April 10, 2011

The USCIS told the Marianas Variety that issuing regulations is a priority. It may be, but they certainly are taking their time. Perhaps because Governor Fitial sued the U.S. government and Department of Homeland Security to maintain control of local immigration, the DHS wants to make certain that the regulations are  "perfect."

William Wright, deputy press secretary of USCIS sent an email to the Marianas Variety stating:
“Implementing the Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008, which extended most provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act and other federal immigration laws to the CNMI for the first time, is an agency priority for USCIS.” 
The clock is ticking...

Another priority for some CNMI Senators appears to be contacting potential investors for a private casino on Tinian by taking a junket to Tianjin, China.

Among the junketeers are the same three Senators that went to Washington, DC on a junket in February: Senate President Paul A. Manglona (Ind.-Rota), Senate Vice President Jude U. Hofschneider (R-Tinian), and Senator Frank Q. Cruz (R-Tinian). Also, taking the trip is Senator Henry H. San Nicolas (Covenant-Tinian).

The four Senators' junket will mean that all of the Senate's regular sessions will cease until they return. Their message? Unnecessary junkets are a priority over legislative business like identifying revenue for the empty coffers.


Anonymous said...

Who's paying for the junket?

the teacher said...

I suspect USCIS priorities have changed since the federalization bill was first passed. The world economic crisis and that affect on immigration along with the last US election have not encouraged workers or their advocates to look forward to new regs. Other countries are tightening them along the same lines, allowing the brightest, the wealthy, and the paying students. The longterm effect of the industrialized countries sending workers home coupled with overpopulation in the third world means starvation and revolution in the impoverished countries.

England just toughened the rules and Democrats in the US are staying away from immigration reform support due to high unemployment in their own districts.

The UK and the US seem to be in the same direction on this issue. 5million Euros for a GB investor visa and they are limited to 1k per year...oooch...not good news for immigrant labour. Notable changes in the UK Points-Based Visa System from April 2011:

TIER 1 (Desirable Migrants)
· Only for investors, entrepreneurs and exceptional talents
· Fast-track system for foreigners investing over £5 million in the UK
· Limited to 1,000 migrants per year

TIER 2 (General Work Permit)
· Only for skilled and highly skilled workers, and graduates
· Minimum salary requirement of £40,000 per annum
· Priority given to workers under the scarcity of skills list
· Limited to 20,700 migrants per year

TIER 4 (Student Visa)
· Further limitations on paid working hours
· Stronger limitations on dependents
· Stricter English-language requirements
· Post-study work visa scrapped

Anonymous said...

The USCIS CW transitional visa regs were flawed when they originally came out. They did not include prevailing wages and there were no real teeth to the certification that no U.S. workers were available.

The CNMI Government and the Saipan Chamber of Commerce are pushing for business as usual and the guest workers are pushing for status. The unemployed U.S. citizens are not vocal and seem content with U.S. goverment handouts.

I personally don't expect any changes in the CNMI system for years to come.

Anonymous said...


The Governor sued to keep the workers and the system. He claimed that the CNMI's economy would be destroyed if the workers were all phased out by 2014. (Read the lawsuit on the sidebar here.) The CNMI does not have enough residents to fill every job and the DHS has to make the regs so that they will suit the CNMI's needs.

"England just toughened the rules and Democrats in the US are staying away from immigration reform support due to high unemployment in their own districts."

No, Democrats are staying away because they don't have the votes in the house. Regardless of unemployment figures no one is signing up to work in the fields.

Anonymous said...

The DHS doesn't have to do anything. They regulations are to appease CNMI public and private sector employers. Guam doesn't have enough workers so they use H visas. Most resort destinations in the United States don't have enough workers so they use temporary H-visas or work study J-visa. Temporary visas allow for real job vacancies and don't lead to a situation where you have workers developing 20 years of roots with no prospect of status.

The CNMI government and private businesses don't want to train new workers nor do they want to pay prevailing wages. I expect the CW regulations will likely be a continued exploitation of workers. They are nothing to look forward to for guest workers or unemployed U.S. workers.

Anonymous said...

Most resort destinations in the United States are seasonal. The CNMI is not.

Anonymous said...

The CNMI weather is the same every day, however Japanese and Korean travelers do not come to the CNMI at the same frequency all year. Occupancy falls below 50% for the exact same months every year.

If the CNMI tourism industry actually recruited and paid a decent wage, they would find more than enough workers on island.

Dining Room Supervisors, Front Desk Personnel, Room Supervisors
Concierge, Drivers, Reservationists, Housekeeping, Supervisors, Cooks, Hosts, Bussers
Supervisors, Bartenders, and Servers can all be hired locally.

I was at the Saipan Grand Hotel recently and a cashier was telling me about her Hotel and Restaurant Management degree. In the mainland there is only one person in the entire hotel with that type of degree, and they run the hotel. You can hire a high school graduate to be a cashier. As a business owner, if the HRM grad is willing to accept minimum wage, why hire a high school grad that you will have to train, and they may not take the job as seriously as the older adult.