Foreign Worker News

December 6, 2011


"We have received many inquiries about whether an I-129 CW petition can be filed now, after November 28, 2011. I would like to address this topic to clarify the rules.

Employers can still petition for a foreign national worker after November 28, 2011 if a foreign national is in a lawful immigration status in the CNMI (for example, with valid parole) even if the worker is not currently employed.

As long as the I-129CW petition or application for any other nonimmigrant employment-based category is submitted before the foreign national’s parole expires, an employer can petition for a foreign national who:
- was lawfully present in the CNMI before November 28, 2011,
- has an extension of parole until January 31, 2011 (or beyond) and
- does not work without authorization after November 27, 2011.

The foreign national can also be an applicant for a grant of status. This is where USCIS gives a foreign national a Federal immigration status without the foreign national having to leave the United States (in this case, the CNMI.)

If the I-129CW is filed after November 28, 2011, the foreign national would not be eligible for continuation of employment and cannot work until the I-129CW petition is approved and CW-1 status granted. A person is not “lawfully present” if they are engaged in unauthorized employment.

*** In addition, in an effort to streamline public inquiries, USCIS has created a special e-mail box for inquiries related to the CNMI, including questions about CW petitions, parole, etc. That e-mail address is This mailbox will be monitored by customer service personnel who are familiar with CNMI issues.

Please share this with colleagues, friends and family."

American Samoan Delegate Proposes U.S. Status for Aliens

American Samoan Delegate Faleomavaega Eni is proposing that the long-term residents of American Samoa be granted U.S. citizen status. His draft bill contrasts with HR 1466 that Delegate Sablan introduced in April 2011 to address the status of only about ¼ of the total legal, long-term residents of the CNMI by proposing an un-American CNMI-only status.

Delegate Eni's draft legislation would amend the federal Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA) to allow foreigners who have been long time legal residents of American Samoa to apply for U.S. National status.

Samoa News reported:
Faleomavaega explained that the proposal will grant U.S. National status in three categories for long time residents in American Samoa and one category would provide for any person who has continuously lived in American Samoa since the age of 5 years or under and has graduated from high school.

He told lawmakers that there are many students born in Samoa who moved to the territory with their parents, who were seeking better opportunities in life, and these young students - some of whom were brought here as infants - know of only one home and that is American Samoa.

However, these same students do not qualify for many federal assistance programs to further their education outside of the territory, he said.

The other two categories for persons to be granted U.S. National status are: any person who has been legally married to a U.S. national, and has continuously resided in American Samoa for at least 10 years; and any person who has been physically and legally present in American Samoa for a continuous period of at least 20 years.

Current law allows only those born in American Samoa or who have a parent born in American Samoa, to be eligible to become U.S. Nationals.

However, Faleomavaega says this does not do justice to some 4,000 long time residents that have been living continuously in American Samoa for 20 years or more, paid taxes to the American Samoa Government, donated to their churches and contributed to American Samoa society in many ways.
Quite the contrast to Sablan's bill which excluded the legal, long-term residents of the CNMI who have no U.S. citizen spouse or child.  Perhaps some of Delegate Eni's humanitarian views could rub off on the CNMI Delegate. According to the Saipan Tribune leaders of the CNMI foreign resident workers also noted the contrasting positions of the two delegates.

Immigration Forum Scheduled for December 8th

A press release issued by the Pinoys for Good Governance stated:
US Pinoys for Good Governance will be holding an immigration forum on Dec. 8 in the Marianas Business Plaza lobby, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The forum will be conducted by Ted Laguatan, a U.S. immigration and human rights lawyer, the legal counsel and spokesman of the US Pinoys for Good Governance.

Laguatan is a member of the California State Bar and was honored in 2010 as one of only 29 U.S. lawyers officially certified continuously for more than 20 years as an expert-specialist in immigration law. He is the author of “A Layman’s Guidebook on Immigration Law,” and has won landmark immigration law cases.

Admission to the forum is free on first come, first served basis.

Laguatan said “the purpose of the forum is to provide valuable information to foreign workers in the CNMI to help them understand and know their legal rights and understand some of the laws and procedures that may be applicable in helping to solve their immigration problems.”

He added, “Many foreign workers have lived and worked in the CNMI for years. Many have U.S. citizen children or are in a sympathetic situation that should rightfully be considered in their quest for immigration relief. It is good and proper that everyone views them as fellow human beings who legitimately need help. We create a better world when we show love to our fellowmen — regardless of race, nationality, religion or culture.”
FICA Debate Continues

It is interesting that several CNMI officials recognize that the foreign workers from the Philippines and Korea who were once exempt from paying Social Security and Medicare taxes (FICA) and now are required to pay into the system, may not reap the benefits. It takes 40 quarters or ten years until a person can be eligible to collect Social Security benefits. Interesting too, that they did not mention that the Chinese, Bangladeshi, Nepalese and others who have been contributing also may never receive benefits.

The average foreign worker earning $5.05 an hour will see an additional $45 deducted monthly from their already pathetic pay. Employers will have to kick in about $60 a month for the taxes.

Read more here, here and here.

Months after receiving a death threat over the phone that resulted in an arrest, Rabby Syed continues to be the victim of hate. Some vandals spray painted, "Alien Go Home Terrorist Syed" on the outside of a flower shop in Chalan Kanoa. Previously vandals sprayed, "Stupid Alien Terrorist Syed" on the wall of a closed down car wash across from the cathedral. The graffiti is thought to be the work of the same criminal vandal.  This reminds me of some haters on Rota who put up a billboard by the airport in 1994 telling my husband and me to go home. What happened to civil debate or a letter to the editor?


Anonymous said...

This is so disgusting. What happened to Rabby's case before? Did the suspect serve jail time or just a slap on the wrist? This incident will continue to happen unless justice is served. Who will be scared of doing crime if not being punished? It's like, "Oh Ok, I can do it again next time, I do not need pay for my crime anyways".

Anonymous said...

its status for all long term workers....too saddd.lets get out from this black hole.

It's not your money! said...

Nomina stultorum in parietibus videmus

(Ancient Roman grafitti for "We often see the work of fools upon the walls.")