Covenant Party Ad

October 8, 2010

The October 6, 2010  Covenant Party ad that aired on the  KSPN2 News Program, like their logo, is full of bull.  It starts out with a clip of DOI Assistant Secretary Tony Babauta, then pans to footage of the Unity March while the narrator reads:
The Department of Interior recommends US citizenship or permanent residency to long-term guest workers. The Covenant Party strongly disagrees. The Covenant Party believes that guest workers came into the CNMI to temporarily supplement, not permanently replace our local workforce. The founding fathers of the Covenant never contemplated U.S. citizenship or permanent residency for longterm guest workers. Please join the Covenant Party in rejecting the DOI Report. Let the will of the people be heard. Call you senator and be heard.”
The CNMI leaders do not get to decide who should, and who should not, be granted U.S. citizenship or permanent residency. No U.S. citizens were not consulted before the U.S. Congress voted to grant U.S. citizenship to the residents of the CNMI.

If the will of the people should be heard, as the Covenant Party ad stated, then that should include the will of the 20,000 or more nonresidents who make up a significant percentage of the CNMI population. Over 7,000 people signed a petition supporting permanent residency with a pathway to U.S. citizenship for the CNMI nonresidents. Over 400 of the foreign workers and nonresident have written personal letters that were delivered to the U.S. Congress with the same message -that they want U.S. citizenship. If the U.S. Congress will decide based on the will of the people, then the majority of the people support permanent residency with a pathway to citizenship.

If the U.S. Congress grants citizenship or permanent residency to the foreign workers, then it will be up to the former workers to decide where in the U.S. they will live and work. Those with secure jobs will most likely opt to may remain in the CNMI.  Those currently without jobs may decide to move to Guam or places in the mainland with job openings.  Some who want higher wages and those who want to work in a place where they are appreciated and respected by the leaders may leave for greener pastures. 

The current administration's message is clear. They want foreign workers only if they are disposable, replaceable, and kept in their disenfranchised state.


The Saipan Blogger said...

That's a pretty horrible ad. It is unAmerican and racist.

Anonymous said...

How is the ad "racist"? It correctly points out that alien workers were intended to supplement the resident workforce, and that the Covenant never envisioned a wholesale grant of citizenship to alien residents. It urges people who agree with its premise to contact their elected representatives, which is hardly unAmerican.

Wendy said...

Anonymous 1:08

The ad is unAmerican and extremely offensive. Disgusted and offended foreign workers brought it to my attention.

The ad exemplifies everything about Covenant -

Self-serving: Come work in the CNMI as long as we can control (and cheat) you.

Power grabbing: You will remain disenfranchised and voiceless as long as you remain in the CNMI (which is U.S. soil). It doesn't matter that many of the foreign workers have served the people of the CNMI for decades, to Covenant Party members they will always be disposable outsiders.

Attempting to preempt federal law: It is not up to the CNMI government to decide the status of the foreign workers.

Illogical and perhaps racist: A U.S. citizen can move to the CNMI from anywhere and in less than a year qualify to vote in an election, while a nonresident who has lived and worked in the CNMI for 25 years and in all ways is an established member of the community cannot vote.

I read the Covenant. It does not give the CNMI government powers to abuse, cheat or mistreat foreigners while ignoring their constitutional and civil rights. It did not intend for the CNMI to create a permanent underclass. It was not intended to be used as a shield or excuse to ignore or disobey U.S. law.

Anonymous said...

It's not an attempt to preempt federal law. It's an attempt to influence federal law prior to passage. That's democracy, and local people have the right to practice it, even if you disagree with them. They are American citizens. Alien workers are aliens. That's why they can't vote. They came to work, as nonimmigrants. They are not entitled to citizenship simply because a small minority of them filed labor complaints.

Wendy said...

You are right. I was not clear. The call to tell Congress to keep the foreign workers (most of whom have lived and worked in the CNMI 5 or more years) disenfranchised and indentured is an attempt to influence, not preempt in this case. It also demonstrates that the Covenant Party views the workers as replaceable commodities rather than as valued people. The Covenant Party has no appreciation or respect for the foreign workers. It just wants to keep them down regardless of their many years of service and sacrifice to the CNMI and its people.

It is the local labor laws, which were written by the Covenant Party Administration that attempt to preempt federal law. The laws also violate civil and constitutional rights of the foreign workers. Regardless, the principles of the Covenant Party are unAmerican and unDemocratic. The party leaders have no moral compass and lack a conscience.

When a U.S. locality has a persistent pattern of serious abuses, yet refuses to enforce laws and fails to ensure that the theft of wages and other abuses are met with justice for the victims, then absolutely some kind of restitution and/or consideration by the federal government should be given to the thousands of victims. A minimum of $1.6 million dollars has been stolen from honest and hardworking foreign workers with the consent of the CNMI government. This is a corrupt and evil government that not only refused to make the criminal employers pay up, but mocked the suffering of the victims.

The Covenant Party's repeated disregard for, and violation of the law, obstruction of justice, and unrelenting pattern of corruption represents a black eye to the reputation of the U.S.

The Saipan Blogger said...

Those aren't just aliens, those are legal residents. Going after the powerless-majority for political purposes is despicable and unAmerican and racist. Does that clear it up? What is you removed "aliens" and replaced it with "Carolinian?" Would you understand then?

Wendy said...

Thank you, Angelo.

Anonymous said...

Calling people or things "racist," "unAmerican," "despicable," and so forth allows you to show off your moral outrage, but it's not much of an argument. Of course the alien workers are politically powerless; the debate over OIA's recommendations is whether they should remain politically powerless. But one can oppose granting citizenship for all sorts of reasons. Some might oppose the OIA recommendations because they actually believe the CNMI wasn't meaningfully consulted, or because such action was never contemplated by the Covenant, or because immigration policy should be based on economic factors, not grand humanitarian gestures, or because they rightly fear loss of political power in their own land. That doesn't make them racist. And urging them to participate in the political process to make their views known to Washington is not unAmerican, it's the essence of democracy.

Granting outright citizenship to 20,000 aliens would certainly change the CNMI in some very fundamental ways, just as giving all the private sector jobs to aliens did. What's wrong with local people making their views known to elected officials? Whatever happened to public discourse? Here's a hint: it's hard to maintain a dialogue when you call the other person names like "racist."

Wendy said...

Anonymous 6:56

Get real! And I supposed you think we should also tiptoe around other corrupt governments and their evil actions and pretend we don't see what they are doing? What war? What human rights abuses? What genocide?

Let's state the truth. The truth is that not wanting people of a particular nationality to have citizenship or vote is racist. It is especially sickening when the people have been embedded into the fiber of the community and have contributed so much to the islands. The racist label fits, so why pretend it doesn't? Are you one of those who don't think that the foreign workers should have citizenship? Worried that you will be labeled racist, are you? Take a good look at yourself then.

Stop the lie about the CNMI not being consulted. The whining leaders pretended they were unaware of the 2 year deadline when they didn't like the report. They can't prepare a report, set up a meeting or pick up the phone? The fact is that there were many meetings between CNMI leaders and Tony Babauta -check out the post on the left sidebar, "The Truth About the DOI Report." Stop the lie -it won't be excused or accepted here.

If I could fly to Washington, write reports, set up meetings with officials, coordinate petitions and letter drives, a government couldn't to this by the deadline? Considering I have no funding and the CNMI government did, I would say this spin is PATHETIC!!!!

Anonymous said...


It's called "poisoning the well." If you are interested in dialogue or debate, you don't start out by saying, in effect, "Here is my position and those who disagree are racists." Of course, if you are only interested in hearing from those who agree with you, you can always become a Fox News affiliate, but you'll never learn a thing unless you welcome opposing views with civility and respect.

Wendy said...

Anonymous 9:18

Angelo introduced the fact that the ad was racist, and yes, it can be interrupted that way. I know what "poisoning the well" is -I have read all Fitial and Covenant Party testimonies and statements. I did not say people are racist if they disagree with my view. What is racist is NOT wanting foreigners to have status. You are a truth bender and bs-er. Don't bother commenting again because I am not going to waste my time responding. I suppose those who attacked the Holocaust were disrespectful and uncivil too?

The Saipan Blogger said...

That's the kind of ad you see against immigrants, blacks, and homosexuals in the bible belt. And yeah, when you think things like [insert class of people] should not [insert whatever you want], that is racist!

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Anonymous said...

noni 6:56am

you said: "Granting outright citizenship to 20,000 aliens would certainly change the CNMI in some very fundamental ways, "

What ways?

Can you or ANY army stop 20,000 or more US citizens (of any ethnic background) from coming to our shores and voting after 60days? NO!

So your pretending to "protect" someone (WHO?) from 20,000 aliens getting citizenship is nonsense!

You can't stop any alien child born here from voting once they turn 18.

You can't stop ANY immigrant who has gained citizenship from voting in the CNMI.

What protections are you offering and to whom?

You are a snake oil salesman.

When the CNMI signed the covenant and ratified it, we became part of the nation of immigrants. You can not protect us from immigrants. So take your BS elsewhere!

Anonymous said...

noni 6:56am,

can you also protect us from the aliens that came here JUST TO WORK from marrying US citizens and then influencing our elections with their votes?

start with Josie Fitial. also, hold Fitial accountable for marrying her without consulting us first!

damn him.

how dare he grant a pathway to citizenship to an alien worker!

can you add in more than half the legislators and almost all of the current cabinet members and the sitting US delegate? they too are all married to former foreign workers.

they all attacked the CNMI in the exact fashion that you and the Advertisement are saying will happen if the US grants long term foreign workers a pathway to citizenship.

they should be held accountable for their actions.

please protect us! they are also having children that are being born US citizens!!!!

Wendy said...

The last two comments (originally 3:45 and 3:53) have been edited to take out the last line in each one -hope you understand anonymous 3:45 and anonymous 3:53.

Anonymous said...

When you set up a system that permits the employment of a person for 30 years, you cannot with a clear conscience call that person's contribution "temporary" or "supplemental". Racist, protectionist, BALONEY.

Captain said...

With these past and current elected, the only thing we see each election is the same old recycled misfits. Many running for a different position in the Govt of elected. The ones that do not run or are defeated will usually turn colors to side with the winners so they can get a high paid political do nothing job.
We have all recently, again, seen the consequences of this disease.

If the present CW are given a voting status, there would be a great possibility that we may have "new blood" to have an option to vote for real change. Some of these folks have been here more than 25 yrs and probably know as much, if not more, than many of the present recycled clowns.
Many of the CW are much more educated and have experience in certain fields than the elected and political hires.
Many of the children are already college educated.
The biggest plus to this would be that these "new" voters would not be held "hostage" by a Govt. job.
This would for sure be a way to "get out the old, and in with the new"
This is what the NMI needs. On all fronts. I am now than ever more convinced after looking at this recent fiasco and those involved.

I would NOT suggest that ALL CW be given an overnight "status". They all should be "examined" closely before any decision is made as there are maybe as much as 25% that should be sent home as they are non productive and have become "complacent" in their job and attitude.
Many have become a burden on the community instead of a contributor,also many have become very "smart" on how to "milk" the system.(I personally can count 58 on Tinian alone without even looking further)I have watched this over the years within the companies that I have dealt with.

Another plus to this situation would be that these people with a "new" status would be able to work within the NMI Govt. agencies utilizing their skills to the betterment of certain Govt.agencies

If this "status" was to happen, the problem would be, How many would actually stay in a place with low wages and where they were not wanted. Guam has much greener pastures now and for the next 5 yrs (or longer) at least.
If this was to come to past there would not be a problem with the minimum wage as the NMI would probably be compatible with Guam's wages within a year or more.