that this Govt. does not arrest anybody so this could be brought to court.
The problem would be that, depending on the outcome under the NMI court and so called NMI law, this most likely would end up in Fed court./
The process could take a long time and by that time the Feds would have something out on the issue.

TAGLISH said...

NO ONE SHOULD GO THERE TO REGISTER!!! Umbrella permits have been honored by the Feds, that's it!

DOL HAS ALL THE INFORMATIONS THEY NEED FROM CWS, It's scary because it's for their own use only, also DOL never states any privacy protections.

ONE THING IS SURE HERE though, DOL JUST WANT TO KEEP THEIR NON FUNCTIONING office!!! Govt could save money if they will reduce its personnel!

Hi Ms.Kaipat, since you have nothing to do at DOL, please help us clean the beach this Sunday. See you there!

Anonymous said...

> may be going house to house to insure that all non-citizens register with the CNMI Department of Labor (DOL) to obtain a Foreign National Identification Card

Time to educate CWs about their Constitutional rights, isn't it? "Do you have a search warrant to show me? No? Then leave."

Someone who has no fear of retribution should conduct a seminar or other information campaign. Maybe Wendy or someone else has an "in" with the non-English-language newspapers?

Anonymous said...

> There doesn't seem to be much harm in getting one of these free ID cards.

The harm would be that when they come up with their next imaginary regulation (e.g., "All aliens have to pay us $500"), they'll have records and evidence of where their shakedown targets live.

Wendy said...

Hello TAGLISH

Well said!

Anonymous said...

The other day they said they want to monitor the in and outs at the airport and wants to help the Feds. This ID thing will be one of their method of digging into all aliens who are no status. They already announced in the newspaper who are deportables months ago and recommended names to the Fed but nobody deported yet; why bother to go register? to be jailed? well I'm sure many would like to and enjoy being in jail especially if they don't have job and have free food and lodging without risking of being inadmissible aliens because being jailed due to not responding to DOL's regulation is not included in the Fed's inadmissibility lists.

Anonymous said...

Expect more stupid actions from Kaipat & company. They still don't want to give up.

Anonymous said...

The federal permits will likely be even more expensive than the CNMI ones.

http://www.saipantribune.com/newsstory.aspx?newsID=102696&cat=3.