CNMI Senate Report to U.S. Congress is Finalized

March 3, 2011


















The verdict is in on the revised Senate Report and there was not much change from the draft Senate report that caused much controversy in the community. Both reports offered unacceptable proposals for status for nonresidents workers. The CNMI Senate will recommend FAS-type status for the legal, long-term workers in the report that will be submitted to the U.S. Congress in March.

Any status that disenfranchises a major segment of a society is an unacceptable proposal. I doubt that the members of the U.S. Congress will approve a status that is un-American and un-Democratic and takes a step backwards in our nation's progress towards equality and justice. I agree with Tina Sablan that it was regretful that such a suggestion was even included in the DOI Report.

The way I look at it is if the CNMI truly needs and wants nonresidents to work, treat them as equals and view them as future citizens and not as replaceable commodities. Otherwise, learn to do their jobs and live without them.  As a U.S. citizen I will never support perpetuating a two-tiered society of the privileged and unprivileged, franchised and disenfranchised, and represented and not represented. It perpetuates injustices, chronic abuses and racially motivated problems.

Some nonresident workers are currently seeking jobs in places that offer a stable future and permanent residency with full social and political rights such as Canada, New Zealand and Australia -places where laws are enforced, employers are made to pay fair wages and they can expect to be treated will respect. More will follow if they know that they will never stand a chance to be accepted as equals in the community that they have served for years and decades.

The Saipan Tribune reports that three members of the CNMI Senate, President Paul Manglona (Ind-Rota),  Vice-President Jude Hofschneider, and Senator Ralph Torres (R-Saipan) will hand deliver the report to the U.S Congress in March. The paper reports:

They will also meet with other federal agency officials and staff on the impact of the federalization law or PL 110-229 on the CNMI, capital improvement project funding, other federal grants, public health initiatives and programs applicable to the CNMI, and transportation, among other things.
I think that such a trip is an irresponsible waste of money, especially considering that the governor just completed his expensive jaunt there with two other government employees and his wife. The governor was in Washington, DC last week begging for money from U.S. taxpayers, and now these Senators will also be asking for federal funds. If the CNMI government has the funds for expensive trips to Washington DC, then does the government really need to ask for more money from U.S. taxpayers? When will the CNMI Legislature start looking for their own sources of revenue?  Federal money is scarce.

Instead of spending tens of thousands to travel to Washington, DC, the legislators should contact Congressman Gregorio Kilili Sablan and ask him to address their issues.  There is absolutely no justification for such a trip.

I will be going to Washington, DC also. I will be bringing testimonies and statements from the nonresident workers and their supporters that support green cards and a direct pathway to citizenship for all legal, nonresident workers who have worked in the CNMI five or more years. Anyone who still would like to submit a statement may email it to me at doromal@earthlink.net.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wendy said . . .

Instead of spending tens of thousands to travel to Washington, DC, the legislators should contact Congressman Gregorio Kilili Sablan and ask him to address their issues. There is absolutely no justification for such a trip.

I will be going to Washington, DC also. I will be bringing testimonies and statements from the nonresident workers and their supporters that support green cards and a direct pathway to citizenship for all legal, nonresident workers who have worked in the CNMI five or more years.


Sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander?

Wendy said...

Anonymous 5:55 Are you serious? I spent MY money when I travel for human rights work. NOT government funds, and not taxpayer dollars. There is a BIG difference!

Anonymous said...

So why don't you “contact Congressman Gregorio Kilili Sablan and ask him to address [your] issues”?

The point is, sometimes there is no substitute for being there, regardless of who's paying the bills. You know it, Fitial knows it, the CNMI legislative leadership knows it.

If it's reasonable to spend your money on the workers' behalf, it's reasonable to spend the CNMI's money on behalf of the CNMI economy and its people.

Love Fitial or hate him, agree or disagree with his policies, there is no gainsaying that he (and you) do real work when you go to Washington. Neither of you is going there as a tourist. You are all doing your best -- effectively or ineffectively -- to get something done by meeting with officials in the executive and legislative branches of our federal government, including our outstanding Congressman.

Washington is our capital. It is easy for “minor” issues or geographic locations to get lost in the shuffle. Hence the need for personal face time. Is the CNMI disentitled to such access because of its geographical remoteness or the high airfares caused by lack of competition?

Exempt Guam and the CNMI from aviation anti-cabotage laws now!

Anonymous said...

per Stribune, Syed quoated-“We brought this to the attention of the senators. If there's additional five years to wait, what will happen to foreign workers after November 2011 when the umbrella permits expire? We appreciate the senators' efforts,” Syed told Saipan Tribune.

Syed, however, said that the United Workers Movement-NMI will continue to push for citizenship or pathway to citizenship.

He said the Senate proposal as it stands does not allow nonresident workers who may be granted FAS-like status an opportunity to apply for federal benefits such as Medicaid and housing."
>>>Rabby, you never mentioned during the hearing the removal of waiting period. So don't say WE.
As you were quoted "FAS like status will not allow an opportunity to apply for federal benefits" Is this the main reason why you like outright citizenship? Just to have those benefits & be additional burden to U.S. taxpayers? I always read it here "Think what you can do for your country and not what your country can do for you!"...
I suggest, before you go to reporters, think first what you will say. People here might think that's the hidden agenda of LTGW for requesting permanent residency or citizenship. And I think you are aware that though one is a green card holder, that will not allow him/her to apply for assistance yet until such time s/he becomes full plegde citizen.
That's the main reason why sometimes I agree with "teacher" that not all deserve an improved status.

Anonymous said...

noni 5:55am,

if Wendy wants to eat lobster and steak every morning that she pays for would you be alright with the Senators using tax payer dollars to also buy lobster and steak breakfasts for themselves?

unbelievable stupidity!

Anonymous said...

anon 8:43am-I agree with you!

Wendy said...

I can't afford steak or lobster and I usually take the 4:00am flight and leave DC at 7:00pm so I don't have to pay for a hotel. I suppose 8:43 is correct, if I wanted to eat steak and lobster it would really be no one's concern because I am not an elected official and I am not spending tax payers' dollars. It just seems really stupid to beg for money constantly from the federal government, yet six people had their trips funded to Washington, Dc within a month. I thought Fitial was paying Howard Willens, Seimer and Knight to do his lobbying in DC.

Anonymous said...

The way I see it, Wendy did okay in Washington. She worked to get federalization passed and it passed! I'm betting my money on her with status too. May take some time, but it will happen. MORE POWER!

Anonymous said...

8:41 You were not at Tinian and Saipan hearings.Its about being full US citizen not a half FAS citizen. Its more about rights than the benefits.WE is UWM and petition signers.You wnat to know what Rabby said read the testimony.Reporters don't print all that is said.

Anonymous said...

Thanks you M'am Wendy for going to Washington for us! GOOD LUCK!

Green Cards for All! said...

Beggars can't be choosers.

Anonymous said...

Has there been any money from Stayman's office spent on Wendy's trips - lobbying efforts? How does Wendy get to sit in on these meetings anyway?

Wendy said...

Anonymous 12:14 When I say I fund every bit of my advocacy efforts I mean everything: phone calls, travel including airfare, taxis, hotels, food; postage; office supplies, time spent researching and writing reports, testimony and this blog; copying, etc. I sit in on any meeting that I prearrange with officials, on meetings that I am invited to attend, and on public hearings. What's your trip?

Anonymous said...

There are no beggars.

the teacher said...

The highly compensated anti-federalization lobby team was smeared by the supporters of federalization from a marketing strategy and media standpoint. The losers also lost credibility in future endeavors and limped away with stained reputations absent honor.

You can now pay'em all you want but no one will ever believe them.

Green Cards for All! said...

That's right, there are no beggars.

The CNMI DEMANDS the promised funding due under Covenant § 701.

And the abused guest workers DEMAND reparations for the failure of federal and CNMI governments to ensure they were properly paid. Green Cards and a pathway to citizenship are the least that is owed, plus free transportation home to those remaining against their will.

Anonymous said...

No wonder so much crime in the NMI. Too many AGO employees posting on blogs.

Wendy said...

leavin' on a jet plane

Who are you? A CNMI official guessing by your URL. Stop pretending to be a nonresident worker. I am not posting your comment!

Anonymous said...

Is there any updates for those workers who has less than 10yrs? What status are waiting for them?

Wendy said...

Anonymous 3:13

There has been no decision made on status for the legal, long-term nonresidents workers because ONLY the U.S. Congress will make the decision and it has not acted. The Republicans have control of the House and have made it clear that they have a political agenda. Some are obstructionists and fools that do not care about the American people, or any serious issues. They only care about pushing their political agenda. So it is unlikely that the Congress with act on this anytime soon. I do not expect 10 years to be anywhere in the language. It is not in the INA or in the DOI recommendation, and the vast majority of the voices from the CNMI supported green cards and a pathway to citizenship for legal, long-term workers who worked in the CNMI FIVE years or longer.