Some Leaders' Views on the Final CNMI Transitional Worker Classification

September 9, 2011

I am confused with the takes of some CNMI leaders regarding the very predictable CW Final Rule.

The final rule prohibits individuals from hiring domestic helpers or "caregivers". It reads:
While the rule does not prohibit domestic workers from obtaining CW status, for their protection and for the legitimacy of the petition process, the rule reasonably requires that domestic workers be channeled through an established, legitimate business operation.
Governor Fitial stated a proposed scheme where those individual employers of domestic helpers or caregivers could be licensed as a business to circumvent the final rule. From the Marianas Variety:
Because the regulation still does not allow individual residents to hire caregivers, Fitial said he would have to issue an executive order permitting those who are in dire need of such service to apply for a CNMI business license as sole proprietor so they can hire an alien for that purpose. 
He said the new regulation still allow only these businesses to hire aliens as caregivers.
“My special legal counsel met with USCIS in Washington on Tuesday on this issue and other details of how the regulations will work. I have decided that I will soon issue an executive order permitting individuals to apply for a CNMI business license as a sole proprietor,” he said adding that this is permitted under CNMI law. 
“I think it is the best way to accommodate our need for caregivers,” the governor said.
If that is the case can any person get a CNMI business license to hire an unemployed foreign worker as a "caregiver", private chauffeur, butler, chamber maid or in any other capacity? I am certain that the rule did not intend this.

On the other hand, Congressman Gregorio (Kilili) Sablan's September 7, 2011 press release expressed "disappointment with transitional worker regulations because they do not help U.S. citizens who need jobs."

The press release continues:
“I am heartbroken thinking of people who need jobs to support their families. Yet they will continue to face competition for the few jobs we have from nonresidents who are often willing to work for less,” Sablan said.

“I recognize that there is a need for U.S. citizen workers to be trained in the skills our businesses need; and I will continue to advocate for that training. But I cannot believe that the Department of Homeland Security would suggest that there is no need for a coherent program to implement the phase-out in the number of foreign workers in the Northern Marianas.

“The Consolidated Natural Resources Act mandates a reduction in our reliance on foreign workers and mandates a federal effort to fill the labor force with local workers. I am committed to this and will continue to fight to ensure that this ultimate goal is achieved,” Sablan added.
Several points should be made.  Final rule or not, every qualified U.S. citizen in the CNMI has always had preference over foreign workers in the CNMI according to past and existing CNMI labor law.  U.S. citizens in the CNMI could have filled the jobs that the foreign workers hold if the applicants qualified and had the training or skills needed to perform the jobs.

The final rule itself states that employers must consider all available U.S. workers for a position before hiring a foreign worker. Additionally, U.S. citizens have an advantage because hiring a U.S. citizen costs employers nothing in permits and fees, but hiring foreign workers require employers to pay fees including a $325 application fee and a $150 education fee.  Furthermore, the education fee is to support education and training programs for U.S. citizens so they can eventual have the training and skills needed to replace the foreign workers.

As for nonresidents willing to work for less, we should look at who created the ridiculously low private sector wages and fought to keep minimum wage from increasing. Greedy business owners and politicians supported the laws that brought the foreign workers to the CNMI to make the citizens a minority in their land.  They pushed for cheap foreign labor to fill their pockets, not caring that the private sector was made up of 80 to 90% foreign workers or the impact it would have.

The garment industry that was supposed to provide the "economic miracle" was built on a quicksand of cheap foreign labor, low wages and abusive treatment. This industry and these jobs were not created or intended for U.S. citizens who would not tolerate the conditions or the wages. The garment industry set the low standards for all private industry in the CNMI - low wages, poor treatment.  A private sector which offers only meager wages, poor treatment, and one in which employers are allowed to violate labor laws with no consequences does not attract U.S. citizen workers.  Until there is enforcement of local and federal labor laws and an adequate minimum wage, rule or no rule, U.S. citizens will not want to fill private sector jobs.

Through the work of Congressman George Miller and other reformists a minimum wage law was passed that would increase the CNMI's pathetically low minimum wage by $ .50 annually until it reached the U.S. minimum wage.  In 2010 Congressman Sablan supported HANMI and the Saipan Chamber of Commerce's push to bypass minimum wage increases.  He introduced an amendment to the minimum wage law that successfully blocked the CNMI's annual $. 50 increase for 2011, keeping the minimum wage at $5.05 an hour until another increase in 2012. It doesn't make sense to fight to keep the minimum wage low, while at the same time complaining that nonresidents are the only ones willing to work for the crappy wages that are no where close to a living wage even for them. (“I am heartbroken thinking of people who need jobs to support their families. Yet they will continue to face competition for the few jobs we have from nonresidents who are often willing to work for less,” Sablan said.)

Sablan said:
The regulations were expected to implement the phase-out, while still assuring enough nonresident workers to keep the economy going. Instead, the regulations permit 22,417 foreign workers, even though the Department of the Interior estimated in 2009 that there were only 16,258 foreign workers in the CNMI.

“It is difficult to interpret permits for an additional 6,159 workers as a phase-out,” said Sablan.

“There is nothing in these regulations to encourage businesses to begin replacing nonresident workers with U.S. citizens, which should really be the goal.”

Sablan said he would continue to encourage the Department of Homeland Security and local businesses to work together to reduce dependence on foreign workers.
The figure of 22, 417 was not pulled from thin air. In July 2008 Governor Fitial wrote a letter to DHS officials Richard C. Barth, Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Stewart A. Baker, Assistant Secretary for Policy, Office of Policy stating:
...the Commonwealth is aware of the broad discretion given your Department by Congress in issuing permits to employers under the so-called CNMI Only Transitional Worker Program. The Commonwealth's limited population of United States citizens (about 30,000) has developed a substantial economy over the years only by enlarging its local workforce to include foreign national workers from many Asian countries, in particular China and the Philippines. The Commonwealth is currently enforcing the cap on foreign workers in the CNMI imposed by Public Law 110-229 effective as of its enactment on May 8, 2008. We have determined that 22,417 aliens were lawfully present in the CNMI who were entitled to work under various provisions of CNMI law. 
The new law requires that all foreign national workers in the CNMI be repatriated or deported by the end of the transition period on December 31, 2014, unless they can qualify under federal immigration law (principally the H visa programs)that would enable them to continue to work in the Commonwealth. (The Secretary of Labor has the authority to extend this transition period based on consideration of factors set forth in the law.) We estimate that a very small percentage of these 22,417 foreign workers (certainly no higher than 10% and probably much smaller) will be able to qualify under generally applicable federal rules to remain in the CNMI. Accordingly, the Department has the assignment under the law to establish the pace at which the vast majority of our foreign workers will be subject to repatriation (or deportation)and the criteria to be used in deciding which specific workers will be removed in order to meet the statute's mandate that the number of such "transitional" workers be reduced to zero by the end of the transition period.

There are very limited data available to assess the economic impact on the CNMI of such mandatory reductions in its workforce over the prescribed transition period from June 1, 2009 to December 31,2014. The only information presently available is contained in the draft report of the Government Accountability Office, which has been reviewed by many of your officials. Using a very limited methodology and working with unrealistic assumptions designed to lessen the economic impact,the GAO draft report predicted a very substantial adverse impact on the CNMI economy if most of the Commonwealth's foreign workers were removed over a period extending to the end of 2021. Using the same GAO methodology, an even greater adverse impact on the Commonwealth,would result if the Department of Labor granted no extension of the transition period or granted extensions on a different schedule than assumed by GAO.

Under these circumstances, the Commonwealth requests that the Department's regulations regarding the removal of foreign national workers from the CNMI should acknowledge the lack of an adequate factual foundation on which the Department could reasonably project the likely impact of its proposed reductions. We suggested to Mr. Timofeyev that the Department could reasonably conclude that no reductions should be enforced during the first two years of the transition program - from June 1, 2009 to May 31, 2011. This would provide time for GAO to complete the new report required under the law to be submitted to Congress no later than May 8, 2010. It would also enable Congress to reconsider the acknowledged need for more economic data for the Commonwealth reflected in the amendment to the Iraq War Supplemental Funding bill that was passed by the Senate but rejected by the House a few weeks ago, reportedly because it fell within the "domestic funding" provisions of the bill unacceptable to the President. From the Commonwealth's perspective, such a careful approach by DHS would minimize the risk of serious, and irretrievable, injury to its economy and its foreign workers, and would provide a meaningful opportunity to seek Congressional review of the law's provisions relating to the CNMI workforce.
This letter was also submitted as a comment to DHS. I could find no opposing comments. I am not sure if DOI or members of Congress coordinated with DHS to update them on present statistics and conditions. Regardless, the number is the ceiling, the maximum number of CW-1 visas that can be issued in a year and it is extremely unlikely that the number will be reached or needs to be reached.

While Congressman Sablan and others push for the removal of the foreign workers (even though they are legal and the CNMI is their home by virtue of their extended stay) they have failed to consider that a further reduction of the population will result in severe economic consequences.  Federal funding depends on the population.  The foreign workers are consumers and they generate jobs in both the private and public sector. Their exodus will result in a loss of teaching jobs, health care jobs, and other public sector jobs. Their exodus will also lead to the closure of businesses, which they patronize.

There are not enough local U.S. citizens to fill every private sector position that is held by a foreign worker, even if they had the skills and training and even if they wanted to work for insultingly low wages. I sincerely hope that those who want to eliminate foreign workers from skilled private sector jobs aren't entertaining the idea that U.S. citizens from the mainland would consider relocating to the distant CNMI to work in jobs as hairdressers, bookkeepers, carpenters, plumbers, strippers, health care providers, mechanics and similar professions that the legal, long-term foreign resident workers have held for years and decades. There is no incentive to live in a place with a crumbling infrastructure, a high cost of living and terrible wages that keep the majority of the population far below the poverty line. There is no draw to live in a place with the highest utility costs and the poorest health care system on U.S. soil.  Combine that with political corruption that reaches into every public and private entity and the routine non-enforcement of labor violations and criminal offenses, and it is unlikely that the CNMI could possibly attract even a smidgeon of the U.S. citizens it would take to fill the positions that foreign workers hold and local U.S. citizens reject. Once the foreign workers depart from the CNMI, few could ever be lured back to risk being unappreciated and ill-treated again.

It makes much more sense to give the legal, long-term foreign workers who already hold the jobs, already are community members, and already call the CNMI their home, permanent residency status. This is the only solution that would provide economic and social stability for every person who calls the CNMI home.

30 comments:

an old wise man said...

These regulations are our worst nightmare. The United States has taken a very ambivalent stance and will now let time and attrition resolve the long term issues regardless of the quality of life for residents, both citizen and not.

Let me speculate why Kilili doesn’t like the regulations and Fitial does like them. There are several long term pictures of my Commonwealth, and we can call one Kilili’s, and the other Fitial’s.
In Kilili’s NMI, unemployed foreign nationals will be forced to leave post haste, and the businesses will be forced to hire US citizens and train them in the hospitality industry. In Kilili’s NMI, Japanese boat operators, hair stylists working for themselves, taxi operators, car wash workers, and many others are out and they would be displaced by locals who vote, and will demand better wages and conditions versus the wealthy hotel operators.

Fitial represents the wealthy here and they seek to keep a status quo stranglehold on the low income masses by keeping too many poor workers so that supply and demand dictates their rewards, a beggar’s fate. We will see several locals control manpower agencies that CWs will clamor to get, and Kilili is absolutely correct that the same fate will be sealed for poor local citizens and their aspiring sons and daughters. The manpower operator, we can call her Ms. Castro, will shield the Tans and Jones’ of this world from liability issues over the terrible pay and working conditions they will endure. And the persons who take flight from Saipan for Columbia will be our children, because they can.

In an old wise mans view of these islands, those with a real employer should have an improved immigration status, something currently blocked by our incredibly high number of illegal aliens. This may be a long time coming, certainly after 2014, and may not ever happen without larger immigration reform in the US, which we may not see in our lifetime given world affairs and US economics and opinions.

Kilili’s bill would save thousands of people with US citizen children, several thousand more would have CW status worker visas, and the foreign operators who generally operate here illegally as subsidiary service businesses and thrive at the expense of local citizens will be out and gone. Given those choices, I prefer Kilili’s view of the Commonwealth to the Governors.

In America, the wealthy always win, but at least with the stance of our Democratic Representative, the masses are still fighting back.

Anonymous said...

they will be slowly repatriated either by leaving on their own our being identified by DHS and put into deportation proceedings. By 2015 thier will be fewer and fewer foreign workers in the CNMI. Perhaps all the advocates cuold start helping the GW identify ways and plans to prepare to return......why wsn't as much effort given to help them make plans to leave as there was promising sunshine and rainbows to the GW when in reality the advocates should have known better. Either the advocates misled the GW or they are not at smart as the like to believe. Anyone with a knowledge of how things work in the fed government and congress knows that the chances of the "pathway to citizenship" was minimal at best, to think otherwise shows how naive they are.........

Wendy Doromal said...

Old Wise (debatable) Man and anonymous 7:55

I disagree with Fitial and with Congressman Sablan. Both are motivated by their own political agendas. The only just solution is to grant permanent resident status to all LEGAL, long-term foreign workers. I trusted and BELIEVED members of Congress and staffers who told me after the grandfathering provision was removed from PL 110-229 that permanent residency was coming. They used the Virgin Islands as an example. They agreed it was the fair solution. So please stop the garbage about the advocates misleading people. Maybe advocates were lied to or maybe those congressional members who want to do right by the long-term workers were halted by Congressman Sablan's bill. I know this much about Congress and committees -it is the policy to defer to the member whose district is impacted by a bill.

"In America the wealthy always win", you say. Sadly, that has become more true. We need to elect representatives from the middle class who have moral and a conscience; people who care more about serving than getting re-elected. We should set term limits for the House members and Senators so they can be motivated by doing what's best for the people and the country rather than making decisions that will help them get re-elected.

Who are these high number of "illegal aliens" you claim are in the CNMI? Anyone who presently has an umbrella permit is LEGAL! There were less than 400 "out of status" aliens identified when umbrella permits were handed out. So have illegals magically multiplied?

You are wrong about Congressman Sablan's plan. He will protect all foreign workers with or without a present employer only if they have a U.S. citizen relative.

Maybe when there is a mass exodus and the economy really crashes and the CNMI qualifies for few federal grants because of a 50% or more population decrease you will start missing your neighbors who were not born in the CNMi but have made it their home.

Anonymous said...

wendy your claim of only 400 illegal aliens in the CNMI is laughable on its face. Either you are joking or it is evidence of how you refuse to see reality and that fact colors how you approached the entire "pathway to citizenship" issue. The U.S. Virgin issue doesn't compare, they granted a status to the indigenous people of the virgin islands, the virgin island did not have 20,000 jamaicans and haitians living there who were gw in the virigin islands and those who were there were not granted a "pathway to citizenship. We have 20,000 from the PI, China and other countries it is apples and oranges. So congressman promised you something, Pres Obama promised unemployement wouldn't go above 8% if they passed the 8 billion dollar stimulus, let me guess, you were suprised when it shot up to 10% and has stayed at over 9% ever since......A politician lied to you??? I am aghast,,,,,,,well I, and most people aren't suprised but it appears you are and it is sad that many "friends" of the GW took those promises at face value without looking at the whole picture and ran with it......to the detriment of all the GW and wasted valuable time in preparing them for a very distinct possibilty, one that looks more and more like a looming reality..........get ready GW don't rely on any one but yourself to prepare for departure........

Wendy Doromal said...

Anonymous 8:57

Foreign worker without jobs are not illegals. Show me the statistics for your untrue numbers! We will continue to fight for status for the LEGAL, long-term foreign workers! There are members of Congress who support our position. Better to try then to sit back and whine or criticize.

Anonymous said...

the gw status is based on them working, you can claim all you want but good luck convincing congress that guest workers that aren't working should be allowed to stay.... i would love to see congress say sure, the intent of the CNRA is to wean the CNMI off of GW and replace them with USCs but we will allow all those Guest Workers who are not working and contributing to the economy, well sure they can stay.... that will happen just as easy as the pathway to citizenship..... those without jobs will NOT be getting a CW visa and will be placed in deportation proceedings very soon..... hey what about the u.s. virgin island argument refuted in the comment before?? Do you know how many GW in the virgin islands were granted a pathway to citizenship?? Did you research that situation when they told you they would do the same??? I did and could have told you the prospects for our GW weren't promising based on that....

Wendy Doromal said...

Anonymous 9:48

Have you even read any of the comprehensive immigration legislation that has been introduced for ILLEGAL aliens over the last few years? There is no provision that states that they have to be working to qualify. Many of the long-term foreign workers have worked in the CNMI for over 5 years and even decades but because of the bad economy were laid off after they received an umbrella permit. They are still LEGAL. Many of them are still owed back wages from crook employers who were never prosecuted for stealing wages!

Yes I do know about the Virgin Islands situation and I have written about it here several times. Please read about it!

an old wise man said...

Wendy said "Who are these high number of "illegal aliens" you claim are in the CNMI? Anyone who presently has an umbrella permit is LEGAL! There were less than 400 "out of status" aliens identified when umbrella permits were handed out. So have illegals magically multiplied?"

Don’t get me wrong Wendy, I like your opinion better than either of the choices too(meaning a path to citizenship), but I don’t want to be naive or deceive anyone either, and a path to citizenship isn’t on the table, and there seem to be two lines forming, so the question to me is, “which one do I stand in, or which Commonwealth do I prefer”.
As for your question above….who is illegal? I will tell you some that are illegal in my opinion only.;
1. A CGW husband and wife team of accountants that saw opportunity by embezzling from a dying man and then turning those profits into a school without investing into a US or CNMI investor visa and they not only strictly hire GWs, but they are notorious for not paying hem due to GWs belief that a job with them will lead to improved status.
2. A garment worker who started his own construction company without a US visa who now employees only other foreign nationals at the expense of US citizen children
3. A foreign national garment manufacture, turned real estate broker who has brought countless relatives to live, reside, work, and go to free school in the US while he rips off tourists…and oh yea, he charged the friends and family a fee to get them here.
4. A laid Chinese garment worker that started his own car wash/drug distributer
5. A couple dozen each of security, hair salons, massage parlors, taxi outfits, tiny food shops, construction companies, tire repairs, and other operators that employ only GWs because they themselves have no right to own businesses and practice here.

And I just thought of the first five nearest to my place. The only way to find out who is legal and who is not is to execute the regulations, send the illegals or the unemployed home, and then work and advocate for those who have a defendable case and strong moral right to be here.

Anonymous said...

but to do what the wise old man said would be to admit that some people that may have live here a while would have to go home.....too many of the advocates want an all or nothing, as evidenced by those who don't have a job and no prospect of a job in this economy to be allowed to stay....... cutting off one's nose to spite their face,,,,,,,, grave consiquences for all based on someone's stubborn refusal to work within the possibilities. The five examples you mention can be multiplied a hundred fold, if any of those advocating thier preverted justice for all metality would open their eyes and ride along with me on my daily travels around the island.......

Wendy Doromal said...

Old Wise Man

Of course, I have never advocated for ILLEGALS. If you read this blog, you know I always preface foreign worker with "legal, long-term". These cases that you cite are certainly are not the norm. How does a person have a business without a business license? Why are these businesses allowed to stay open if they are illegal? Have you reported these cases that you say are illegal to the authorities?

There are more crimes (drugs, violence, rape, etc.) committed by U.S. citizens in the CNMI than by foreign workers. Let's not forget that hundreds of criminal employers committed wage theft against foreign workers and those public and documented crimes remain not prosecuted today. So I guess if you count all of the thief employers the place is busting at the seams with illegals whether U.S. or foreign?

an old wise man said...

The theiving employers is a point well taken, and that was another reason for federalization. The facts are that most of them are foreign nationals, so aliens are the primary source of labor abuse here. If 16k foreign nationals are allowed to stay, the decision makers here will keep labor of all nationalities depressed while even adding 6k more to the oversaturated pool.

Wendy Doromal said...

Anonymous 10:09

Who is advocating for illegal foreigners in the CNMI to be granted status?

There is one option that is logical and just for the LEGAL long-term foreign workers. This advocate has ALWAYS advocated for permanent residency for ALL LEGAL, long-term foreign workers -not some, not a select few based on marriage or procreation. Not for a status that would restrict travel or perpetuate disenfranchisement, but a status that reflects the values and principles of our nation and the articles of the UN Declaration of Human Rights. If anyone wants less for the legal, long-term foreign resident workers, they can advocate for less and then explain to those (LEGAL long-term foreign workers) who are left out.

How come if you know about these cases or suggest that this information is common knowledge the authorities allow this?

Wendy Doromal said...

old wise man

Don't you think the number is a number and no more than that? How would 6,000 plus foreign workers be eligible to get CW-1 status if there are no jobs or employers to hire them?

Anonymous said...

We OCWS want to know what mom Wendy said. Why can 11 million illegal workers in USA get a bill for green cards and 16000 in NMI get nothing when we are legals?

an old wise man said...

Wendy, they will come the same way they all came the last time. The cap is 22k+ and 16k+ here gives every phoney businesses the chance to angle more workers here. When their business folds...presto, we have many more workers here needing help and advocates because they are not working and have no recourse to failed businesses with no tangible assets...and guess who wins...you got it, the bad guys wanting cheap hopeless labor and the real people getting screwed are our HS grads. So the answer to your question is the same way we were flooded with unskilled, unrepresented, helpless workers the last go round. and we will even have a CNMI labor department...wanna guess who gets that job? I predict it will not be me or you.

Anonymous said...

If the Governor is that sincere in protecting the Local Community and the US Citizens on these islands (Saipan/Tinian/Rota)why don't he proceed with an Executive Order ordering all Government Official and Employees including his household that do have a Nannies,Household Workers,Farmers currently being filled by GWs be replace by Local and US Citizens that do not have job right now. Just post an ad to the newspaper and a regular ad on the radio and tv of who are the government official looking to hire local as nanny, house worker,farmer etc- with that probably at least a couple of hundred positions will be filled-
Will the local government officials and employees willing to hire locals and US Citizens and will the local and US Citizens on island willing to work as Nanny,House Worker,Farmer etc for the local families?
If they'll be able to do that- then maybe, private local family will follow, then the business community-

Wendy Doromal said...

Wise Old Man

Okay -let me get this right. You are talking about foreigners who come legally to fill an advertised job, then the company folds so that person gets a business license (or not) opens a business and illegally hires unemployed foreign workers? Or are you talking about foreigners who were illegally recruited and then can't afford to leave so they do whatever they can to survive? Or both? How many phony businesses are you saying exist?

Do you believe that phony businesses will hire all the unemployed foreign workers who are legally in the CNMI right now? Will they have the money for fees? Won't the USCIS be checking to ensure that every business that applies is a legitimate business as is required by the final rule? Are you and others who claim to know illegal or phony businesses exist be giving USCIS the names of these establishments? Is someone in the CNMI in on this getting $$$ to hand out business licenses? Doesn't having a business license make a business legal? I want to understand this. How many phony businesses are you talking about or are you making generalities not based on real facts?

Helping the high school graduates is a great thing! Encourage them to go to college or to get training for a high paying skilled job. People should also recognize that some of the LEGAL workers have been in the CNMI for more years than those young people have been alive and they deserve and should be awarded green cards so they can stay or go as supply and demand dictates. Are you aware that every business that applies for a CW must post a notice so that a U.S. citizen may apply?

Again, it is fascinating to me that people say that they know for certain that there are many illegals, but apparently have not notified authorities or gone to the right people to ask questions because this is not publicized or brought up anywhere that I can see except on blogs. There are two newspapers and a TV station in the CNMI that would cover a story on the huge illegal business problem if it exists. You may want to notify authorities and may discover that some of these "illegal" businesses may be licensed.

Wendy Doromal said...

Old Wise Man said: "The theiving employers is a point well taken, and that was another reason for federalization. The facts are that most of them are foreign nationals, so aliens are the primary source of labor abuse here. If 16k foreign nationals are allowed to stay, the decision makers here will keep labor of all nationalities depressed while even adding 6k more to the oversaturated pool.

It is not true that aliens are the primary source of labor abuse in the CNMI. Not according to the administrative orders that represent $16.1 million in wage theft from employers. I have scanned copies and most foreign workers who submitted them are owed money by local U.S. citizens. There are also some foreign-owned schools (LISS and Eucon) that have some shady deals with CNMI officials (Hiring foreign workers without processing papers legally, not paying their workers, keeping foreign workers held on their campus without freedom of movement etc.) Every time I hear of abuse or wage theft, I report it to authorities and here. Right now the nurses are not being paid and they work in government hospitals! The biggest foreign exploiters presently are the Tinian Dynasty and Rota Hotels. I have written about them over and over. Neither the local nor U.S. officials have prosecuted these crooks! (And yes, I have personally called federal officials to request action against these employers.)

I am not sure why you are focused on criminal foreign business owners. We agree that any criminal organization should be stopped! I am not advocating for any criminals, crooks or people who engage in illegal activities. I advocate for the LEGAL, long-term foreign resident workers. Please separate this in your mind and also please notify authorities if you think you have knowledge about criminal businesses.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree that the "all-or-nothing" approach leads to absurd results whichever way you cut it. Improved status for those who have an employer who needs them is a no-brainer; improved status for someone who is out of work and has no employer is not a good idea for the worker or the community. If someone has been cheated out of a significant amount of wages, and tried to collect without success, maybe that person should get status too, but on a case-by-case basis. Ditto for the parent of a U.S. citizen child who is past his or her working years, or has some other humanitarian need. When we start talking about large numbers like 16,000 workers and turning them into a class of victims, we run the risk that organized criminals, drug dealers, scammers, foreign agents and maybe even terrorists will have status conferred upon them just because they were in the right place at the right time.

Wendy Doromal said...

Anonymous 7:44

If they are LEGAL and they are long-term, then they are in the same category whether they presently have a job or not; whether they got married to a U.S. citizen or had a child in the CNMI or not. Like I and others have questioned many times: "How is it okay to propose legislation for 11 million illegals in the mainland who may or may not be working and not to do the same for 16,000 LEGAL, longterm foreign worker sin the CNMI?"

Give all legal, long-term foreign resident workers green cards and let supply and demand dictate whether they stay or not, but PROPOSE AND PASS A LAW TO GRANT PERMANENT RESIDENCY - THE ONLY MORAL AND JUST ACTION!

Anonymous said...

Dad and Mom wasn't able to get a CW status, i am 10 yrs old eldest son, and eldest brother of my 2 sisters whom are 8 and 4, being taken cared of by my auntie who lost her job, after the economy slows down and is under umbrella permit.
Dad and Mom came here in 1993, Aunt' was 1995....
Dad and Mom now,learned that they have to go home... with my auntie.... me and my siblings were born and raised here....
DHS is about to send my dad,mom,auntie back to their home country.... "with us".
i doubt, that no father or mother would allow their children to be left behind to someone whom they do not know, and as we...
This is an insight of what is about to happen anytime soon...
Will a CNN and Fox News coverage team be at the Airport during the process of sending not only one family but more, by 12.2011- will the US Congress and DHS needed to see a factual and actual things such as these to happen and be seen on international news?
There are more than enough people on these islands that you can count on your finger that left their country and worked here, spending more than half of their life, and then, afterwards, now, when they are on their early 40s and early 60's bound to be deported after giving much of their strength,knowledge and life...the consolation that they will received is, a free ride to back to their homeland, via a c130 plane.
good luck to everyone.... i hope when that time comes... all will have enough courage to enforce the law by sending an american citizens with their families to their point of origin, and God bless those who will be left behind, and give them all the knowledge and strength for what is left to be iron out...

Anonymous said...

Good luck Ma'm Wendy on getting all ocw status. We are praying for your success in Washington next month. We know some good people are there. We appreciate all your work. God bless.

Anonymous said...

i am writing with full tears in my eyes.i am not terrorist/bad human being i never did bad with any one i always ready to help local/anyone as a human being i born in poor nation i am been here from last 20 years.my family back in home now i have to left this island when i came here only one hope that one day USA will take over this island then i have good life everyday i show dream about better life because i am poor all money i have earned here all finish for kids school nothing left i am getting old now its hard to work like younger people.i dont understand what i should do.i just stay here to hope on US government that one day they will serve better life to me so i will serve to USA my life.i love this country but why they have take this kind of action i dont understand.all people here r so friendly helping each others.how come become governor against of all aliens on island.its not political view its about to help not harm.is that my fault about dreaming about USA? if they want to send us back then please pay our flight ticket volunteerly not to depot we are not illegal. selfish federal system make us illegal.they kill our hope/dream like how terrorist kill innocent human. we are so innocent here on small saipan island.we lost our life here on island on only USA hope .there is nothing that any worker can make good money/rich on small island wages we got abused by CNMI immigration system on USA hope because we really trust on humanity one day it will help us.lots of workers are paid to local people to make them entry permit for work but after permit they dont even give job they got money for permit.even u complaint in labor they dont listen because most are relatives.is that abused? federal must pay flight ticket to workers who is going to sueside their hope/faith/dream about USA(super power country) please do not DEPOT they are not illegal please respect them when they are leaving with so much pain.i am good human being i know how to respect all human being.i thank to CNMI people who hate aliens and USA base immigration rule maker that you make us illegal you never think about how hard we survive here for better life you never think about that you have also life same like us everyone has right to have better life. you dont know when u gonna be in poor situation like us or more worse then us i will pray for you and your family to have always good life may GOD save you always.GOD BLESS YOU CNMI/USA.

Anonymous said...

Non-resident workers are only needed if they are desperate and have no other option. If status is granted, most will not put up with the low salaries and other types of abuse and will leave the island.

The government (Kilili and Fitial) has no incentive to increase the U.S. resident workforce in the private sector because it is a direct threat to their control of jobs and ultimately votes. If anyone in the government was serious about local workers, they would have included a prevailing wage requirement (based on job description and experience) for all jobs.

As far as minimum wage, it is okay for an unskilled person, however if someone has a college degree and a U.S. license for their field, they should not be allowed to be recruited from off island for minimum wage. No U.S. visa would allow such exploitation of non-resident workers aside from the newly created CW-Transitional Worker Visa.

Anonymous said...

(quote)"Final rule or not, every qualified U.S. citizen in the CNMI has always had preference over foreign workers in the CNMI according to past and existing CNMI labor law. U.S. citizens in the CNMI could have filled the jobs that the foreign workers hold if the applicants qualified and had the training or skills needed to perform the jobs".

This was/is in theory only.
The private sector does not and has not wanted to hire anybody but CW.
They want to keep the cheap labor and abuse those that are working for them.
They do not want any countability and besides their worry about local and mainlanders not showing up for work, they do not want even US mainlanders regardless of how much experience, skills and track record.
The best excuse for not hiring is "over qualified" and/or you would not be happy working for the minimum wage offered.
Although I never needed a job, I have on occasion went and applied for certain jobs. As I was cutting back, I had sent some of my best highly skilled workers to apply at certain companies that were advertising and they were denied.
When I applied, and heard the many excuses, I even told them that I had outside income from the VA and did not worry about the salary, I just needed to keep busy.
They then said that this was a renewal and did not really need or intended to hire anybody new.

This is the way it has been and DOL never enforce any of it's rules unless it favored them.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:50pm

Not only in private sector! It's very obvious in government offices here too.

I saw an ad in the local paper, I called and they just told me to submit my resume, I had a short interview after that. The result was just an email sent to me saying I'M QUALIFIED! but the ad is only to meet the requirements, that they've hired someone already!

Sad, isn't it? People at government offices who should always serve the people first and whose moral obligations are intact, who should be following the law but they're leading the opposite way.

Anonymous said...

anon Sept 11 10:20 p.m.
Dear 10 year old boy,
My heart goes to you and to all others that have the same fate. If only I could financially afford to take care of you and your siblings, I would, but my business is not doing good now. I would love you to stay here in Saipan so that you will enjoy the benefits that US other US citizen children are enjoying. Knowing what awaits you in the Philippines break my heart. But who knows, there might be a blessing in disguise for you there. So far I can only share with you my prayers. Good Luck. I pray for a miracle too.

V.S.

Anonymous said...

V.S. That is no 10 year old boy at anonymous 10:20. It is an adult pretending to be 10. Read it carefully.

Anonymous said...

Anon above.

The 10 year old boy might not be able to write that good, but that writer is speaking for the 10 year old, 9, 8, 7,6 younger or even a little bit older child. He is just speaking for them as we speak for some others who can't, and as I've said I feel the same for some other children (personally I know a lot of them, I have helped some. It doesn't matter if an adult wrote it for the boy, or an adult wrote it for his children. This is the reality, the situation that saddens me. This is it!

V.S.

Wendy Doromal said...

V.S. makes good point. It is the story that is important and not the source. This story also applies to the many foreign children living with their parents in the CNMI. No children should be discriminated against because of their birthplace or who their parents are. Every child on U.S. soil should be protected and viewed as one of our own. Look at the DREAM Act -it proposes to protect thousands of undocumented alien children.