Statement of United Workers Movement for Saipan Senate Hearing

February 23, 2011

Statement of the United Workers Movement for the Saipan Senate Hearing:


the teacher said...

I would never sign that petition, as it is asking for a green card and citizenship for every foreign national in the Commonwealth, which was not the intent of federalization.

This is asking for citizenship based on I came here, as a tourist or not, as a worker or not, opened my own business without major investment, flooded the NMI with more workers for my illegal operation, and now ask for citizenship for every person that flew here and decided to stay based on "Governor Fitial's umbrella permit made me legal".

The US Congress will never support such a scam, as the ruling House party doesn't even support citizenship for anchor babies. Our distinguished Delagate would never support this, and if he did he would never be elected again. I would bet a vote wouldn't find 300 citizens in the entire CNMI who would vote for this, in fact, it would probably alienate the handful of sympathetic supporters we have now.

Wendy said...

Hi Ron,

I think you may misunderstand. It's not a petition -it's the testimony of the UWM. I know why they added that. (read the original testimony that follows) They are asking for green cards and a direct path (the path every eligible person takes) to citizenship for long-term foreign workers of 5 or more years and 300-500 hundred long-term foreign investors, many who came to the CNMI in the 1980s with their families to open small and successful businesses that don't fall in the category to apply for the CNMI investor visa. Actually, Rabby spoke to officials about this. They did not realize that these people would be left out. It is a small number. Tourists do not qualify at all. Nonresidents that are unemployed will likely not qualify. That is why officials keep telling nonresidents to find a job and why so many workers cling to jobs even if they are being cheated or abused.

There is a lot of misinformation circulating. There have been certain worker leaders telling people that the umbrella permits can be extended. I asked federal officials. They absolutely cannot -not by the CNMI, not by USCIS. It would take an act of Congress to do amend the CNRA! If the Congress is going to act, they will likely act on status.

Wendy said...

Ron -forgot to say hello to the family! :)

Anonymous said...

Another point is that those people that could fall through the cracks met all of the CNMI investor requirements, and paid taxes for decades. They aren't tourists. What will happen if they all leave at once? There goes another huge source of revenue, not to mention the investors and their families will lose everything.I have to agree that the U.S. should take a look at this category that was overlooked.

Anonymous said...

There should be a 10 year minimum of establishment for the grandfathering of businesses that don't meet US minimum investment rules. These people legally invested their life savings into these small business. Unity Trade for example, has been around since the late 70s or early 80s. No way should they be forced to lose all they have. They've invested a lot more than money in this community. They are part of this community. There are a bunch of other businesses in similar circumstances.

The newer "small" businesses, and the "businesses" that don't have physical facilities, should go however.

Anonymous said...

But how do you distinguish between the legitimate businesses and those that abused or failed to pay their workers, or that were fronts for sponsorship and "employment" of relatives?

Isn't that one of the main reasons we had the Unity March and federalization in the first place?

Now they are to be beneficiaries of their wrongdoing?

I don't buy it, and neither did the U.S. Congress when enacting Public Law 110-229.

Anonymous said...

Teacher and anonymous: What if you were a "CNMI investor" lured to open a business in CNMI say 10-25 years ago. You take out loans and 55 year land lease. You don't know that the laws will change and you can lose everything.Why is it okay for the US to treat foreigners that way? If there are scam businesses or illegal ones, of course, close them down. But this is speaking to LEGITIMATE LICENSED foreign businesses.