Congressman Gregorio Kilili Sablan Joins 38 Congressional Members In Opposing Alabama Law

November 23, 2011

Congressman Gregorio (Kilili) Sablan joined Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) and 37 other members of the U.S. Congress in signing an Amicus Brief in support of the U.S. lawsuit against Alabama's law, HB 56.

Is this good news for the 12,000 legal foreign workers who the Congressman callously and deliberately omitted from HR 1466? Does this mean that Congressman Sablan will now also support rights for ALL of the legal aliens in his own district? Will he also openly oppose CNMI's latest labor law that attempts to pre-empt federal law? Or does he just support justice and rights for all undocumented and documented aliens in the mainland?

The brief states:
Amici curiae are dedicated to preserving a consistent, uniform approach to the regulation of immigration in the Nation, as required by the Constitution. 
. . .As members of Congress, with the authority and responsibility to enact laws governing immigration, amici are aware of the importance of consistent enforcement of those laws throughout the Nation.

Additionally, amici are concerned about the deleterious effects on foreign relations that could well arise should individual states enact their own immigration schemes, and the burden that laws such as Alabama’s H.B. 56 will place on already taxed federal resources. . .

. . . Further, as elected federal officials, amici have an interest in protecting the Constitutional rights of their constituents and the American people in general. Amici are concerned that H.B. 56 and similar laws will deprive Alabama residents of the basic civil liberties and rights guaranteed to them under the Constitution.
If consistency is to be applied that would mean that HR 1466 should be amended to support permanent residency, an existing status under the INA and to provide status for all, not just those with a U.S. immediate relative. Or perhaps Sablan as sponsor of HR1466, and the  co-sponsors of HR 1466 who signed this brief are not consistent and do not really want to apply immigration law to all.

Many signers of the Amicus Brief also co-sponsored HR 1466, the bill that would provide an un-American status for only 4,000 of the 16,000 legal (until November 28, 2011) foreign workers of the CNMI. The bill that has provisions that mirror the post-Civil War Black Codes. This incredible disingenuous double standard is astounding!

The following is the press release from Rep. Luis Gutierrez ( I have bolded the names of the co-sponsors of HR 1466) :

(Washington, DC) -- Rep. Luis Gutierrez (IL-4) and 38 other House Democrats signed a brief of amicus curiae in support of the Department of Justice lawsuit against Alabama's anti-immigrant law, HB 56. The amicus brief, which was filed on Monday, November 21st, asserts foremost that the Alabama statute is unconstitutional because it is preempted by federal law. The amicus brief also highlights the harm that the Alabama statute will cause to all Alabamans, including citizens. Rep. Gutierrez led the effort to enlist his congressional colleagues in signing on to the amicus brief and led a delegation of Members of Congress who traveled to Alabama on November 21st to hear directly from Alabamans about the devastating impact of the new draconian law.

"The Constitution is quite clear about the federal government’s preeminent role in immigration matters and having 50 inconsistent state policies towards immigrants is a level of chaos the Founders sought to avoid,” said Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez, who chairs the Immigration Task Force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. “HB 56 adds layers of punitive measures targeting Alabama residents that are inconsistent with federal policy. Congress has the responsibility to balance many concerns in legislating federal immigration policy, such as law enforcement, the economy, family unity, education, civil rights, and so on. HB 56 has and will cause irreparable harm to communities and families throughout Alabama, but will also cause irreparable damage to Constitutional principles if allowed to stand. We join the U.S. Department of Justice, civil rights organizations, immigrant advocates, educators and people of faith in calling for HB 56 to be stripped from Alabama’s law books.”

The Members of the House of Representatives signed on to the amicus brief include Democratic Whip, Steny Hoyer (D-MD), Judiciary Committee Ranking Member, John Conyers (D-MI), Immigration Subcommittee Ranking Member, Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), and Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL).

The complete list is as follows:

Congressman Joe Baca

Congressman Xavier Becerra

Congressman Dennis Cardoza

Congresswoman Judy Chu

Congresswoman Yvette Clarke

Congressman John Conyers

Congressman Jim Costa

Congressman Ted Deutch

Congressman Keith Ellison

Congresswoman Anna Eshoo

Congressman Charles Gonzalez

Congressman Al Green

Congressman Raúl Grijalva

Congressman Luis Gutierrez

Congresswoman Janice Hahn

Congressman Rubén Hinojosa

Congressman Mike Honda

Congressman Steny Hoyer

Congressman Jesse L. Jackson, Jr.

Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney

Congressman Jim McDermott

Congressman Gregory Meeks

Congresswoman Gwen Moore

Congressman Jim Moran

Congresswoman Grace Napolitano

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton

Congressman Pedro Pierluisi

Congressman Jared Polis

Congressman Mike Quigley

Congressman Charles Rangel

Congressman Silvestre Reyes

Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard

Congressman Gregorio Sablan

Congresswoman Janice Schakowsky

Congressman José Serrano

Congresswoman Terri Sewell

Congressman Albio Sires

Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez

# # #

Rep. Luis Gutierrez stated:
"The Constitution is quite clear about the federal government’s preeminent role in immigration matters and having 50 inconsistent state policies towards immigrants is a level of chaos the Founders sought to avoid.”
Inconsistent policies like creating an immigration status under the INA like CNMI-only? The co-sponsors of  HR 1466 who signed this brief need to explain this.

The press release further stated:
"Congress has the responsibility to balance many concerns in legislating federal immigration policy, such as law enforcement, the economy, family unity, education, civil rights, and so on."
So how could these immigration reformist-members exclude 12,000 legal aliens from HR 1466 and propose a CNMI-only status for only 4,000 of the CNMI's legal aliens that mirror the post-Civil War Black Codes?

Read the brief:


Anonymous said...

Why do you keep trying to figure this out, Wendy? These people don't care about the aliens here. They don't even know what they signed when they signed his bill. It's a matter of scratch my back, I'll scratch yours. Kilili thinks he's some kind of hero. What a joke all the way around.

Anonymous said...

He's got some explaining to do!

Anonymous said...

Kilili has nothing to gain by pushing for improved status for anyone. In fact, he loses support. He has pushed for measures that he thinks may pass.

All you are doing Wendy by continually attacking Kilili, is further fracturing the base of support for change. Many, no most who advocate for better status for legal immigrants, believe the congress may entertain a measure to keep parents of citizens in the country, but NO ONE ELSE. And that's a big MAYBE still.

Those who know Kilili, know what his feelings are. He believes many should get status. But that is not the reality of what is possible. It's simply not under the current Republican congress. You should know that.

Let's give thanks we have someone in power who cares, and is doing what he and many think is possible considering the climate.

Wendy Doromal said...


Is exposing the truth attacking Kilili? Does he not support better status for undocumented aliens in the states (as witnessed clearly by past and present legislation that he has co-sponsored and his other actions) than he does for the people that he has lived with for decades? I am fracturing a base by exposing the truth? Who needs change like this? Who wants change like this? I expect my country to move forward, not backward towards post-Civil War times.

I KNOW what Sablan's feelings are. He cares about his career. He threatens people who oppose his bill or ask for it to be amended. When asked what he would say to the 12,000 who were callously left out he angrily said, "GO HOME!" These are not the words of someone who is "believes many should get status."

You said, "Kilili has nothing to gain." It's not about what Kilili gains. It's about what 12,000 people lose. It's not about the career of one person (or the re-election of one person); it's about the quality of the lives of 12,000 or 16,000 people and their families; it's about their future. It's about democracy, American principles, and justice. It's about doing the right thing. It's about moving forward, not backward. It's about sincerity and decency. If he doesn't have the moral courage to introduce the proper legislation then he could have asked someone else to.

He is not doing this because he thinks this is the "only thing possible." He is doing this because he believes it is the only thing he can do to keep his campaign promise and get re-elected. The entire U.S. Congress is dysfunctional and grid-locked, but that is not an excuse to introduce an inferior bill that will harm so many. If the delegate from the CNMI put in a bill to give every single legal, long-term foreign worker permanent residency, I bet it would pass if it could be heard in this useless Congress. I am sure he would have more co-sponsors than just his uninformed friends from the Caucuses, who co-sponsored HR 1466 to support him to the detriment of their own reputations. There are more people than just me wondering why the double standard with these "immigration champions" and what is their true stand. The long-term foreign workers in the CNMI are LEGAL (Well, of course in a few days most will not be). There are many Republicans who support LEGAL aliens; some also support undocumented aliens and immigration reform.

I will continue to put out the truth and challenge the members of Congress to answer for their actions. We pay their salaries, we are impacted by their actions and inactions. They answer to the American people. I want some answers.

Anonymous said...

Wendy, I used to think you were a die hard liberal that would back anything your Democrat Party came up with. Accept my apology. You stand on principle, a rare trait today. You are absolutely 100% correct. If the Delegate from the NMI asked for green cards for all legals over 5 years, that bill would pass. In the House the members bow to the Delegate's wishes with legislation concerning island matters. No one outside of the NMI cares about what happens in the NMI, except the Delegate and a few people such as yourself. That 'won't pass if he includes all' line is his excuse for justifying his bill aimed to garner votes in the next election. Keep putting out the truth. God knows we need to hear it and some people are actually listening. (Wink, passing this along to some who do.)

Anonymous said...


Wendy Doromal said...

11:24 Thanks for your comment and understanding. I thank you for passing this to people who can help. I hope someone with a moral compass will step up. Now that some have parole, maybe the foreign workers with IRs will rise up to support their sisters and brothers who were so callously discarded from the bill like yesterday's trash. Maybe the press will keep their promise to cover this. Just in case, I am spending the weekend re-doing the letters to the editor that I had put on hold. This latest evidence of a double standard is the last straw. Time is running out for the EQUALLY deserving 12,000 and for a true status for the others. If anyone wants to push the idea that the NMI residents do not want their co-workers, neighbors and fellow parishioners to have status, please read Angelo Villagomez' post.

TAGLISH said...

Ms. Wendy, You are one of the reasons why we are so thankful. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your entire family! May God bless you always!

Wendy Doromal said...

Hello Taglish:

Thank you and a very Happy Thanksgiving to you and all of your family. May God bless you all!

Anonymous said...

Kilili is married to a pinoy. I am sure there are extended relatives on island that will benefit. To say he is racist is bogus. He was elected by the people of the CNMI, not alien workers. He is beholdent to them.

I would support a provision that gave status to aliens who have been here over 15 years. But, then it gets complicated. Why would you give status to a Canadian or Aussie who has been here awhile....? they come from countries that are quite well off.

Anonymous said...

8:06 Did someone say Congressman Sablan is racist? What are you talking about? Status is not mandatory. If someone does not want to have permanent residency they do not have to!