December 16, 2011
I have letters from members of the U.S. Congress and from officials who served in the U.S. Departments of Labor, Interior, State, and Justice dating back decades. I also have a letter from President Bill Clinton that was a reply to a letter and petition that I sent to him. Over the years, I have received phone calls from a variety of officials, including one from Eric Holder who was serving as U.S. Deputy Attorney General. He asked questions and advised me on inquiries I made in a letter I had written to U.S. Attorney Janet Reno concerning the violation of civil and human rights of the CNMI foreign workers.
Today I have come to realize that if I submit testimony; write a report or letter; send an email; or make a call to the office of a federal official (excepting some congressional staffers and USCIS personnel), it is most likely only for purposes of documentation because typically no one will reply, or too often the reply is unrelated to the concerns in the letters. The U.S. Department of State and Labor have sent some truly ignorant replies to letters, indicating that the author had no knowledge of the CNMI, PL 110-229, or the transition from CNMI to federal immigration. Their responses also prove that the authors had no intention of researching the issues in order to give a proper response.
In late November 2011, I received a letter from Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) in response to a July 2011 letter I wrote concerning HR 1466, which she co-sponsored. The entire letter from Rep. Fudge discussed the the Ross-Issa Postal Reform Act and thanked me for contacting her office about the act. I have no clue what the Postal Reform Act is and truthfully, I do not really care. I do care that her office sent an inappropriate and unrelated response to my letter. I care that there is an over abundance of incompetence and waste in federal offices. I care that the disconnect between the American people and our federal officials, including our elected leaders, has grown to totally unacceptable distances with impassable roadblocks, which cannot be navigated by an individual citizen.
In 1863 President Lincoln stated that the "government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." Almost 150 years later there is no such government in the United States of America. We are so far from that principle that we may never again see a time when our government functions with the people's voice as an essential element.
In October 2011 the 112th Congress received an approval rating of 9%. The U.S. going communist received a higher approval rating at 14%. This 112th Congress has under-performed to even exceed the nonperformance of the do-nothing Congress of 1948. The 112th Congress is so dysfunctional and incompetent that one has to wonder why we are paying the salaries of these politically motivated and self-serving members. The average member of Congress is interested more in his own re-election than in the best interest of the people of our nation.
There are few, if any, statesmen left in Washington. As I have said many times over the last year, it appears that possession of a conscience, moral values, commitment to the public good, and support for basic American principles are merely sound bites that too many members of the U.S. Congress use only while on campaign trails and discard with a wink when they enter the Halls of Congress. It appears that too many staffers echo the excuses of their bosses who so nonchalantly cast American principles aside to follow a political agenda that is simply a road map to their re-elections, a road-map that is leading our country over a cliff.
Our government is ruled by lobbyists who represent corporations, Wall Street and the wealthy. We are doomed as a nation if this trend is not stopped immediately. The CNMI's foreign workers can expect no justice from these excuse-making, finger pointing brats on Capitol Hill. I am not even sure that an election will make a difference at least for the CNMI's foreign workers since even when the Democrats had control they did nothing to address their plight.
Now it is reported that Congressman Sablan will "make changes" to HR 1466 to please Governor Fitial and his Republican allies.
The Saipan Tribune quoted the governor:
Fitial, now president again of the CNMI Republican Party, said he will give his proposed bill to Sablan because “he's the only one representing us there.”Both Fitial and Sablan share one basic misconception. The "people" within a district, territory, state or nation are all of the "people" of that particular society. The "people" of the CNMI are all of the "people"– not just the voters, not just one race, not just the indigenous population, not just those who are U.S. citizens, not just those with U.S. citizen relatives, but all of the people who live and work within the community. Every person who lives in the CNMI should be regarded as "the people" and "protected".
“I don't have any ill-feeling against Kilili. He's got a problem. He's not really working and protecting his people. That's why I told him, 'don't say that I don't have a heart for people. I do have a heart for people.' This heart now belongs to the people who trusted me to serve them,” he said.
Fitial said he will wait “until it's very clear that 1466 will not be entertained” before he gives his proposal to Sablan.
When asked whether he would also consider supporting HR 1466 if Sablan addresses his concerns on the bill, Fitial said “sure.”
“You know my concern. I don't want these pregnant mothers who came here and deliver babies and wait for Kilili's bill to become reality. Those are the groups that I will never support because they are burdens. You know my definition of burden-people who do not work or people who work illegally and do not contribute (not pay taxes). PL 110-229 is intended and designed to do just that-to get rid of burdens,” he added.
The foreign contract workers did not go to the CNMI to have babies as Governor Fitial suggested. They went to the CNMI because they were legally recruited to work there. It was the CNMI's policy of allowing renewal for years and decades that allowed these foreign workers the time to marry, have children and raise families as de facto citizens and disenfranchised community members. Fitial suggests that those parents of U.S. citizen children who are unemployed should leave just as the long term foreign workers with no U.S. citizen connections will be forced to leave under HR 1466.
The CNMI foreign workers did not invade the CNMI or enter the islands illegally. They were recruited to fill jobs that there were not enough U.S. citizens to fill. They were continually renewed for years and decades. They have kept the economy afloat as they contribute their skills and labor, pay taxes and stimulate the economy with purchases. They are essentially de facto citizens who deserve to have their status improved to permanent residency status. If they are granted permanent residency status then those who are employed and treated well will opt to stay. Those who are unemployed or are just plain sick of being pawns in political battles, fed up with being targets of racism and discrimination or have had enough with the ill-treatment and stolen wages can leave. That would solve the problem of the unemployed "burden" that Fitial suggests exists in the CNMI.
Should we expect that HR 1466, the inferior bill that mocked the principles of our nation, will now be made even worse? HR 1466 was already an unsuitable crumb that was tossed to 1/4 only of the total number of legal, long-term foreign workers. What will it look like after it is altered to please the congressional Republican members who are clueless about the history, the reality and the plight of the legal, long-term foreign workers? It may just transform from a crumb to an even more politically poisoned crumb. Where is a moral member of Congress who will stand up for American principles, democracy and justice and introduce legislation to benefit the majority of the legal, long-term foreign workers?