H.R. 1466 Co-Sponsors Must Explain!

August 28, 2011

I have always had utmost respect for the progressive congressional caucuses that support unifying legislation that aims to advance the principles upon which our nation was founded –principles like equality, unalienable rights, liberty, democracy and justice for all who live and work in our country.  Esteemed members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the Asian Pacific American Caucus, the Black Caucus and the Progressive Caucus have pushed for comprehensive immigration reform, universal health care and just economic policies. However, since members of these caucuses have co-sponsored H.R. 1466, my admiration for the caucuses has been replaced with disappointment and confusion. My trust in these members is gone.

It was a shattering blow to my belief system to learn that the congressional caucus members that I trusted to have the best interest of our country's foreign workers and immigrants at heart are not truly the friends of our country's foreign workers, nor are they the compassionate immigration reform heroes that they claim to be. Rather, they propose to continue the suffering, disenfranchisement and oppression of the legal, long-term foreign workers of the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). Legal, long-term foreign workers who have lived and worked in the CNMI for years and even decades, denied of political, social and economic rights as the underclass of a two-tiered society. These caucus members have shown that they do not stand above the political games that are destroying our country, but are participants in them. Such a disappointment.

It also sickens me that every co-sponsor of H.R. 1466 is a member of the Democratic Party, my party. Well, except for one lone Republican co-sponsor, Alaska's Rep. Don Young who was entrenched in the scandals of felon former lobbyist, Jack Abramoff. In fact, the CNMI's former Secretary of Labor and Immigration, Mark Zachares was convicted for his role in the scandal and was sentenced to jail time.

Rather than advancing the principles and ideals of our great nation, H.R. 1466 will take our country backwards to reflect some of the very same unjust provisions that were written in the post-Civil War Black Codes to regulate the freed slaves. These un-American, undemocratic laws restricted travel and employment and denied basic human and civil rights by prohibiting these second-class citizens from voting, serving on juries and holding government offices. These exact provisions of travel and employment restrictions and disenfranchisement are contained in H.R. 1466 to regulate legal long-term foreign resident workers. Surely, this kind of shameful status should not even be considered as a way to upgrade the status of dedicated legal long-term foreign resident workers in 2011. It has been 150 years since the Black Codes scarred the reputation of the United States.

How can the outspoken members of Congress who advocate for undocumented aliens to be provided with a pathway to citizenship, sign a bill that would deny the same status for the CNMI’s legal aliens? Every co-sponsor must answer this question!

Decisions being made in Washington will directly impact the CNMI foreign resident workers, the de facto citizens of the CNMI who make up a majority of the adult population and represent an estimated 85 to 90 percent of all workers in the private sector. Even though they were never promised a pathway to citizenship when they began their employment in the CNMI, they most certainly have earned one. Few of them suspected when they left their homelands that they would be asked to renew their contracts year, after year, after year. Their valuable skills were essential to the CNMI economy, and most were invited to stay. Over the years, they sold their property and broke all ties with their homelands.

The nonresidents are deeply rooted in the CNMI, with many having lived there 5, 10, 20 – even 30 or more years. Many of them have families and/or U.S. citizen children. They pay taxes. They perform community service and are members of churches and community organizations. They have children that serve in the U.S. Armed Forces. Yet, they remain voiceless, second-class citizens. They are waiting for responsible, ethical and moral members of Congress to introduce legislation that will provide them with permanent residency status and a pathway to citizenship.

Every member of the Asian Pacific American Caucus who co-sponsored H.R. 1466 needs to review this part of their mission statement:
"To establish policies on legislation and issues relating to persons of Asian and/or Pacific Islands ancestry who are citizens or nationals of, residents of, or immigrants to, the United States, its territories and possessions."
I assume this means positive and beneficial policies, yet H.R. 1466 will harm tens of thousands of legal, long-term, foreign resident workers in the CNMI who are  of Asian Pacific ancestry. It will harm thousands of their families members.

The members of the Asian Pacific American Caucus who signed H.R. 1466 are:
Chair Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA)
Delegate Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam)
Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI)
Rep. Michael Honda (D-CA)
Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA)
Rep. Hansen Clarke (D-MI)
Delegate Eni Faleomavaega (D-AM. Samoa)
Rep. Al Green (D-TX)
Rep. Mazie Hirono (D-HI)
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA)
Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA)
Delegate Gregorio (Kilili) Sablan (D-CNMI), the bill's author

Associate members who co-sponsored H.R. 1466 are:
Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA)
Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA)

I question how these caucus members are demonstrating sincerity and commitment to those of Asian Pacific ancestry who have lived and worked in the CNMI for years and decades. H.R. 1466 is a slap in the face to these people. If you also question their sincerity and commitment please contact them or send me a message that United Workers Movement President Rabby Syed and I will hand-deliver to their offices when we go to Washington, DC this Fall.

The members of the Black Caucus who have co-sponsored H.R. 1466 need to explain why they would even consider the revival of provisions taken from the un-American post-Civil War Black Codes.  One prominent member of the Black Caucus who co-sponsored H.R. 1466 is Rep. Charles Rangel who said:
"Full participation in government and society has been a basic right of the country symbolizing the full citizenship and equal protection of all."
Perhaps all, except the legal, long-term foreign workers of the CNMI?

The members of the Black Caucus who co-sponsored H.R. 1466 are:

Rep. Karen Bass (D-Ca)
Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA)
Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC)
Delegate Donna Christensen (D-VI)
Rep. Yvette Clark (D-NY)
Rep. William Lacey Clay, Jr. (D-MO)
Rep. Al Green (D-TX)
Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH)
Rep. Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL)
Rep. Sheila Jackson (D-TX)
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)
Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA)
Rep. Barabara Lee (D-CA)
Delegate Elanor Holmes Norton (D-Washington, DC)
Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY)

How can members of the Black Caucus who claim to stand for equality and civil rights, who have co-sponsored comprehensive immigration reform bills that would grant permanent residency status to 11 million undocumented aliens also support disenfranchisement, restriction of travel and denial of basic civil and human rights for the legal foreign workers of the CNMI? I question their sincerity and commitment to the democratic principles that they claim to uphold. If you also question their sincerity and commitment please contact them, or send me a message that United Workers Movement President Rabby Syed and I will hand-deliver to their offices when we go to Washington, DC this Fall.

The members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus who have co-sponsored H.R. 1466 must answer to the LEGAL, long-term foreign workers of the CNMI. These people lead the march for comprehensive immigration reform, they champion the DREAM ACT, and they advocate tirelessly for the undocumented aliens and their families. Is their compassion for immigrants limited to those of Hispanic ancestry or only those who are undocumented aliens living in the U.S. mainland?  One of the goals of P.L. 100-229 was to align the CNMI with the INA under one immigration policy. By co-sponsoring H.R. 1466 they have ignored this intent of the law.

On July 8, 2011 the Chair of the Hispanic Caucus, Rep. Charles Gonzalez made a statement to the advocates and supporters of immigration reform stating:
“We take solace in knowing that reestablishing the rule of law is possible through federal immigration reform. The outdated notion that more than 10 million undocumented immigrants and their families will leave or be forced out of the country is pure fantasy. We, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, remain committed to reform and supporting leaders at all levels of government who join us in that effort. One national immigration policy is what our Constitution requires and what practicality dictates.

“The American people are deeply committed to racial and ethnic equality, legal and orderly immigration, and fair and dignified treatment of immigrants. As we continue working towards fair and just immigration solutions at the federal level, your efforts to relieve suffering, address discrimination, alleviate mistreatment and erase inequality at the state and local level are deeply appreciated.”
Do the members of the Hispanic Caucus believe that there should be one national immigration policy for the undocumented aliens, but a separate unequal, undemocratic one for the legal long-term, foreign workers of the CNMI?


The members of the Hispanic Caucus who co-sponsored H.R. 1466 are:

Rep. Joe Baca (D-CA)
Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA)
Rep. Charles Gonzalez (D-TX) Chair
Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ)
Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL)
Rep. Rubén Hinojosa (D-CA)
Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM)
Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA)
Rep. Ed Pastor (D-AZ)
Delegate Pedro Pierluisi (D-PR)
Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-TX)
Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA)
Rep. Gregorio (Kilili) Sablan (D-CNMI) bill's author
Rep. José Serrano (D-NY)
Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ)
Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY)


Why is it that these caucus members propose a higher status for the estimated 11 million undocumented aliens than that which they propose for only 4,000 of the 16,000 legal, documented foreign workers of the CNMI? I question their sincerity and commitment to enact  fair immigration reform, to support racial and ethnic equality, and to provide dignity for all foreign workers and immigrants. If you also question their sincerity and commitment please contact them, or send me a message that United Workers Movement President Rabby Syed and I will hand-deliver to their offices when we go to Washington, DC this Fall.

In 2010 Rep. Gutierrez said:
"We stand here at the front door of American history. Tens of thousands of immigrants are filling America’s front yard. The very same space where the overlooked and the dispossessed have always traveled to seek redress for their claims.

What history will we make at this spot today?

At one end of America’s front yard —behind all of you— sits Abraham Lincoln. The great emancipator. In 1863, with one signature, he turned hope into victory for millions of African-American slaves. Injustice and cruelty were attacked —and defeated— by a courageous man with this weapon — a pen.

Because when Abraham Lincoln moved his pen across the Emancipation Proclamation, he moved African-Americans out of the desperate shadows of slavery and into the bright sunlight of freedom.

And 100 years later, when America had broken its promise to them, hundreds of thousands of people again came to America’s front yard — just as we do today— to demand true freedom.

On that day, another great American, Martin Luther King, had a simple message: Justice cannot wait. On this mall, in 1963, when Dr. King said justice cannot wait, he was right.

And I say it to you today. Justice for immigrants cannot wait. It cannot be delayed because of the fears of politicians.

Today, we are flipping over a new page on the calendar. Yesterday’s page was one of “fear,” and “finger-pointing” and “waiting.” We are turning to a new day that says “justice.” 

And you know what else the new immigrant calendar says?

It says, “now.”

Justice. Now.
Rep. Luis Gutierrez wrote a passionate editorial in 2009 stating:
"Every single day in America, families are being divided. Over the past year, I've traveled across the country with my colleagues conducting something called the United Families ("Familias Unidas") tour. In twenty-four cities across the country, we heard from families who were being ripped apart by the current system. We've heard stories from a father dying from cancer whose wife faced deportation. We've heard from American citizen children who are faced with choosing between their parents and a college education. 
This is a crisis. It's a crisis of human and civil rights, it's a crisis of our economy and our workforce, and it's a crisis of national security. This is why we cannot wait any longer."
Rep. Luis Gutierrez and members of the Hispanic and Asian Pacific American Caucuses also heard from the foreign workers of the CNMI and their children. In May 2009 the Congressional Hispanic Caucus invited me to participate in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Immigration Roundtable, which was held in conjunction with the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and the Progressive Caucus. (Progressive Caucus co-sponsors of H.R. 1466 include Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN), Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA), Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA), Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Pete Stark (D-CA), Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), and 24 members who are also members of the Hispanic, Black and Asian Pacific American Caucuses including the Co-Chair Rep. Raúl Grijalva.) Copies of all of the letters from the guest workers, nonresidents and their supporters were also given to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and key members of Congress.

At that meeting Rep. Luis Gutierrez gave an overview of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform plan. Other attending caucus members also spoke briefly. Rep. Honda (D-CA) spoke about how immigration issues did not just impact Hispanics, but also Asians and other ethnic groups. All of the speakers were  passionate and on fire with this issue. Rep. Joe Baca (D-CA) and Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) made clear their determination in passing this bill this year. Rep. Velazquez said that they contact the White House every week concerning this issue. Every one of these House members co-sponsored H.R. 1466! Such a betrayal!

The central message of the meeting was that members must not attach isolated reform measures to bills that would address only one issue in a piece meal fashion. Rather, there was a need to pass comprehensive immigration reform that embraces all immigration issues including the DREAM Act, visa issues and even green cards for the legal, long-term foreign resident workers of the CNMI. So why is H.R. 1466 even being considered by these people? Why have they isolated the CNMI to grant the legal, long-term foreign workers a state of disenfranchisement or nothing at all, while pushing for permanent residency for the undocumented aliens?

I am utterly confused and disillusioned by their unjust and undemocratic stand regarding the legal, long-term foreign workers of the CNMI, and astonished by their inconsistency regarding immigration reform. Do the members of the Congressional Hispanic, Asian Pacific American, Black and Progressive Caucuses that co-sponsored H.R. 1466 carry two versions of justice and have two separate and unequal visions of what immigration reform should represent? If we cannot trust these members of the U.S. Congress is there anyone we can trust? Is there any hope for justice and reform? They must answer to the legal, long-term foreign resident workers of the CNMI!

A link to previous posts on H.R. 1466 
A link to my written testimony on this bill submitted on July 14, 2011

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

someone or all of us here should lecture these people, except kilili & bordallo, who knew eversice but playing blind

Anonymous said...

Ironic isn't it? Hispanic Caucus - Black Caucus - Asian Caucus. These groups are inherently racist and unconstitutional. You tout Civil War Black Codes yet you support these blatantly racist organizations. What if there were a White Caucus? You see as an American I find it backwards that if you are not a Hispanic, Black or Asian you can't join. Until you rightfully call these groups themselves unamerican you shouldn't criticize any of your cohorts.

Wendy Doromal said...

Anonymous 1:14

Where to begin? First off all of these caucuses are constitutional and do a great service representing under-represented minorities. None are racist. While I disapprove STRONGLY against H.R. 1466, an unjust and undemocratic bill, I am not convinced that the co-sponsors actually know what damage they could cause by signing this bill. Few people understand the issues of the foreign workers, the history and their enduring service to the CNMI despite oppression and unjust treatment. I tend to think that the co-sponsors were ignorant of the entire issue when they co-sponsored this bill. Let's hear their reasons and challenge them! But please, don't call them racist or their caucuses unconstitutional. And if you investigate you will see that "white" members of Congress are associates in some caucuses.

I guess you would deem the CNMI's indigenous groups also unconstitutional?

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a post! Revealing. Now or never. We must move! I urge every alien worker to contact these traitors! Why if we're legal we get nothing and if we are illegal in mainland we get the prize. OMG!

Anonymous said...

gimme, gimme, gimme........if you were a contract worker, a non immigrant status not someone intending on making this there permanent home whihc would be an immigrant. If you didn't get all the wages rightfully yours and the company is still around by all means sue to get what is yours. If your job has ended and you are not working here what makes you so arrogant to say I want to stay and you should allow me to?

Again if you are working here you will have an opportunity to continue working under a CW visa and if you are involved in the type of work that the U.S. needs then you will be able to find a qualified immigrant or non immigrant visa under the INA by 2015. If not then your time in the U.S. has come to an end. No one promised anything different so this should not be a suprise to anyone......... unforunate for those who wish it otherwise perhaps but actually wrong and unfair, no not if there was never any promise of those entering the CNMI as contract workers a transition to official permenant residents. If any such official promise was made by the CNMI pre federalization or by the U.S. Government post federalization then let's see it..........

Anonymous said...

Gimme? PLEAZ!! Illegals deserve status MORE than legsls. A hole 7:44

Anonymous said...

to quoute you "Gimme? PLEAZ!! Illegals deserve status MORE than legsls. A hole" 7:44

That was not a unique nor refreshing comment. It certainly did not make a case for any position you might believe in.

Make a cognizant argument based in facts and law not in emotion..... deserve more based on what??? Show me in law where they are authorized to be accorded something they are not being given. If it isn't there then by all means advocate for it but do not demand it because they are not owed anything beyond what was origninally afforded them...

Anonymous said...

9:02

What legal basis do illegal aliens have to get green cards?

Green Cards for All! said...

Ipse dixit.

Anonymous said...

Tic...toc...tic...toc....Kilili better arrange for preposition ships for repatriating those non-residents who would be illegas or out-of-status by 11/28/2011. By virtue of CNMI umbrella permit, the holders, are responsible for the airfares. If these people do not have money to buy air tickets then the feds need to gather them up and schedule voluntary repatriation. How much money would the feds need? Start calculating now to lessen the work.

TAGLISH said...

Anonymous 10:25

Ha! toc…toc yourself! CWs are very much aware of 11/28/11. So be prepared! When that day comes, our homeland like Phils., China, HK, Thailand, Korea, Nepal, India, Bangladesh,and Japan will welcome us with open arms. We'll leave CNMI with stories to tell about CNMI. From your human rights violations, injustices and cruelty, each of us has a lot more to say about your CNMI. So be ready when 11/28/11 comes and be ready to live in a ghost-town-like CNMI! Mind you, I just can’t wait to see this on international news!

Anonymous said...

Go ahead and tell your stories of human rights violations in the Philippines, China and Bangladesh. Huh? Did I miss something?

Wendy Doromal said...

Anonymous 7:44 and 9:02:

I agree with the comment made by 10:09, which the critics of the CNMI LEGAL, foreign workers avoid. There is NO legal basis to grant permanent residency to ANYONE -legal or illegal- until Congress creates it! They have the power to help the legal foreign workers of the NMI as much as they have the power to help the illegal aliens of the mainland. They should help both groups. They should not provide for undocumented aliens what they will not provide for legal aliens! If these co-sponsors (including Congressman Sablan) can co-sponsor legislation for the DREAM ACT and comprehensive immigration reform for undocumented aliens that provides for green cards with a pathway to citizenship, then they must do right by the LEGAL, long-term CNMI foreign workers and provide the same outright! Over the years the U.S. granted amnesty or green cards to many who were never "promised" they would receive them. But seriously, look at history and there is no group of LEGAL foreign workers is more deserving of permanent residency than the legal, long-term foreign workers of the CNMI. They've been abused and discriminated against for decades, yet they continued to offer their skills and services to the haters and many employers who stole wages from them or otherwise ripped them off.

Anonymous 10:25

You do not deserve the skilled services of the foreign workers. tic, toc yourself. When the skilled workers leave, as is your hope, then the CNMI can just hang up a "closed" sign. Look at the old posts and you will see that I argued that umbrella permits were bad because there were evil provision that let the employers off of their contractual responsibilities including repatriating the workers that they brought to the CNMI. Slick huh? Screw them once more and have them pay their own fare from their crappy wages. Or better yet, as the CNMI always does, manipulate it so the US taxpayers pay, right? Take some time now to go search for your moral compass -good luck.

Wendy Doromal said...

Anonymous 4:42 Seriously? The U.S. has the same human rights reputation as the countries that the foreign workers in the CNMI left in search of a better life? I am not talking about the Philippines, China or Bangladesh. I am talking about my country, the United States. I am talking about the failure of the elected leaders to do right by the legal, long-term foreign workers.

Anonymous said...

4:42 Yes you missed something alright. You missed she's talking about the United States of America! You missed reps who call themself human rights supporters are hypocrites! You missed reps who got elected coz they have hearts really don’t! You missed reps of the USCongress would give illegals something they won’t give legal OCWs! You missed the reps in this article have one justice for the NMI and one justice for the mainland! You missed the OCWs left there countries seeking a better life in the United States of America and were treated like animals! You missed noone in the NMI cared about the bad treatment coz they watched it and laughed! You missed these reps don’t care about the OCWs bad treatment too! You missed noone makes cheater employers pay, but just punish the OCWs! You missed the OCWs never got the lost wages they got cheated of! You missed there's a great wrong in this bill! You missed the people who could help the OCWs turned there backs on them! You missed the U.S and CNMI has got no heart or soul! You missed leaders can't be trusted! You missed there aren't no reps to stand up for OCWs! You missed the OCWs are treated as second class by NMI and USA! You missed if there’s no hope for the OCWS than there’s no hope for the NMI!

Anonymous said...

Kilili is playing God. He's got an adrenilin high from all that power. He holds our future in his hands. He picks 4,000 of us to be saved and casts aside 12,000 of us even if we worked longer in NMI! POWER CORRUPTS! What does the real God thinks of this?

Anonymous said...

Bureaucrats shield one another. The poor people side with the poor people.Now only human right groups stand by what is right.

Anonymous said...

There should be a move called Kilili's List. How Sablan saved 4,000 Filipinos from being shipped off to work camps in Manila.

To 10:25

Why would your countries accept you back with "open arms" when you would so easily cast aside your citizenship and your country.

Wendy Doromal said...

Anonymous 10:32

A movie? Call it "Stepping Back to a Shameful Time", the story about heartless House members who threw 12,000 LEGAL DOCUMENTED FOREIGN WORKERS under the bus and granted 4,000 a status that echoes the post-Civil War Black Codes.

It's amazing that you think people who have lived more of their adult years on U.S. soil than they have in their homelands wouldn't want to be U.S. citizens! Becoming a U.S. citizen does not mean you reject your heritage or cast aside your country.

Anonymous said...

At no time has anyone promised anything to anyone. To come to this country and know that you are here on a temporary basis while remitting a majority of your earnings back to your family our foreign workers knew this was not intended to be forever. Wanting it to be may be a worthy goal but it doesn't change facts. There are many workers in the U.S. who have given as much if not more, they didn't have the opportunity to travel back and forth to visit the families they left behind like GW here could do, who could claim the same outrage as the ones here do. I know you will say that the GW here were legal and yes they were, legal temporary workers under the old system. Most advocated for Federalization perhaps without understanding that there is no status as a non immigrant or immigrant under federal immigration law, for housekeepers, waitresses, handyman and other occupations held by GW. Those GW who occupy jobs that have federal immigration status available to them should be applying for them and in fact if they have one available will not be eligbile for the CW non immigrant visa. The CW visa will go away in a couple years as the CNMI weans itself off of the need for GW. That is the intent of the CNRA which was heralded with great fanfare by GW and their advocates.........

Anonymous said...

to 12:44 answer:
Were the illegals in US promised anything? Were people who came to US on boats promised anything? What right do you have to decide where people spend their money? Why is it ok if legal workers get no status but illegals get status? Why do you talk in circles? Is it coz you have no arguments? Yes, OCws will leave the CNMI a ghost town. Who will you hate then?

Anonymous said...

Hear, hear, 12:44!

"De facto citizen"? HA!

Some of these comments are comedic gold!

Anyone seeing me chortling poolside with my laptop would surely ask what was so funny.

Of course, it is sad, too, but all so predictable. People are wishing they could have had Cinta's paid vacations back home, forestalled forever by federalization.

It is better to count one's blessings and light a candle than to curse the darkness. Make hay while the sun shines.

Make sure your kids speak your native tongue!

Anonymous said...

President Obama's Uncle may be deported soon. No one is safe!

California said...

This is shocking. I can't believe I voted for one of these guys. Who can we trust or believe? I may actually sit out this next election. I am appalled.

Anonymous said...

Noni 2:24 PM

Nothing is comedic here. I hope your laptop falls in the pool you insensitive clown.

Anonymous said...

The significance of esteemed members of Congress signing this piece of trash is that it exposes the Democrats as political jokers. No matter what else they do, the signers names will be tied to this horrible bill. In the end it will define them. Look at history. You can do a million great things, but trip up once and that's what people will remember you for. What I don't get is why they're risking their names to support this. Did they even read it?

Anonymous said...

Say "No!" to apartheid, say "No!"

Anonymous said...

I didn't get the apartheid connection until Wendy explained the legal definition here: http://unheardnomore.blogspot.com/2011/04/some-thoughts-on-status.html

She said, "The crime of apartheid as defined by international law includes in part this statement: "Any legislative measures and other measures calculated to prevent a racial group or groups from participation in the political, social, economic and cultural life of the country and the deliberate creation of conditions preventing the full development of such a group or groups." If the shoe fits....

Green Cards for All! said...

At issue here is not ethnicity, but the right to immigrate. [The guest workers are unquestionably in the CNMI as legal non-immigrants.]

In a perfect world, anyone could move wherever they pleased, without any control whatsoever.

That utopia has not arrived, and given the highly limited and declining resources available in the CNMI, the Commonwealth is an extraordinarily poor location for such an experimental mass immigration status grant.

Hence the backlash against Kilili's bill.

Wendy Doromal said...

Green Cards for All:

If the CNMI needs 16,000 foreign workers, then it needs them. The issue is whether people should be treated as a perpetual underclass or at some point be given status. 16,000 legal foreign resident workers (people) use the same resources whether they are slaves, indentured servants, disenfranchised or franchised! 16,000 FREED foreign workers (those granted permanent residency) would be free to travel and move to where jobs and opportunities are.

The backlash against Kilili's bill is from people who oppose discrimination; oppose injustice; oppose two standards for immigration -one that proposes green cards for 11 million undocumented aliens and one that keeps 16,000 as a disenfranchised underclass in a two-teired society; oppose protection only 4,000 of the 16,000, for only those with a U.S. citizen spouse or child excluding classes of workers who may have worked longer in the CNMI than some of those included people -gays, single people, foreign resident workers married to a foreign spouse who are childless or whose children are also foreign, etc. The bill is a throw back to post-Civil War times and mirrors the Black Codes. Read them!