HR 1466 Removed From House Calendar

December 15, 2011

Rep. Doc Hastings, the Chair of the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources has removed HR. 1466 from the House Calendar. The bill will not be heard before the Christmas break. Governor Fitial takes the credit for the bill's removal citing help from Republican friends like Rep. Steven King (R-IA) and Rep. Brian Billbray (R-CA). (Billbray accepted one of the first Abramoff-sponsored junkets to the CNMI.) Fitial worked through the House Republican Study Committee to get the support he needed to remove the bill.

Fitial told the Saipan Tribune that he is pushing for an H-5 visa or "employment-based" visa for foreign workers with U.S. citizen children or spouses rather than a status upgrade. The intent of PL 110-229 is clear. It mandated the U.S. Department of Interior to report to the U.S. Congress by May 2010 with a recommendation of status for the foreign workers –not a work visa, but status.

Fitial claimed that "the bill was created and sold with inaccuracy and dishonesty" according to the Marianas Variety. The governor claimed it would affect 10,000 aliens and serve as a blueprint for amnesty in the U.S.  With polls showing that the majority of Americans support permanent residency and a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented aliens in the U.S. mainland, what member of Congress would support legislation that is specific to a state or territory (chains them to a region), offers only disenfranchisement and excludes specific categories of equally deserving workers?

Fitial stated that the bill could harm the economy. Apparently this is the argument that many of the aliens with U.S. citizen children or spouses are unemployed.  Of course, if both Fitial and Sablan supported permanent residency for all of the legal, long-term workers those without jobs would be free to leave. Fitial argues that many of the aliens are hired for low entry level jobs that could be filled by the CNMI's U.S. citizens. Giving these aliens permanent residency would free them to exit for the U.S. mainland opening positions for the U.S. citizens who previously shunned them for high paying government jobs.

Fitial has no right to argue about low wages when he fought to keep them low!

Fitial also falsely claimed that HR 1466 is amnesty. Please. The bill would only grant some of the population of legal, long-term foreign workers with U.S. citizen children an inferior CNMI-only status that chains them to the CNMI by restricting travel, and maintains their disenfranchisement. That is not amnesty. It is also not even democratic or just.

Fital also was dishonest in minimizing the fact that $6.1 million is owed to the foreign workers. He claims that these outstanding debts were adjudicated. Over the years the CNMI Department of Labor made announcements to wipe out the Administrative Orders. Saying that the cases are dismissed does not erase the fact that this amount was stolen from the workers. The wage theft remains wage theft until it is paid. The governor also attempted to minimize the high number of human trafficking cases in the CNMI which is extensively documented and cannot be denied.

It is time to stop the political games and introduce legislation that reflects the principles of our nation, the intent of the CNRA and recognizes the immense contributions of the long-term workers.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

"It is time to stop the political games and introduce legislation that reflects the principles of our nation"

Yes, agreed, but this is a big step to the right, not left, so more liberal legislation seems for the time, futile.

Anonymous said...

just wait and watch.you will see what will happen to CNMI.lots of paradise islands left with dust and birds.same will happen here only military will stay here this is the game by USA politics/military general.usa pacific islands on high risk to destroy by enemy.world war is soon...mr.fitial/killie will left by them karma.human are so innocent one of the smart animal.they dont know how to rule this beautiful earth.they know how to destroy not to remake. if u dont know how to remake then u should not destroy.may godbless u governar and congressman/cnmi/usa people.hope u learn soon but that time you guys will be too late.please respect the time/human being.thanks.merry x-mas.amen

Anonymous said...

We already have immigration laws. First learn to follow them. You must possess a skill in order to be granted a work visa only. Those that have been here in the CNMI for years should have applied for a Green Card on their own many years ago. Enough said.

Anonymous said...

how many people have been warning that this bill and any legislation would not be passed in the current climate. Wendy you state that Congress should have acted on the DOI recommendation. All the CRNA said is that DOI should make a reccomendation to Congress it never said that Congress had to give a status. They did listen and they did act, by deciding not to submit a bill they made their decision. Rep K. made his bill based upon what he thought would work in line with those here should be the most deserving, by that I mean those with the most equities, mainly some relationship to a USC, based upon current immigration laws they are the most closely aligned to those current laws. Many of us said even this fairly tame bill would have a tough time but everyone thought 'no, this will pass' the advocates tried to convince even USCIS that it would pass. Alas, it appears that wishing and hoping doesn't cut it in the real world of Washington and politics. Watch USCIS revist the parole grants that they said they would grant. They can just as easily revoke or cancel them. Letting people stay for a year and then telling them to go home just prolongs the inevitable. As many of us have been saying since '08, make a plan to leave people....time is running short and reality is setting in although too late for those who refused to plan......sorry but thems the facts of life here in the CNMI....

Itos said...

HR 1466 THEN H-5? WE NEED A GREEN CARD...AND PATHWAY TO CITIZENSHIP SO WE ALL CAN MOVE ON,,, SAME OLD SAME OLD...THE US CONGRESS SHOULD MAKE A NEW BILL THAT WILL INCLUDE ALL FOREIGN WORKERS OF THE CNMI.

TAGLISH said...

Itos,

Who would have the courage to introduce such bill?They're same bananas! Wait for OCWs' children, I am certain many will work on that!! Ask my 11 year old son, he is smart than the anyone here in these government. He knows what to do to fix the sewer problem, he's been seeing everyday on his way to school. He has plan of his own to fix problems here, maybe because no one in our family is in politics! Just too bad for these kids to be affected by the struggles of their parents.

TAGLISH said...

I'm not hoping HR1466 or H5 will pass, because I still believe that US Congress/Senate and hopefully Pres. Obama are smarter than these Chamorro politicos! Sorry to disappoint you fellow OCWs, I have 11 yr old son and I won't settle for less. What these politicos are giving us are nothing but always...crumbs! False HOPE! NO THANKS!! There's no such thing as CNMI permanent residency neither CNMI citizens...These politicos are US citizens themselves!! So who would like to fill up a form and state Citizenship/Nationality....as CNMI permanent resident/Chamorro? Anyone???? Anyone has the pride to state CNMI/Chamorro as their citizenship? Chamorro themselves are indeed US citizens!!! If there's a Chamorro who will denounce his US citizenship then I will take the pride to be a CNMI permanent resident!!!

Wendy Doromal said...

8:03 You said, " Wendy you state that Congress should have acted on the DOI recommendation. All the CRNA said is that DOI should make a reccomendation to Congress it never said that Congress had to give a status." Really? PL 110-229 mandated that the DOI spend the time and money making a report for Congress for no reason than to read it? What a purposeless and wasteful provision to put in a law if that is true.

I am so sick of idiotic reasoning, excuses and this 112th Congress, the worst EVER. When have the American people decided that they will settle for what can pass instead of what is right?

Who is Rep. K? Congressman Sablan? If that is who you are talking about, he made his decision based on what was a campaign promise and what he believed to be politically in his best interest. Is it in the best interest of anyone who contributes to a locale for decades to be chained to it as a disenfranchised citizen? Is it in the best interest to create a new CNMI-only status when there are existing ones in the INA? Uh, no.

No, "everyone" did not say that this would pass and everyone did not want it to pass because not everyone believes that the United States of America should introduce legislation that mirrors the Black Codes or disenfranchise de facto citizens who have lived and worked legally on U.S. soil for 5 or more years or 2 or more decades.

And right now the "real world of Washington" is a joke. The members of this Congress do not deserve a paycheck from the American people.

Wendy Doromal said...

4:41 You are joking, right?

Anonymous said...

Why has HR1466 been moved away? Why will H5 die? Because the history needs a real bill for all the CNMI people to adjust their social status during social change.But until now the right bill is still hiding. That's why the CNMI economy is still rolling to the bottom. Never think CNMI tax rate is right because the main force is trying to pay tax to survive while waiting for improved status.If there is no hope for peoples to get improved status,every one will go back. Then the economy will reach the bottom, disappear like World Trade Center.

the teacher said...

US citizen kids are broken hearted about this HR-1466 development.

Taglish may be right, the parents best bet may be through their kids. I would agree that some 11 year olds would beat government officals in some academic areas. But if they are forced out, or even if some are, they will return severely behind in education and English and the best opportunity to meet the income threshold to assist parents will likely be joining the US military. Thats fine for some, but the military isn't for everyone.

US citizen children returning to parents country of origin would be unlikely to return to the CNMI due to lack of opportunity. The hotels plan to continue bringing in foreign nationals for cheap labor, and before long (even now to some extent) those "new" aliens are competing with citizen kids of CWs for jobs and keeping the wages depressed. So for another generation, our new generation, the nightmare continues.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Hodges, not just US citizen childrens but all childrens are heartbroken. my childrens from the Philippines are the Dream Act childrens if they're in the states. here they're nothing. we are nothing if our childrens weren't born on US soil. If we're in states they're safe. look at Vargas, the writer who admits he's a Filipino illegal. he's in states getting special treatment. every CW should be heartbroken because we're not going to get treated like the illegals in states. all CW childrens are in danger. only green cards can fix this for all childrens and CWs.

the teacher said...

8:48 I've written the US Congress and President concerning this matter(and whether or not any of them read it is unknown), so exactly what else would you expect a reasonable law abiding citizen to do?

I may, or may not have written the story to suit you as if that had any bearing on anything anyway.

Have you ever written your President or any elected representatives concerning the immigration and travel difficulties and costs associated for Americans with children in PI? Have you ever written a letter to a PI newspaper critizing government officals for their inability to address overpopulation, ignoring the poverty crisis, encouraging the exportation of workers, hiding their head in the sand like gutless cowards when china told them not to attend the Peace Prize event, or turning a deaf ear and blind eyes to the starving children begging in the streets, and then had the guts to sign tour name?

I thought not.

America doesn't owe anyone anything. You are officially bad mouthing the most charitable country in earth's history, even in their own financial crisis, and eventhough they have given you some...now you don't think it's enough.

Do the world and yourself a big favor, make your kids proud by doing something constructive instead of whining and begging all the time...get yourself educated so you don't need the US, or even better, do something brilliant so they clamour for your presence.

Wendy Doromal said...

Ron: Wow, what a mean comment to a person who basically is just saying that her children were born in the Philippines so they were left out of HR 1466 and they are heartbroken also. The person was responding to a comment you made that US citizen children are heartbroken. In your comments, you often leave out the other children in the CNMI who were foreign born, focusing only on US citizen children.

Did this person bad mouth America? No! This person correctly pointed out what I continually state here. There are two congressional immigration views that have been put forth by Democrats --an inferior and oppressive one for the aliens in the CNMI and a progressive and just one for the aliens in the US.

You do not know if this person wrote a letter, signed one of the many petitions, or attended Occupy USCIS or any rally or march, yet you attacked. What money did this writer get from the USA?

Do you know that this person is not educated? Do you know that this person is not a constructive or brilliant parent, spouse, friend, employee or resident? Why are you so hostile to this commenter?

By the way, I received a letter from President Obama yesterday in response to my letter. It was another non-letter.

the teacher said...

The is comment wasn’t sent to you Wendy it was sent to the lady who tosses cheap shots and insults to everything I post here…in anonymity I might add. Hostile, this person has repeatedly asked me if I “favor US citizen children in the classroom over non-citizen children” because I support HR-1466. So OK, 1466 seems dead…now what…I do not believe any subsequent legislation will ever be better for those citizen children than HR-1466. The chip away strategy may have been effective here but in my opinion, only broader US national policy can help workers here now. And that means future workers as many are out of status now or on CW permits which are not paths to permanent residency. We already have a situation where US citizen children, some of foreign national parents, have to compete with our cheap alien labor force which drives wages down to an unlivable figure. So congratulations to everyone opposing that bill...strong work. And for the record, I supported the Dream Act but it got beat, and it wasn’t green cards, it was many arduous years jumping through hoops that included college or the military with a path to citizenship far away…and not for their parents, for the young person jumping through all those the hoops. I expect all future local laws here to put pressure on and cost foreign nationals.

Wendy Doromal said...

Ron:

1. This person did not attack you. Re-read the comment. The person correctly pointed out that ALL children are relevant, not just those born on U.S. soil. There are many people in this world who possess a humanitarian view that does not segregate the Earth's people into nationalities where some are designated as being more worthy or more deserving of justice and compassion even on U.S. soil. I am among them.

2. You do not know if this is a female or male or if this person is the same person who previously criticized the fact that you do not support a remedy for the foreign workers with families with foreign born children, but support protection for those with a U.S. citizen relative.

3. The person never mentioned your classroom.

4. Advocates wanted the inferior bill substituted or amended. Fitial wanted it killed. In an attempt to get me to support a bill that no true advocate working for justice for ALL of the foreign workers would support, Kilili threatened me saying that if his bill did not pass he would tell everyone, "It is your fault." I am not an ignorant person and do not accept baseless threats. I responded that such a statement would be a lie. Rabby also has not been swayed by threats. We were very clear that we wanted the inferior bill corrected.

5. There have been several versions of the DREAM Act, all of which resulted in eventual citizenship. Kilili's bill hurts more long-term workers than it helps and offered an inferior CNMI-only status, which sets a dangerous precedent for other states that also have the anti-federal stance.

6. There is no stability in the CNMI for foreign nationals who are political pawns and often vicitimized under the watchful eyes of both the CNMI and US governments. The future looks bleak for the CNMI foreign workers and they have no true ally in any of the CNMI elected leaders. It is doubtful that the U.S. Congress will take action to recognize their years on U.S. soil and years of work in the CNMI by granting them permanent residency. The Congress is too partisan, divisive and gridlocked to even move on the most essential of issues. Look how many House members are even still in Washington, DC while Congress is still in session. What a slap to the American people. The U.S. Congress is currently comprised of a majority of self-serving individuals who will push their personal political agendas over what is just, what is moral, what demonstrates U.S. principles and what is needed. The foreign workers may want to consider this fact when weighing whether to stay or find employment in a country that offers a pathway to citizenship for years of work and service.

the teacher said...

PS - Citizens here are totally against improved status in any form simply because of economics, not racism or bias as is often implied. A farcical assumption is that all young US citizens of alien parents support the “cause”, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. I was a little surprised after conducting polls on this issue but read the detailed rationale behind 2/3 citizen children of foreign nationals opposing amnesty or blanket improved status. The most common was “if everyone gets green cards wages will stay depressed and I’ll have to move for better opportunity” and “I can petition my own parents in 4 years, so everyone else should cut their best deal”…and even more insightful and brilliant observations from them like “the US should only open the doors to the world’s smartest, that will keep us ahead for generations”, and “US immigration should market green cards to wealthy aliens with huge tax rebates or zero tax for hiring citizens”. Many of those kids are much sharper than our general adult population.

Wendy Doromal said...

Teacher 11:02

Ron:

1. Citizens that oppose green cards are not supporting the economy! Issuing green cards would allow those without jobs or with other opportunities in the states to leave opening jobs for U.S. citizens. You do realize that under Kilili's bill any unemployed foreign worker with a U.S. citizen spouse or child gets to stay, right? That helps the economy, but green cards does not?

2. The vast majority of U.S. citizen children of foreign parents support green cards with a pathway to citizenship for their parents. I do not know ONE child who is old enough to understand the issue, who opposes green cards for equally deserving foreign workers. What poll was conducted, where, with how many children, by whom?

3. If what you say is true -that U.S. citizen children care only about the protection and justice for their own families - then I would say that they probably learned that view from their parents and/or perhaps teachers. How sad that these children appear to lack empathy for their fellow classmates and other foreign workers and their families not covered by HR 1466. Are you saying that as a result of HR 1466 that these children whose parents are under the bill have in their minds divided the total CNMI foreign worker population into the elite (those with a U.S. citizen relative) and the undeserving (those who failed to marry or procreate.) Really?

4. Brilliant? Sharp? Hardly. Perhaps myopic (if they truly understand at their young ages, which I would also question). How sad that this sentiment that lacks the attributes of compassion, equality and fairness comes from our nation's young people. Perhaps they could read the history of our nation and learn how we are a nation of immigrants that has always accepted people of all races, nationalities and abilities. It is also hard to believe your statement since most of the foreign workers are classified at low skill levels and would not fall under the "world's smartest" (neither do you or I) or the wealthy? Welcome only the wealthy to harm the 99% even more? And you call this "brilliant" and "sharp"? This is all a joke again, right Ron?

the teacher said...

"criticized the fact that you do not support a remedy for the foreign workers with families with foreign born children"

People can spin their agenda anyway they like, but I never said I don't support remedy for foreign born children, I said HR-1466 is on the floor and I support it because it would help thousands of US citizen kids...period. If another broader more inclusive bill were on the House floor then I would read it first and then likely support that bill too.

I'm sure a ten year old would never would never say they were against improved status in front of their sobbing mother but another poll of 17 year olds would prove the same results. GWs can be in denial or not but I conducted the poll twice with about 100 each time (2 groups) who averaged 16.5 years old and 17 year old children (of alien parents) were 2 to 1 against blanket green cards, improved status, or amnesty for reasons already stated.

Everyone here knows some of the least supportive people of the "cause" are former guest workers now green card holders/citizens. That is a solid fact and you could do a quick survey here of ten persons and you will get 90% confirmation of that fact. So I can't coddle people and tell them there is some bill on the horizon that will make their dreams come true when I know there is none.