OCCUPY USCIS Picking Up Steam

October 28, 2011

OCCUPY USCIS, photo by Itos Feliciano
OCCUPY USCIS has been attracting more foreign workers and resident community members according to UWM President Rabby Syed and other foreign workers who contacted me over the last few days. DEKADA and the Human Dignity Movement have joined the movement. CNMI residents have stopped by the site to show support and solidarity with the cause.

The foreign workers and their supporters have been gathering outside the USCIS Office every day and will continue their protests until November 27, 2011.

These foreign workers seek permanent residency status after working LEGALLY in the CNMI on U.S. soil for 5, 10, 20, 30 or more years. Until such time as the U.S. Congress introduces legislation to address the status of ALL, legal, long-term foreign workers, the foreign workers are asking for parole.

Some foreign workers at OCCUPY USCIS are collecting donations to cover the legal costs for lawsuits that they will be filing to protect their due process rights, and to fight for protection for any noncriminal aliens who may be served with removal papers.

Organizers report that there are few foreign workers who will be leaving the CNMI. They have no money for airfare and no place to go since the CNMI IS THEIR HOME and for most, it has been their home for decades. This has become a humanitarian crisis that the U.S. is failing to properly address.

Organizers invite all foreign workers to please stop by the OCCUPY USCIS tents so they can evaluate the next moves. They would like to know who supports a one to two hour walk out or a one-day strike of the foreign workers to show the leaders and residents of the CNMI what it is like if 90% of the private workforce don't show up for work and what to expect if they leave. 

All foreign workers are invited to OCCUPY UCSIS to enjoy the food, fellowship, and exchange of ideas. The foreign workers are calling for a unified front to fight for basic rights and freedom.

Thank you to Itos Feliciano for the photos!


a vastly experienced labor leader and union advocate said...

A two hour strike, would that be a Friday...that would be laughed at here by everyone, especially since the government is shut down on Fridays.

Unions strike in America, as I have participated in a 6,8, and 16 week strikes and that means no pay or garauntee of a job afterwards...and those were 100% participation by members with kids, house payments, and car payments. Labor has fought for all they have in America but I don't see that commitment here except from unemployed workers. No employed worker, citizen, or likely CW workers would support it. 2 hours...really, during lunch break, that level of dedication is pathetic.

And manpower companies have finally figured out they don't need to commit immigration fraud to keep workers on a CW permit. The must only charge some price (lets say 1k as they currently vary here) for job placement and then use a portion of the grand for fees, and that is happening all over. Once workers enter in to shady contracts...forget it...the saying says if you don't want to wake ups with wh&*^s, don't go to bed with em.

Don't broadcast this in the US as they would all laugh. PI and China doesn't allow strikes or ownership and our poor workers here aren't equipted to challenge anything.

the teacher said...

PS Oh yea, could we get more pictures of all the different groups and their "leaders" for the newspapers please?

Anonymous said...

PS Wendy, this is Ron, please don't print these mean spirited comments of mine but I can;t believe a 2 hour strike....jeez.

Anonymous said...

Hey great for them if it makes them feel like they are doing something then let them do it. Sad to say it won't get them anywhere but if it makes them feel better go for it....better to take up donations for those who can't afford a flight home.....all the lawyers and lawsuits will end up them same way..a deportation order. They can't keep refusing to face reality....

Anonymous said...


Wendy Doromal said...

Ron, If you are a vastly experienced labor leader and union advocate maybe you could help the foreign workers instead of constantly kicking them when they are down.

People in America that I talked to are not laughing. They are shocked that someone can work on US soil for 22 years , get robbed by his employer and then get told to leave. It is not funny. It is a disgrace to our country.

You said, "And manpower companies have finally figured out they don't need to commit immigration fraud to keep workers on a CW permit. The must only charge some price (lets say 1k as they currently vary here) for job placement and then use a portion of the grand for fees, and that is happening all over. Once workers enter in to shady contracts...forget it...the saying says if you don't want to wake ups with wh&*^s, don't go to bed with em." If you know of shady dealings please inform USCIS immediately. I will ask them if manpower agencies can charge recruitment fees to be used for paying the visas. If they can, we can add this loophole to the fact that businesses that owe taxes and business that owe money to current and former employers can get visas for foreign workers. The anticipated changes from the old CNMI system to the US guest worker program that would protect foreign workers and help to stop abuses are truly minimal. We expected the establishment of a just and democratic guest worker program. Is the change that a US label has been slapped on the broken system?

One of the only positives with the CW Program that I see is that the US agency officials respond and they do care about having an effective and just program that provides the needed workforce and protections for the foreign workers. They will not deny the problems or ignore them like the CNMI officials did, They will try to fix them. So please if you see any kinks in the system or any loopholes that will lead to scams or abuses, contact USCIS.

Wendy Doromal said...


Why do you need photos for the newspapers? They have their own photographers. What do you mean?

Anonymous said...


Hope all lawyers will read the U.S. Constitution. You read it too.
Does the US government have the money to fund these legal processes needed to deport all the legal alien workers in CNMI who became illegals due to US law? If you are a tax payer, then part of your money will be used also for this deportation procedure. Thank you so much.

Wendy Doromal said...

Ron 3:07

I have been printing less of the "mean-spirited" comments. In fact, I am considering making this site for registered and pre-approved viewers only, mainly the foreign workers. To attack, mock or laugh at people who are helpless, people who are down, people who got the short end of the stick, people who were and are treated unjustly is just not acceptable to me. To attack people who have been oppressed and purposely disenfranchised for decades in un-American.

To the foreign workers here is a quote for you:
"Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can't ride you unless your back is bent."
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Fight on, stand tall.

Wendy Doromal said...


You said, Hey great for them if it makes them feel like they are doing something then let them do it.

No one needs to "let" them do anything. It is their constitutional right to peacefully assemble and to speak out. This is America.

You naysayers who love to tell the foreign workers that their fight will get nowhere, would do well to remember that those who struggled for freedom for the slaves, for the vote for women and for de-segration heard those same words. Those are words meant to deflate, meant to halt, meant to hurt, meant to stop the fight. But this is a fight worth fighting. An injustice has been committed to 16,000 legal workers. They will and should fight on.

Anonymous said...

As far as USCIS is concerned, these protests ring hollow. Millions or perhaps billions of decent people in the world would like US residency status. That is not news to anyone. And those people's asking and pleading for status won't make it happen.

The only thing USCIS cares about is the will of its constituents: US citizens. It is unfortunate, but US citizens' support for the foreign workers' status has been lacking. That's what missing. It's not that there have been insufficient crying kids or not enough placards or not enough marches. If US citizens took to the streets in these kinds of protests, USCIS would listen up. Otherwise, the protestors are just a few dozen out of millions (or billions) of very decent people who are asking for US status.

(Noted however: the US citizen children protesting for their parents are a good start! Too bad they're mostly still too young to vote.)

As for what's written on the signs: ease up on the Taglish please.

Anonymous said...

Although, I have always supported Green Cards for all.. A walkout will make this worse, I will definitely remove any staff who wish not to work on this days..
I was right!!! that Woodruff will appear again,dang.. I understand that lawyers are not free.. But somelawyers have been paid already to represent them. So whats this new fund drive.?!
Mr Sayed dont go for less..you are doing the right thing..

Anonymous said...

Lets get this straight.. I was a former member of Dekada and I have to share how I was lured to join by paying a member fee, although I know that legal representation is not free, but im angry and also feel sorry for those that remain to be a member. I dont have to say who are this people that lied not only to me but majority of the foreign workers..
I hope someday we'll meet and tell you straightt in your face that you lied to enrich yourself or should I say your lawyer who is out again trying to fill his pocket?!

Anonymous said...

8:15 Vince Cabrera
you wrote an ignorant letter to the editor.You forgot how the Chamorros and Carolinians got citizenship? Did you stand in line? Did you deserve it? No USA citizens voted for you to get US citizenship. None had a say and noone asked them. I don't think you have a say in if we get green cards or get citizenship. Do you know how many aliens get green cards in the lottery, from employers, from working on US soil for years? Please get an education before you write a foolish letter VInce.
You think a OCW should get cheated and too bad? Aren't you scared to have karma? Karma so you learn to grow a heart?
Yea Dekada cheated lots of us too.Is that your business?Maybe were suing them. U want to help us get that stolen money or you just like to spout off.
That doesn't mean employers should be stealers.
You watch us leave and then you cry when you have no OCW to serve you, be your nurse, sweep your floor and keep your hotel businesses and tourist spots open. Go buy a fishing pole and a shovel for your farm. Your gonna need it when we all leave you. No one lied to us except the cheater boss who stole pay. You know the NMI made the big mess but you blame OCWs.
You ask what my country did for NMI? tell you what Vince i will show this ugly letter to my countrymen and president and let them answer you.
Dont worry about the fate of OCWs. worry about your own fate because God is looking down on you Vince and on all the NMI haters.
Now go buy that fishing pole and shovel. Im going to leave and to tell every one in my country dont go to the land of liars cheaters and haters.

Don said...

Anonymous 1:03am first off i don't think it's fair to attack people without identifying yourself. If you feel you were lured or cheated you should have brought the matter to proper authorities and file a complaint it's wrong to keep telling people that they have gain on something or that they cheated people you need proof or evidence every person needs a fair chance to defend themselves.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 1:03 I'm just wondering why do you feel angry at your co-members when in fact they did not give up & continue the fight for the rights of the non-residents they're the ones who were brave enough to file a lawsuit coz they feel that rights are being violated and up to now they are not giving up hope that non-residents will be given improve status. It was 7 yrs ago when you paid that membership fee, let me ask you now, during those years did the members you were referring to went into hiding or are they still on the streets, media or newspapers visible & still fighting for you and the rest of non-residents? You on the other hand, what have you done to show support aside from paying the membership fee? Now is not the time to blame each other, find it in your heart on how you can help not blame others. All non-residents should be united, we should all act as one. Let's all hope and pray for the best result!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 10:46 I dont want to go further, all im saying is I had paid and was even told that only those that paid will get greencards,even some of my own friends are blaming me too because I told them to join me. we even exchange unpleasant words.. Im just saying that the lawyer who we paid should continue the fight and not ask anything more,he got paid so what? pay him more? im just saying...I hope one day someone will come up and represent the hardoworking foreign workers like Wendy and Rabby.. Dont get me wrong offcourse we need to be united but not to try and rob the workers that are seeking justice.

Anonymous said...

"rob" is a strong word to use that means that they are taking it by force right? i believe that the contribution to hire a lawyer is a voluntary thing & as far as i know there is no lawyer yet, they have not decided on whom to hire. In fairness to the lawyer you are referring to he's always been there guiding and supporting, he spent his time at the vigil one time giving advise to the workers. Let's not judge people analyze things first.