Migrants Suffer Worst Forms of Racism and Xenophobia

November 4, 2010

Most of us already know this, but a U.N. investigator reported that migrant workers in Europe, the United States and other parts of the world suffer the worst forms of racism and xenophobia.

The actions of the CNMI government in denouncing the DOI Report, the recent ad campaign by the racist indigenous rights group, the CNMI AG joining the racist Arizona lawsuit, and CNMI labor laws clearly show that the Fitial Administration does not hold the foreign workers in high esteem.

From the Washington Post:

Muigai, the U.N. Human Rights Council's special investigator on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance, spoke to reporters after presenting reports to the General Assembly on efforts to eliminate these practices. 

"If I have found any specific group of people to be the subject of the most insidious contemporary forms of racial discrimination, those are migrants," he said. "And I think in many parts of the world today, immigrants bear the brunt of xenophobic intolerance - and this is true of the United States, and it is of Europe, and it is of many parts of the world." 
Muigai said international law doesn't prevent any country from enforcing "a fair, open, transparent migration policy." And he said he appreciates the need for countries, especially in southern Europe, to deal with immigrants arriving illegally by sea from Africa and other parts of the world. 

"All I have been saying in my reports is that we need to develop systems, structures, and policies in an international legal environment in which we can address the legitimate concerns of the receiving states while being able to safeguard the fundamental humanity, in my judgment, of the immigrants," he said. 
Muigai said he is concerned that the Arizona law, now been challenged in a federal appeals court, "does not respond to minimum human rights standards." 
The law targeting illegal immigration requires police enforcing another law to question a person about his or her immigration status, if there is "reasonable suspicion" that the person is in the United States illegally. It also makes it a state crime to be in the country illegally.
"This is the sort of statute that opens a floodgate, equips a policeman or such other law enforcement person on the beat with such immense powers as to compromise, in my view, the very, very fundamental human rights that ought to be enjoyed in such an enlightened part of the world as Arizona," Muigai said. 
He urged all countries to ensure that migration policies are "at all times consistent with international human rights instruments." 
"Migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers, regardless of their migration status, are entitled to have all their human rights protected by the state where they live without discrimination," Muigai said.
As long as migrant workers are viewed as disposable and replaceable they will not be given the respect that they deserve. The host countries, employers and governing agencies know that the foreign workers can easily be replaced, most cannot afford attorneys, and abusive employers are seldom prosecuted. The system empowers greedy opportunists who routinely abuse foreign workers with little or no consequences. The $6.1 million in unpaid wages owed to foreign workers is just one illustration of a dysfunctional and corrupt system.

The countries that send their citizens overseas as workers must demand that their citizens’ rights are upheld in host countries. If international agreements, such as the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, were ratified and observed by every country that sends or receives foreign workers, maybe discrimination and human rights abuses would dissolve. Another solution is to treat foreign workers as future citizens.

Please sign the petition and attend the November 9th  Prayer Vigil at American Memorial Park at 6:00 PM.


Anonymous said...

"The countries that send their citizens overseas as workers must demand that their citizens’ rights are upheld in host countries."

Come on. What a ridiculous, first-world-centric statement. The reason these people go to other countries is that their own governments are masturbatory kleptocracies. If their governments were interested in their citizens' rights, and were capable of doing anything about it, their people wouldn't be leaving in the first place. It's a nice sentiment, but the place to exert pressure is the first-world host countries, not the third-world sending countries.

Anonymous said...

Wendy, on another matter, any idea what they're trying to do with the new law about Kilili's office being required to provide notary services?


Are they trying to get a job for a relative who's a notary? Seems like a ridiculous law maybe designed to annoy Kilili? Or just get someone a job? A notarization costs what, $1 or $2 in Saipan, maybe $5 in the mainland US.

Wonder if anyone knows what the real story might be.

Anonymous said...

On the Notary thing, most places in the US have free Notary in places like banks, Law firms etc. Also Notary is $5-$10 many places.
But this does seem like an "attack" on "Kilili" especially when the Gov makes a comment that the NMI has no jurisdiction on his offices.

Anonymous said...

LOL. The U.N.? The United Nations Elected Iran to Commission Women's Rights! Iran's Muslim Imams believe that stoning a young woman to death is justice!

How about protecting the rights of Filipinos in the Philippines? Saudi Arabia? Yemen?

Wendy said...

Anonymous 10:36

A few observations. Indeed, Iran has a deplorable record on human rights and the ill-treatment of women. Hopefully, the Iranian representative will learn something while serving on the commission.

The U.S. seat on that commission expires in 2012. Hopefully that person will learn something also. The U.S. record on women's rights and human rights is not praiseworthy either. We need to address the inequity between pay of men and women, the growing incidences of domestic and sexual violence, human trafficking, capital punishment, the guest worker program and other issues.

How about protecting the rights of every person everywhere?

Wendy said...

On the notary thing:

Really? There are places where one can get a free notary services in the states? I have never heard of that. Yes, maybe an attorney or a bank will notarize papers related to their own services with a client after charging a person the hourly fee.

A congressional office should not be expected to provide notary services. This is not their focus. Maybe the office could also provide free attorney consultations and employment services for federal jobs. Please!

The Saipan Blogger said...

Can Kilili have free pancake breakfasts on Tuesdays, too? I really like pancakes.

Anonymous said...

Also, notarization is used about ten times more in the CNMI than in the mainland US. It has something to do with the government-heavy culture of officiousness.

Anonymous said...

"The $6.1 in unpaid wages"

Typo. I presume that should be million?

Anonymous said...

All Middle Eastern nations and most Asian ones have a deplorable history of the treatment of women. Under Sharia Law women can be murdered by their husbands, beaten for no reason and stoned to death for being raped.

An Italian court recently upheld Sharia Law for a migrant Muslim man who beat his wife. The Judge found that Sharia Law protects the religious rights of the abuser.

It's not your money! said...

The free notary thing is a good idea, and Kilili should take a page from the Covenant Party playbook. Anyone seeking notary services should first fill out a form, under penalty of perjury, that says "Ben Fitial is a crook, and I will never, ever, vote for him or the Covenant Party."

Anonymous said...

Wendy, In Hawaii, all the banks and many public offices have free notary. All of the Law firms have Notaries also but they charge a standard fee for non clients. Clients are free. Even some of the Library's have Notary. services..Almost all Corporate offices also have Notaries but there is a fee. Most Notary fees used to be $5.

Anonymous said...

The reason that many countries encourage their people to work over seas is that the remittance supports the country.
The Phil. for instance would not be able to survive without the remittance being sent back by their millions of OFW's.
Their economy is based on that.

But many of these people complaining about the US Immigration laws should look at their own backyard first.
If any person or illegal or with an expired visa for any of these countries are caught they go to jail and are deported after a jail term.
The jails are not comfortable. The ones I have seen in Japan, Thailand and also in the Phil. and people I have talked that have been in the jails, have no bunks, only lay on the floors.
Ask some of the OFW overtakers from other countries that have been picked up.(Pacific Islands are pretty bad also)

Now that the Dems have lost their majority, Immigration reform most likely will not happen.
Looks like they will instead be going after to enforce existing Immigration laws.
I truly wonder what will happen in regards to the "Legal" NMI CW's.
If there has not been any regs written up yet, or in the works near a completed stage to be issued before Jan. then maybe this is going to turn out to be a big problem in the NMI.and all CW's will truly have to leave.
That scenario will make many happy, but will truly "finish off" the NMI.(in spite of what some say)Just who will fill in the spots?
Parole in place looks like that might be the most easiest as it possibly can be done by Napolitano if she has a mind to.
Lets see.

The Dems have been overspending and also destroying the US along with the problem of also both parties will not work together.
Now Obama even admits he has to change course. He needs to be reined in anyway and this will happen.If it kills all of his programs that may not be so good. but many programs need to be "fine tuned" or eliminated altogether.
Now with the Rep. in majority looks like nothing will get done except the same in house fighting and much getting thrown to the side.
One good thing that Obama did was to give the Vets back much (and more)of what was taken away by Reagan.
He also made it easier to qualify to get SS total disability if the reason is on an established list.

Anonymous said...

Noni 8:57PM, what are you talking about?

Anonymous said...

Message to the Tea Party - What took you so long to get angry?

You didn't get mad when the Supreme Court stopped a legal recount and appointed a President.

You didn't get mad when Cheney allowed Energy company officials to dictate Energy policy and push us to invade Iraq .

You didn't get mad when a covert CIA operative got outed.

You didn't get mad when the Patriot Act got passed.

You didn't get mad when we illegally invaded a country that posed no threat to us. You didn't get mad when we spent over 800 billion (and counting) on said illegal war.

You didn't get mad when Bush borrowed more money from foreign sources than the previous 42 Presidents combined.

You didn't get mad when over 10 billion dollars in cash just disappeared in Iraq .

You didn't get mad when you found out we were torturing people.

You didn't get mad when Bush embraced trade and outsourcing policies that shipped 6 million American jobs out of the country.

You didn't get mad when the government was illegally wiretapping Americans.

You didn't get mad when we didn't catch Bin Laden.

You didn't get mad when Bush rang up 10 trillion dollars in combined budget and current account deficits.

You didn't get mad when you saw the horrible conditions at Walter Reed.

You didn't get mad when we let a major US city, New Orleans, drown.

You didn't get mad when we gave people who had more money than they could spend, the filthy rich, over a trillion dollars in taxbreaks.

You didn't get mad with the worst 8 years of job creations in several decades.

You didn't get mad when Federal regulations looked the way while banks and Wall Street reaped billions writing faulty mortgages, short-sold the debt and even wagered that the debts would fail.

You didn't get mad when over 200,000 US Citizens lost their lives because they had no health insurance.

You didn't get mad when lack of oversight and regulations from the Bush Administration caused US Citizens to lose 12 trillion dollars in investments, retirement, and home values.

No.....You finally got mad

When a black man was elected President and decided that people in America deserved the right to see a doctor if they are sick.

Anonymous said...

to Anon 3:36pm

With all of the horrible things you listed why would electing a half white man make much difference? The truth is people don't get mad until it starts to affect them. People voted for Obama, enough so that he got elected President. Everyone was hopeful that he could do a few things. Now, we have two years of what?

People got mad when they lost their jobs.
People got mad when they lost their house, or for most, so their houses worth plummett.
People go made when they say how the the Dems rammed though legislation like Health Care and I quote Nancy Pelosi "We have to pass it to see what's in it" What kind of statement is that.
People (Dems) got mad when they totally controlled Congress and could not get things pass, forget the Repubs.
People got made a Cap and Trade, although most don't understand it. Governor Manchin, a Democrat, hated it so much that he took a gun and shot a hole in it.
The Tea Party... ah,yes, total racist people that only believe what they believe because the President is black. That is a reall easy way to cover the fact that he is in way over his head and experience level. Remember, the same people that voted for a black man two two years ago voted against a black man now. Oh, all those racist people.

Anonymous said...

obama has performed poorly and jeopardized the continued existence of small business ventures. his policies have terminally indebted the US, and his jobs program has gone no where. he can't decide whether or not to stay in Afghanistan. In short, he has done a lot of smiling, but little else.