Foreign Worker News

October 18, 2011

While we know that the U.S. government is responsible for paying the costs of deportations, what I would like to know is who will help the foreign workers who are trying to collect back wages to pay for airfare so that they do not become illegal after November 27th? These are people who, through no fault of their own, have not been paid by their cheating employers and lack the money for relocation to their homelands. Many are now unemployed due to business closures or in recent weeks have come to realize that their employers will not be filing CW or other U.S. permits for them, which will mean that within weeks they will be out of status. (See the previous post)

USCIS regional media manager Marie Therese Sebrechts reminded foreign workers that there is no parole for unemployed foreign workers except for the exceptions listed below. Currently, the parole applications are available for aliens who fall within one of the following categories:
  • CNMI permanent residents and those born between 1974 and 1978;
  • foreign spouses or widow or widowers of a U.S. citizen;
  • foreign parents or children of a U.S. citizen; and 
  • foreign spouses or widows/widowers of FAS citizens (Citizens of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia or the Republic of the Marshall Islands)
The Marianas Variety quoted Ms. Sebrechts as saying:
USCIS, however, will consider granting parole for urgent humanitarian reasons, including compelling medical or special needs situations, when the existing foreign caregivers have worked for the same disabled or special needs individual prior to November 28, 2011,” Sebrechts said.
Would humanitarian parole be considered for a foreign worker has foreign-born children who have lived in the CNMI most of their lives attending CNMI schools? What other circumstances would qualify a person for humanitarian parole?

It would be good if  USCIS extended parole-in-place for 90 more days for any foreign worker who wants to apply for it to have the chance to collect back pay, find an employer or make to find out who will repatriate them if they want to return to their homelands.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

i have a son who can not be accepted in sixth grade in PI because they are now passed the 3rd grading period, does it mean my son will stop and repeat his 6th grade in the next school opening? this is really inhuman!

Anonymous said...

Hello Ms Wendy. I have 3 US citzn kids, i am unemployed but my husband is working as Registered Nurse. can we still apply for parole? The employer of my husband did not yet file a cw for him. thanks..god bless

Anonymous said...

I am an employer, and definitely will not petition several of our IR's after finding out that they had engage in a sham marriage and now find themselves deadlock.I had pity but id rather help those CW that are in need.

Itos said...

ANONYMOUS October 19, 2011 10:02 PM YES YOU CAN APPLY PAROLE IN PLACE GO TO MICRONESIAN LEGAL COUNSEL...BUT THIS IS CASE BY CASE BASIS HURRY UP!

Anonymous said...

This reminds me of mountain climbers who are fighting over the last canister of oxygen. Will your kid get into school in the PI? What about jobs? Food? Well sorry to say but the DHS nor ICE will not be responsible for your adult issues. Remember that this is what you wanted and lobbied for: US Federal takeover. The marches, vigils and prayers. Woodruff, Sablan, Hunter and many others celebrated Federal takeover. Now that the day of reckoning is approaching I wonder where any of these people are? Stayman, Miller and Pelosi are giggling over US control of the CNMI. This was THEIR plan. You ask yourselves: What about us? What about the hard work we put in? What about our back wages? Well the pied piper will tell you now that the Federal government does not care about any of those issues. Did you really believe that this was a humanitarian mission? No, this was simply a battle between old rivals from the Abramoff / garment days. Once again, the hard working people will be sent home to much harsher conditions with little or no means to live.

Wendy Doromal said...

2:58

Yours is a totally ignorant comment. Deal with facts please, not spin. Even though the federal takeover is far from how I envisioned it would be, it is far better than the CNMI system. Why? As one federal official so wisely pointed out because the U.S. will correct mistakes and perfect it, while the CNMI merely made excuses and lied about how bad it was instead of trying to improve it -much to the great detriment of the workers. As I have said repeatedly here and in public reports and statements, without a pathway to citizenship any foreign guest worker program will subject the foreign workers caught in the turnstiles to abuses and therefore is flawed. I am sorry you have no heart or empathy for the dedicated and skilled workers who contributed so much to the CNMI.

Wendy Doromal said...

8:50 and 10:02 I would ask an attorney if you qualify for any kind of humanitarian parole.

Anonymous said...

You are mistaken Wendy. The DHS has no sympathy for the foreign workers. It isn't what you envisioned? It makes no difference what YOU envisioned it's what Federal law states. There is no pathway to citizenship, there are no green cards and the disenfranchised will stay just that. Federal takeover took place years after the garment industry ceased to exist. Let's talk fair wages for CWs and US Citizens for example. The prevailing wages are set: $5.05 to $100.00/hr. For which jobs? Nurses? There are no winners here Wendy only continued suffering. In fact it's much worse. People by the thousands will be sent packing. You still haven't given one single reason why the Federal takeover has improved workers' rights or lives. Even under the CNMI system, EEOC claims were filed and won. Businesses were fined. This BTW happens all the time in the US. I admire you for your efforts but I'll bet that if no attention was ever brought to the CW's plight the US would have quietly granted green cards to everyone. This reminds me of a foreigner in Burma who was executed SIX months before their date of release because news outlets brought way too much publicity to the case. If they had simply kept quiet, the Burmese Gov't would have just let that person go. Part of me wonders if the supporters for Federaliztion like Sablan, Hunter, Miller, Stayman, Pelosi and others were just simply out for themselves and their own liberal egos. Tell me this, where are they now? There is no spin here.

Anonymous said...

there will be no parole for people to now try and collect back pay, there will be no parole for people to keep their kids in school. Parole is not handed out here and there because someone feels bad for a person. Parole is for a very defined situation none of what you described would fit. GW have known about the 11/28/11 deadline for over two years, the delay in the regs not withstanding shouldn't have delayed people from planning. many didn't bother because of their belief that the pathway to us citizenship was right around the corner. i would like to think it was a miscommunication problem and not an error in judgement by those expressing it to people for the last two years...bottom line get ready to go, your dime or the u.s. goverments. either way you are leaving with or without a deport order...

Wendy Doromal said...

6:08

Two years ago many, even most, people believed that after the issuance of a DOI report that the Congress would immediately introduce legislation to provide a status that exists presently under the INA. Two years ago the Congress was not as dysfunctional as it is now. Two years ago a worker's last employer was responsible for repatriating a worker. Two years ago people did not predict Fitial's lawsuit and thought that the CW rule was final. Two years ago the economy was not as bad. Two years ago there were more employers on island. Two years ago less people were unemployed. Two years ago more people believed that they had a chance to collect back wages, especially after presenting unpaid judgment to the US DOI. We are in a very different situation and mindset than we were two years ago.

For whatever reasons, there exists today a humanitarian crisis in the CNMI. There are foreign workers and families who have no money to pay their power bills, never mind airfare. They are afraid and worried. Their children live in fear. They are stressed and depressed. How sad that instead of reaching out hands and hearts to try to help these people, too many people in the CNMI attack them, humiliate them and shower them with hatred.

Anonymous said...

Noni 5:25 There's a big difference between you and Wendy. Wendy works tirelessly to improve the lot of the OCWs and you just spin your conspiracy theories and criticize. You would like us to believe that federalization is the cause of reformists and advocates rather than the truth. Federalization came about because the NMI was such a hell-hole for OCWs that the US was forced to step in. You have the audacity to suggest that the US would have given green cards if people like Wendy hadn't brought the abuses and problems to the feds? Get it right. Reform isn't about egos and it isn't a game. Your theory is an ugly lie. Thank God there are people who sticks their necks out despite criticism and attacks to defend the defenseless and push for reform.

Anonymous said...

1. Do not ask for legal advice in blog comments. Ask the free USCIS phone help line, or a lawyer. In most cases, the most correct answer is "maybe," and you have to just try (if you want to try). Real administrative law has a lot of gray areas of judgment. It's not like CNMI law where you just have to gather enough stamps, seals, signatures, and bribes paid and you're in.

2. Staying behind, out of status, is always an option. As long as you don't become a public nuisance, no one in the federal government will care. (Some local vigilante types will care, but they can't do anything more than harrass you.) You can work under the table and your kids can go to school. (For now anyway. Who knows if the CNMI might introduce Arizona/Alabama style anti-immigrant legislation in the future?)

3. Wendy's commitment, spirit, and purity of purpose absolutely cannot be questioned. She has put tremendous energy, effort, and hard cash into her advocacy for the CWs. I don't think her methods were the most useful, and I think she and her cause lost because she was too ideological and not strategic enough. But it would be outrageous to say that Wendy intentionally misled anyone.

Wendy Doromal said...

3:54 The cause continues until the U.S. guest programs are reformed to include a pathway to citizenship for guest workers. It is not "lost." Do you think slavery was ended in a few decades? Do you think women's suffrage happened in a few decades? I for one will continue to fight. Immigration reform won't just be realized t because of any elected leaders who claim that they support it. We have seen how so-called immigration champions like Gutierrez, Napolitano, Grijalva , Honda, Chu and others are sincere when in the spotlight, but maintain a double standard for reform based on who can and will vote for them. Their support of H.R. 1466 was eye-opening to me and others in the states who have worked for the DREAM Act and comprehensive immigration reform. Reform is necessary and will come when enough committed citizens demand it, just like in any cause.

Anonymous said...

The purpose of the CNRA was more about preventing the creation of thousands of new alien worker victims under continued local control than it was about making the existing victims whole. Compensating those who had been abused in the past was problematic because of the age of the claims, and the fact that many of the offending employers had already fled the CNMI. And giving improved immigration status was just as much a political hot potato then as it is now. Workers as a whole are still far better off under federal control than they were under the local free-for-all.

Anonymous said...

20th 12:11 anony.
so you really got advantage of IR's who worked hard for you and now you going to kicked them out,when you hire them that time you didnt open your mouth but now you opening up. oh the fact is you saved thousand of $$$$ to hire alien workers..how you know that they did sham marriage just your self...because they just doing them best....why dont you blame to immigration officers who accept them to involve in fraud stuff? pls mind your business.do not interfere in someone life.thank you.