USCIS -Where are the Worker Regs?

December 4, 2010

It's over a year now since the federalization took effect on November 28, 2009, and thanks in part to Fitial's anti-federalization lawsuit, there are still no CNMI-only workers regulations.  They were scheduled to be published by September 2010, but the deadline has come and gone just like the other self-imposed DHS deadline to publish the foreign investor regulations. Those were scheduled to be published in July 2010. Now it looks like the regulations won't come out until sometime in early 2011.

During the entire year without any regulations the Federal and local governments have battled over who controls the foreign workforce and the authority of each over permits. The local government has even pushed ICE to deport some foreign workers said to be in the CNMI legally.  Additionally, the CNMI government passed legislation, PL 17-1, that preempted federal law and the Federal government has done nothing and no attorney has stepped forward to challenge the law.

Yesterday USCIS published supporting and related materials related to Advanced Parole Procedure (dated December 16, 2009), Advanced Parole Procedures for Travel within the USA (dated December 16, 2009),   Employment Authorization CNMI (dated March 12, 2010) and Humanitarian Parole (dated December 3, 2010).

The Humanitarian Parole allows aliens who have a "compelling emergency" to enter the United States for a temporary period of time. However, it makes little sense because as stated in the USCIS provided question and answer sheet, "Parole applications are generally adjudicated within 90-120 business days from the time we receive your application."

How do the words "compelling" and "emergency" jive with a delay of 2 to 4 months for the application to be processed? Am I missing something here? In the case of a medical emergency, the patient could be dead before the humanitarian parole is approved. How is that humane?

Read the document:

The persisting problem with all advanced parole for aliens living in the CNMI is the length of time for the processing of paperwork that has to be sent off-island, in most cases.

Additionally, it has recently been reported that the people at the USCIS office in the CNMI have been  consistently impatient and rude to those seeking assistance. As a taxpayer, I expect all government employees to treat their customers and/or clients with respect and dignity. USCIS should hire employees who have the skills to be accommodating and polite to those making inquiries.



Anonymous said...

It seems that yesterday there was wages published concerning Guam,Davis Bacon, the military buildup and workers etc.
Maybe that is somehow tied to the NMI regs.Lets see if something is not forth coming before the end of the year.

Anonymous said...

The feds only care about the CNMI in so much as it relates to their military aspirations and needs. That's the case right now. Used to be they cared a bit where a challenge to their commerce was concerned. Now it's just military. It's unfortunate, but they could give a hoot about our commerce, the suffering of the businesses, or the suffering of the workers. A few care. The US government doesn't. The lack of regs at this point in time is unexcusable and makes my point.

Anonymous said...

4:13 The feds don't care about anyone in the US mainland either! The CNMI is not a special case.

Anonymous said...

Maybe USCIS is waiting for the Republicans in the House to introduce a law delegating some of that authority back to the CNMI Department of Labor.

Especially since, after 2-1/2 years of study since the CNRA was passed on May 8, 2008, they still haven't figured out how to improve on the intricate and complex CNMI Non-Resident Workers Act.

Or maybe they know that Congress acted out of political vindictiveness, with no economic study of any kind before passing Public Law 110-229, with not the slightest concern about the economic devastation that would follow. So USCIS is acting accordingly.

By 2014 there will be no more foreign national workers in the CNMI and the Commonwealth will begin its slow 20-year rebound. So in the long run it doesn't matter.

It's not your money! said...

To Anon 11:29

Howard, take a pill and go back to bed.