News for Foreign Workers

October 25, 2011

Renowned Attorney Loida Nicolas-Lewis, chair of US Pinoys for Good Governance, wrote a letter to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano "requesting that alien workers in the CNMI “be granted deferred status with work permits so that they have legal status beyond the Nov. 27, 2011 deadline,” according to the Saipan Tribune. The author and philanthropist was interviewed by Magic 100.3 DJ Jimmy B. yesterday.

The immigration attorney discussed the Morton Memo, which allows for ICE  and immigration officials to use prosecutorial discretion in determining removal of aliens. The memo states that among the specific classes of persons who should be given “particular care” when making prosecutorial decisions are long-time lawful permanent residents; minors and elderly individuals; individuals present in the United States since childhood; pregnant or nursing women; victims of domestic violence, trafficking, or other serious crimes; individuals who suffer from a serious mental or physical disability; and individuals with serious health conditions. Certainly the vast majority of the legal, long-term CNMI foreign workers are "long-time lawful permanent residents" who should be given prosecutorial discretion.


©2011 Photo by Itos Feliciano
OCCUPY USCIS, a demonstration sponsored by the United Workers Movement, is in its second day. UWM President Rabby Syed reports a steady flow of workers has shown up to the tent outside the TSL Building in Garpan where the USCIS Office is located.

The protest will continue until November 27, 2011.

UWM is hoping that DHS will at least give all foreign workers some parole or protection until the DOI report is acted upon by the U.S. Congress and all legal, foreign workers are granted status.

Thanks to Human Dignity Movement President, Itos Feliciano for the photos:






13 comments:

the teacher said...

The results from parole in place for all will not create the worker friendly environment people expected after federalization. Businesses are watching this and hope all workers can stay forever, because if they overstay they are not counted in the cap, which will mean many more will be released by their employers. Employers will hire many more new workers because they can, presumably younger and more highly qualified and educated since the labor study results means they will pay extremely low wages anyway. Business will view, and I've heard at least ten businessmen discuss this already, that the more workers here the better just on supply and demand alone. This coupled with a huge influx from FAS which aren't counted in the caps, and combined with C-2 persons will mean so many impoverished unemployed workers here that wages may be one dollar an hour. Many small businesses don't have to pay minimum wages anyway and every business here knows there is no minimum hours for CW workers. Non-payment will multiply ten fold because businesses can just terminate workers and hire new ones. The worker climate here may rival the third world.

Wendy Doromal said...

Ron:

The worker climate already rivals the third world. Look at the wages and conditions. The US has merely relabeled a dysfunctional CNMI system with the USA label. The LEGAL, longterm foreign workers should be FREED.

TAGLISH said...

To the teacher,
Stupid and unscrupulous employers really would think that way, to hire younger workers. I bet younger workers are not as stupid as these employers, the younger workers you’re saying won’t stay and waste their productive years here and be paid $5.05 an hour or maybe even lesser than that. Problems will still be the same and might be even worse this time. The success of the recent job fair is only on the paper but NOT in real life it won’t solve the dependency of CNMI on CWs . They came to that job fair but the question is – Would they keep the job? For how long?Two weeks?One month? Obviously, CNMI needs CWs. Governor wants to bring in more CWs/CAREGIVERS! He needs caregivers, then why not offer it to locals and US citizens?? Why hire or bring in some more CWs? LOCALS’ EGOTISM IS ON TOP OF THIS MESS! They have nothing but pride and blue passports! They can’t do the job that CWs are doing! It’s damn obvious!
Wendy is right! The only solution is to give CWs green card. This is the only way we could get rid of deceitful employers. This will paves the way for a good future of our young generations of workers. I pray for you Ms Wendy and your advocacy! I’m praying too that my 11 yr old son, a US cit won’t be in this predicament once he start working and choose to serve this island.

the teacher said...

TAGLISH

"To the teacher,
Stupid and unscrupulous employers really would think that way, to hire younger workers. I bet younger workers are not as stupid as these employers, the younger workers you’re saying won’t stay and waste their productive years here and be paid $5.05 an hour or maybe even lesser than that. Problems will still be the same and might be even worse this time."


Employers haven't changed since the beggining of time. US citizens,meaning our younger generation of citizens, will not likely stay here for 5.05 per. I mentioned that in my first 3 letter to the editor. But, skilled aliens with sheepskins currently abroad will absolutley work for that and our business community here knows it and will capitalize on that. So the plight of workers here will worsen.

The 1k citizen attendees at the fair don't want to work for those wages, and shouldn't, but the fair did prove that there are alot of citizens here that need jobs.

Green cards here will be family based going forward like the US. For many reasons, I don't think CW workers here will ever be offered green cards and the only hope for an unemployed worker is for Kilili's bill to pass and wait until your own child can petition.

Your child faces the same problem that mine does. If they grow up here, we know they must move to find economic success. Most citizen children of GWs must move, or join the military, to ever have any hope to qualify above the petition income therehold. That is sad, but true. And the longer they stay here, the longer their success curve will be(due to langauge, cultural difs, financial experience with a new tax/business system, etc) once the do move. Historically, that curve lasts least one generation.

Wendy Doromal said...

Ron said, "Green cards here will be family based going forward like the US. For many reasons, I don't think CW workers here will ever be offered green cards and the only hope for an unemployed worker is for Kilili's bill to pass and wait until your own child can petition."

Ron, you do know that there are hundreds of thousands of people who are given green cards in the US without having a US citizen relative, right? Several are my relatives that came to work under H1-B visas. Many others received them from the green card lottery, including two students that I taught. A teacher I work with was an undocumented alien from Mexico when he was very young. He got amnesty under a Reagan program.

So what is the hope for CNMI's unemployed workers without a US citizen relative, Ron? Workers who have been in the CNMI 20, even 30 or more years. They just walk away to where? To what? Do they stay in the only home that they know? Do you think that their callous treatment is okay? Is this humane, just, American? The message to these people is this -"Come work on US soil for 5, 10, 20, 30 years or more and then we'll kick you out like yesterday's garbage after the economy goes south." I am not okay with that message and I am not going to pretend that 12,000 legal, long-term aliens don't matter, that their foreign born children don't matter, that their years of contributions to the workers don't matter, merely because they have no US citizen relative.

Turnstile guest worker programs are inhumane, un-American and plain cruel. Green cards free people to move as the economy dictates. Any bill that chains people to the CNMI is faulty and unjust. Why do you think the economy cannot improve in the US? One reason is because people are chained to their underwater mortgages in houses that they cannot sell. There are tens of thousands of jobs in places like South Dakota that people can't take unless they walk away from their mortgages.

the teacher said...

Wendy, this statement was uncalled for.

"Do you think that their callous treatment is okay?"

No, I don't think it is OK but I don't think many CW workers here will be offered green cards other than those with citizen spouses or those that will someday be petitioned by their own children.

The turnstile system can be brutal but that is the system in place and it is going to be worse for workers here, especially those always unemployed...and I can name many that haven't been employed since I've known them.

UICIS has answered everyone’s questions on this and there are no green cards in the wind or on the table.

As for 5, 10,and 20 year workers, the federal court, not me, said time before the takeover doesn't count for time in the US. I didn't make this ruling, a federal judge did, so anyone who disagrees can pick up the cross and take that case. That may be something renowned Attorney Loida Nicolas-Lewis could do as I haven’t the legal acumen or financial resources to challenge it.

As for the 6 million in back wages, USCIS has answered this as well. If no one has collected in the past four years then their chances of collecting aren't good. i have &%&%$ in receivables the past four years and a one person collection dept. I’m not happy about it but my choices are give it to an attorney and it is probably too small because collection attorneys pick up judgments for 10 cents to the dollar. For those persons with actions against deceased persons, aliens who have moved , old garment factories, and bankrupt or other closed businesses, these are called uncollectable debts, to say otherwise is kidding yourself. If the perpetraitor is on the island, why haven’t they prosecuted them. The answer is probably the same as my dead collection cases, individually they aren’t worth it. USCIS has been crystal clear that it isn’t a reason to stay here and they gave the procedure to follow. I don't hold people hands and I like the story straight and real, it's the only way I can remember it.

TAGLISH said...

“Employers haven't changed since the beggining of time. US citizens,meaning our younger generation of citizens, will not likely stay here for 5.05 per. I mentioned that in my first 3 letter to the editor. But, skilled aliens with sheepskins currently abroad will absolutley work for that and our business community here knows it and will capitalize on that. So the plight of workers here will worsen.”
Sir, we’re running in a circle here. Give CWs greencard to get out, that’s the ultimate solution! Greencard will give CWs rights. Right to demand. They work for $5.05 because they can’t demand, they don’t have the right and yes business community knows that. CWs who have stayed for so long have no choice but to stay especially those who have US cit. children. Give them right to demand and they will fight to the last cent that is due to them! All they have right now is the right to live, whatever it takes to survive, they will stick to it!!! That’s human nature – CWs or not.
I think most of these CWs will stay after Nov 27. For so many reasons, I think mostly would rather face that day in the court to depend themselves to continue to live in this place. Then, we remain in the circle.

Wendy Doromal said...

Ron:

People can excuse or defend the callous treatment, the injustice, the denial of due process, or they can fight for reform. My choice is to fight for what I know is just, ethical and moral. Just because something is that way or because some politician or official (who is paid by me and other taxpayers) wants it that way is not an acceptable answer to me. Thankfully, some people in the US Congress are listening and some actually get it. They support legal, long-term foreign workers being granted green cards and they get that funds and manpower must be provided to ensure that the cheated workers collect their back pay. They aren't making excuses or accepting the status quo. Thank God.

Wendy Doromal said...

Taglish: You are correct. Most of the foreign workers I have spoken to will stay after November 27, 2011. Most have no where to go and no funds to get out anyway. This is a humanitarian crisis that will only grow. It's painful to witness and I only imagine how horrible it is for those stuck in this situation.

the teacher said...

TAGLISH, you said "Sir, we’re running in a circle here. Give CWs greencard to get out..."

I don't have that authority, I'm not a government employee, attorney, or elected official, just a private citizen.

People can stay as long as they like as far as I'm concerned, but I don't think they will get any permenent residency and I believe the climate for workers here will worsen forever, so I don't want to sugar coat or misrepresent what I believe to be fact.

There is no legislation other than Kilili's transition district only bill for IRs. If there was more on the table it wouldn't pass and he couldn't support it and ever get elected again, and the candidates he defeated don't support this small token bill. The business community here loves the regulations. The citizens here like the regs overwhelmingly, except the 1k lined up at the job fair who wish the regs were much worse for workers. Zaldy is right that they are more restrictive ("CW Woes") and they will worsen forever. There are thousands of unemployed citizens and more FAS migrants coming daily. CW doesn't lead to green cards. Unemployed workers who will stay past Novemeber should know that truth to plan their own future and lives.

The Dream Act was a decade of hoops to jump through after they finished college or the military and it lost. Americans are angry over immigration, and when immigration reform ever comes, it will be the no frills limited residency package with a decade of hoops to jump through at best.

the teacher said...

PS The business community and some citizens will love it if everyone stays past Nov because illegal persons have the least rights of all...and are the cheapest temporary labor...and are the easiest negotiate with.

Does anyone think CNMI citizens will ever support improved status for out of status workers?

Wendy Doromal said...

"First they ignore you, then laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." -Mathatma Gandhi

Anonymous said...

teacher said - "Does anyone think CNMI citizens will ever support improved status for out of status workers?"

Hey teacher, did slave owners support their slaves' freedom?