November 4, 2011
In an interview on KSPN 2 News regarding the legal, long-term foreign workers of the CNMI Governor Benigno Fitial stated:
"I don't have any qualms about those people who are legally employed, okay, although they are nonreisdent because they are not a burden. They are contributing their fair share to the community. But you know, I have strong objection to supporting those illegal unemployed people, you know, illegally employed, illegally residing. You know, my term is burden. If you are, you know, in that category, you have no place in Saipan. Don't wait, you know, for Kilili's bill to pass, 'cause it's not going to be passed. The U.S. Congress is not stupid, you know, to carve out a special law for a few people. What about the 14 million illegal aliens that are roaming around the streets of the USA?The governor ended the interview with a snarky Cheshire Cat smirk. (Watch the KSPN2 News 11/4/11 newscast.)
The governor should be reminded that any foreign worker who has an umbrella permit is not currently illegal.
I would like to ask the governor how he feels about the hundreds of CNMI employers who have illegally stolen wages from thousands of foreign contract workers. He doesn't appear to have a "strong objection" to wage theft. How does this governor feel about those citizens who illegally employ foreign workers, who illegally recruit them, or who are involved in human trafficking schemes. Any harsh words for these serious lawbreakers?
The CNMI governor also had comments about two off-island attorneys who have stepped up to inform the foreign workers of their constitutional rights and rights to due process of law. Speaking about Attorney Loida Nicolas-Lewis and Attorney Teodoro “Ted” Laguatan the governor said:
"Thes two lawyers are all jerks 'cause if they look at the CNRA – that's the statute, that the federalization statute, 110-299, it is very clear Congress wants to weed out all the people that are considered to be burden here in the Commonwealth. So if you are illegally employed or unemployed okay you don't have any business staying here you know because you know you are a burden. So that is very clear. That is not my intention. That's the intention of Congress under 110-229 so if these two jerks are going to continue to jerk nonresident people around, they better get a business license first.This governor is disrespectful not only to the foreign contract workers, but to the two attorneys who are trying to inform the workers of their rights. The attorneys told the foreign workers who may become out of status on November 27, 2011 that they can stay in the CNMI and have the right to have appear before an immigration court before they can be removed or deported.