2010 Labor Report: More Lies

February 9, 2011

Every year, as mandated by law, the CNMI Department of Labor presents a report to the CNMI Legislature. The latest labor report, Annual Report of the Secretary of Labor Calendar Year 2010, like all of the ones that have preceded it, is a another shameless promotion of the Fitial Administration's anti-federalization agenda replete with defensive arguments for ignoring and preempting federal law, unjustified attacks on the federal government, and character assassination of a federal official.  Official reports issued by credible government agencies seldom contain trash-talk and unprofessional propaganda within their pages, but for the CNMI, it seems to be the norm.  Still, this report is especially offensive.

True to form, in the 2010 DOL Report Cinta Kaipat (or should I say ghost writer Siemer) includes undocumented and untrue statements. For example, the report states, “The federal ombudsman, Pam Brown, does not work cooperatively with the department.”

That is a disingenuous remark considering that it comes from the very department and officials who refused to share statistics and data with the federal government forcing them to conduct their own alien registration. A more accurate statement would have been, “The federal ombudsman, Pam Brown, refuses to kiss up to us, accept our lies as reality, play along with our schemes, or defend our propaganda and anti-federal agenda and policies, therefore we will repeatedly bad mouth and defame her."

In previous reports the target was federal ombudsman Jim Benedetto. It seems that no person holding that position can live up to DOL's expectations.

It's obvious that the CNMI's chief wordsmith and illustrious truth-bender, Deanne "Volunteer" Siemer authored, or at the very least, heavily edited this report. Her unmistakable tone and writing style is evident throughout. There is the no attempt to accept responsibility for DOL failures and ineptness, such as allowing the systematic and non-prosecuted theft of wages from foreign workers. In fact, the authors deny or make excuses for the fact that there are tens of thousands of foreign contract workers who are still waiting to receive compensation owed to them by their criminal-robber employers, as documented by DOL Administrative Orders. One day the Philippine, Bangladesh, Chinese and other governments who have sent their citizens to work in the CNMI, may sue CNMI DOL and the responsible law enforcement agencies for failing to enforce laws and allowing the criminal and routine theft of wages from their innocent citizens.

The pattern of unjustly blaming the federal government is a prominent and reoccurring theme in Siemer-authored reports and letters. In this report there is one especially blaring and outrageous paragraph that is nothing less than character assassination. The federal ombudsman is libelously accused of fraud in the preparation of the alien registration to determine counts for the DOI Report as mandated by PL 110-229:
In April 2010, the Department of the Interior issued its recommendations on improved status for aliens in the Commonwealth. A week after the issuance of this report, the Department prepared an extensive analysis that was one of the bases for the Governor's letter to the U.S. Secretary of Labor pointing out the serious flaws in the Interior Department's report and requesting that it be withdrawn. Part of the CNMI Labor Department's analysis showed the likelihood of fraud with respect to the federal ombudsman's registration of aliens in December 2009 in order to support the Department of the Interior's recommendations. The Commonwealth requested the underlying alien registration forms in order to follow up on the possibility of substantial fraud. When the Commonwealth pursued this request, the U.S. Department of Justice informed the Commonwealth that the federal ombudsman had destroyed all of these crucial documents and that only summaries remained. For this reason, the suspected frauds with respect to the reported data cannot easily be verified. However, the documents remaining indicate that this registration was seriously flawed in other respects (e.g. registrations were accepted by telephone; registrations were accepted from aliens who were not in the Commonwealth; lists of aliens were presented for registration with no verification). The registration by the ombudsman cannot be verified and should not be used for any purpose.
The Governor's letter was written to Secretary of Interior Salazar, and it too was obviously authored by Seimer.  It contained the same unfounded allegations that she made in statements to the press, other reports, and letters to the editor. The Secretary rejected Fitial's arguments. Documents were not "destroyed" as stated in the report. The intake information from the alien registration forms was transferred to the spreadsheets needed for the DOI Report. Spreadsheets were provided to DOL and federal agencies. The numbers from the alien registration were totally comparable to the numbers from the 2009 CNMI DOL Report.

Repeatedly, throughout the report, there are references to an anonymous person identified as “the Department”. We know that the Secretary of the CNMI Department of Labor is Gil San Nicolas; however, he has been merely an elusive figure head and well-paid secretary for years.  He is represented by Deputy Secretary Cinta Kaipat (now referred to as Acting Secretary) or the “Volunteer” who both speak on behalf of him and DOL. Who are the unidentified “Department” people who are mentioned as attending numerous meetings in Washington, DC?  From the report:
  • During 2010, the Department conducted three major meetings with U.S. Labor staff in Washington, D.C. over policy issues...
  • During 2010, the Department conducted four major meetings with DHS staff in Washington on issues such as delivery of information on illegal aliens to ICE, hiring of U.S. citizens by CBP, failure to deport illegal aliens, extending the ban on asylum in the CNMI, possible amendments to P.L. 110-229, and similar matters.”
The report also makes a failed attempt to justify employing 46 people to work at the CNMI Department of Labor. What work could 46 employees possibly have since November 2009 when the federal takeover took effect?

Although the report takes a stab at defending existing CNMI labor law, according to knowledgeable and credible attorneys, there are provisions within PL 17-1 that are preempted by federal law and need to be challenged in court.

The report touches very briefly on finances, stating that the department collected $915,000 in fines and fees, yet has a $1.6M budget. Like so many other CNMI departments, cuts will have to be made.

What should we expect from a report like this? Perhaps a response. The U.S. Departments of Interior, Labor, Homeland Security, and Justice; and USCIS and the EEOC need to respond to all of the inaccuracies attributed to these federal offices.  They also need to respond to the personal character attacks contained within this report.  For too many years the CNMI officials have pumped out untruths and propaganda, yet few federal officials have had the courage to challenge them.  Maybe in some cases ignoring propaganda, spin and outright lies is justified, but in the case of the CNMI, it seems to be an enabling act that encourages more of the same. It is time to break this unproductive and harmful pattern.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

The guest workers in the CNMI are fortunate indeed to have an advocate as determined and forceful as Pamela S. Brown.

One day the Philippine, Bangladesh, Chinese and other governments who have sent their citizens to work in the CNMI, may sue CNMI DOL and the responsible law enforcement agencies for failing to enforce laws and allowing the criminal and routine theft of wages from their innocent citizens.

Actually, this is unlikely for several reasons.

First and foremost is that a majority of the labor abusers who owe unpaid judgments are citizens of those very same countries as the victims.

Second is sovereign immunity.

Third is the “discretionary function exception” to governmental tort liability. Governments don't have unlimited resources, most obviously including the CNMI. Therefore, when they don't have enough attorneys to do this task, they are empowered to prioritize and exercise their discretion in what functions they will undertake.

It is not a wise use of CNMI public resources to chase after uncollectable debts owed by abusers who have left the islands or who are bankrupt, insolvent, or judgment-proof. If these were such strong cases or easy to collect, why didn't the private bar act to get the money? The answer is obvious. Res ipsa loquitur. (The thing speaks for itself.) Maybe David Barrett Cohen will take the case?

Fourth and finally, how would the Republic of the Philippines, Islamic Republic of Bangladesh, and People's Republic of China find any money in the CNMI or its labor officials to collect from even if they did manage to win such a legally unprecedented lawsuit? Annex the Northern Islands Monument and mine the federal 200-mile EEZ?

You are right, though, the “Department” is undoubtedly Deanne C. Siemer. And perhaps her husband, the inimitable Howard Penney Willens.

Anonymous said...

Cinta failed the bar and Siemer was disbarred. Siemer is in law textbooks as an example of how not to be a lawyer. Who really cares what the two of them have to say?

Anonymous said...

The pair of them are no good, worthless, lying sacks of sh*t

Anonymous said...

While the case of judicial sanctions against Deanne C. Siemer has been thoroughly discussed in these blogs, she was not disbarred. Check for yourself.

http://www.dcbar.org/find_a_member/index.cfm

When you type in her name, you'll see her contact details and then the following.

Membership Status: Active
Disciplinary history: No
Date of admission: June 2, 1969


Several of the commenters to this blog would be well advised to refrain from rash judgment, detraction, and calumny.