Messages to Washington, DC Officials

October 11, 2011

Photo by W. L. Doromal ©October 2011
Thank you to all of the foreign workers who sent status updates, stories of their personal plights and well wishes to bring to Washington, DC. I feel more prepared for the meetings for this trip than any previous one and am hopeful that our message will be met with some positive action to introduce legislation to grant all of the legal, long-term foreign contract workers permanent residency.  At the very least, we must get parole-in-place secured for all legal, long-term foreign resident workers until such time as Congress gets it together to act properly on the DOI Report that was issued in April 2011.

Messages from the workers that I hand carried to Washington, DC represent a wide range of emotions from anguish, fear and betrayal to hope and acceptance.  Here is a very small sampling:
Employers that i've met is also hesitant to sponsor me because of the fees they need to pay and the length of time they are given to process papers. I cannot see any hope for me to continue working here.
I thought that if the Federal government will take over this Island, our status will improved and our contribution to this island justified to give us permanent status. It was very sad to know that everyone has given only up to november 27 which is a matter of only 2 months and days, how can everyone be get ready, the longer we worked here, only a matter of how many days we are already illegal. Is this the exchange of our sacrifice here? Where is our justice ? Our sweet and blood came out here working legally even we are not well compensated because we have only very low salary, but we keep still worked hard. Everyone depressed because it is the United States of America gave us the most hard time with regards to our status, and what about those parents having children with disability, and working here for long long years and for long long years of paying tax, working improving to this island. The worst one is that, we came here to worked legally for long long years, some are 25 years, 10 years, 5 years and then later on, after some of the position replaced by local people then we became illegal, it's not fair, we came legally then became illegal for the next few months, America should wake up to our situation, they should not be stingy for us, we are not so many here asking status, we need to worked anywhere in the U.S. soil, remember we are tax contributor for a long long years and we can proved it.

Many thanks, hope you will help and hear us and thru you, America will hear us. 
I have been legally working in Saipan for the past 14 years. I have wife and one US born child staying with me. Since the US Congress does not want to act on Interior recommendations, our days are numbered and our life will be ended in fiasco. The new worker's regulation creates a lot of uncertainity resulting losing jobs many of us.
It is unfair to those who do not have U.S. citizen children, I am working here for long years since 1998 up to May 2011, and tax contributor. I am not coming here for making U.S. citizen kids but to work for the future of my children. I don't come to this island illegally but legally until now, I worked in the garments for $3.05/hr for 5 years then after I passed my pharmacy technician's board, I started to worked in the hospital for 8 years. I am a widow and I have five kids. I am thinking that, it is a big mistakes to work in this island without U.S. citizen kids, because those people who have kids can avail the opportunity to the United States, I feel very sorry to everyone working here for long years with out U.S. citizen children.
It looks like they forgot, what is the main objective of the contract worker here in Saipan, The outcome of the Final Rule is not really what (workers) expecting and not so fair for the long term workers legally work and enter CNMI . The DOI recommendations, the Senate recommendation and even the Killi Sablan bill won't even address initially to the final rule. Like others, including myself don't even get our money from our former employer and again this time, the final rule won't even give us good status.
My only question is, why those illegal alien in mainland enter the US territory illegally addressed and have thier status, and why us here also part of tha USA enter the CNMI legally with a valid permit for twenty years (20) contribute our talents and even our life adopt the island as our home, why not just give us even resident status, just to stay and enjoy our last years in our life. It's too sad for every alien work here legally for more than a decade, two decade and more and even dies here while working and still serving the people of Saipan just to help the economy to grow up. Hope Congress help the long term workers rushing out now looking for employer and work for thier family back home.  
I am married with four children born in the Philippines not in Saipan,and I don't have kids born here. Me and my wife came here year 1990.

My concern is, I don't have any kids born here, and if they only prefer those who have kids born here, how about us with no kids born in saipan? I hope they also considered us, the contribution that we give it to the island of saipan.We work hard for the development of thier community, we build houses for them. 
My husband has been working here in Saipan for twenty years. I brought my four kids with me, that was when my oldest child was fourteen years and my youngest was six years of age. It is my ninth year being in Saipan. Just like the children of nonresident workers who were born here, my children felt that Saipan is their home. They have a fear of being sent back to the Philippines away from us parents while we are still doing our work here, or the fear of what our family has to face once all of us will be sent back to our country after November 27, 2011. Just like the US children, they also feel hurt when they learn about their parents being mistreated or exploited by the employers. Just like the US children, they learn about the US Government and US History in school, and learn the Micronesian culture as well. They get to mingle with local friends. But what makes them different from the US children is that they do not have the same benefits and treatment that they get. I remembered when my daughter won in the PGFC, somebody told her that she wont make it to the national because she can not go to the US mainland because she is an alien. And that was the last time that she joined the contest. Is the concept of better child development and privilege only for the US citizens, IRs and green card holders? It is not my children's fault to be here with us parents. It is not my fault nor my husband's to be able to find work in the Northern Marianas. If we are to be blamed for coming over here in this beautiful island, then what about those who are looking for a place to work and live in the US mainland and in other parts of the world? As for myself, I am a teacher and have been in this career for 24 years. I have passed the NMI standard for Praxis I and II. My employer does not have enough fund to level up my salary to federal standard so I can get applied for a visa. As a teacher, I love being with students.It doesn't matter where, who my employer and students are if I don't have a choice. If I do have a choice, it will really matter to me where and who my students are. I saw the educational needs in this Island and I would like to be part of it. I know that it takes my dedication to do it. I know that the US cares so much for changing and improving the educational, economic, and social welfare of the NMI and its people to a better condition. My question is this: Would the US government care to consider me and my family to take part in that change? Can the US Constitution support our long time existence here in the Northern Marianas that is considered a US ground? 
We have 2 U.S. citizen kids, will we bring them home with us?
They will be missing their birth place...
They will be missing their citizenship...

Definitely, we can not leave our kids.

Wendy and to all the members of Congress who would hear us and not just ignore us, thank you very much.

We are foreign workers who left our country, our home, and have decided to fully serve the United States citizen of CNMI. Less than 10 years of service may not be enough but we wish to serve more than those years, if our status will be figured out as well.

Again, may our dedication and commitment may serve as basis for our adjustment of status and be able to contribute in building the nation of the United States of America.

It is our hope and aspiration that our small voices be heard. 
Some of the employers they don't want to pay the CW1 fee so what happen here the employee is the one paying. like the __________ in Garapan. I talk to the cashier she said her employer don't want to pay the CW1 that's way they are worried they will lose the status. And one of the hotel here in saipan like _______hotel F and B staff nobody talking to them regarding the CW1 they are also worried. if you apply that position, if you are contract worker they will ask if you are green card or us citizen... 
i am really really worried bec we dont have house in P.I. i sale my houselot before to come for work here now this gonna happen to us. i thought US FEDERAL is the CHAMPION IN THE WORLD for HUMAN RIGHT? WE NEED YOUR HELP NOT ONLY FOR ME,FOR EVERYBODY...
...we wished that one of the US congress have heart to help,and give us improved status bec. we are legal alien worker,compared to the million people illegal in us mainland.HELP US HELP US...we need your help about our salary from the hotel,since last september we just receive a partial only.we dont have w2 bec they are not paying our tax,we cannot file a tax...they ruin our family just bec we dont get paid. 
I am ___________a private household worker currently employed up to now, with an eight year old US citizen daughter enrolled in school at this time. My big concern on Final Regulation is about our situation as private household worker, who are not qualified for CW-Visa. It is so hard to find another job today here in Saipan. There's no agencies available for our category (house hold, caregivers) to hire us immediately before Nov. 28, 2011.I am extremely worried to to my daughter being pulled out from school if it's time for us to go back to Philippines. I am really, really worried, scared and depressed because of this. You see, Wendy, my point is this is so unfair for us. In my case, I work staright for more than 10 years here, paying my tax regularly. Here I am and my daughter whom I think possible to go back to Philippines while those dependents of CW-1 visa from Philippines, can come under CW-2.Those dependents mostly are not US citizen kids who are allowed to come under CW-2 while my child born here, studying here, needs to go home because, I am not qualified for CW-visa. 


Anonymous said...

I'll continue praying, that the voice of all long term legal workers in CNMI will be heard by our President Barack Obama to give us "JUSTICE"
Mam Wendy and Rabby, Thanks to your helpful heart. Keep up a good fight, Mam Wendy and Rabby...

the teacher said...

I would expect the trajectory of the post federalization NMI guest worker program to evolve similar to that of Guam. This is from the Guam paper below.

Several measures intended to regulate and bring more transparency to the H-2B temporary alien worker program are now law, providing new requirements under the H-2B program administered by the Guam Department of Labor.
One of the laws, authored by Vice Speaker Benjamin J.F. Cruz, requires exit clearances from the hospital before temporary alien workers are allowed to leave Guam (Public Law 31-87).
Other law provisions state:
• notices of job opportunities shall be transmitted to each mayor before they are given to alien workers (Public Law 31-122);
• penalties can now be levied on any company allowing alien workers to participate in the decisions to hire for jobs on Guam (Public Law 31-121); and
• approved H-2B certifications shall be posted online (Public Law 31-124).
“I appreciate the governor’s approval of these four measures,” Cruz said. “I look forward to working with him on other initiatives intended to help local workers fill positions that would otherwise be filled by H-2B alien labor.”

Anonymous said...

I have a question.. and i hope i get a response. If say i qualify for an H1 b visa as I am a Electrical engineer yet my new employer said she will get a cw1 visa.. Will this be approved? Can employers do that? I understand the fees are high but I am a licended Electrical Engineer. Would like to hear from you.

Wendy Doromal said...

Read my latest post. It is upsetting that yes, the employers have the choice of whether to petition a foreign worker under a H1-B or CW visa.