Another Sure-to-Fail CNMI Lawsuit

January 6, 2012

CNMI Attorney General Edward Buckingham told KSPN News that the CNMI is set to sue the Department of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano and USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas. Buckingham said he will file the lawsuit sometime next week. He will lose.

The Attorney General said:
"The concern of the commonwealth was and is that we had a number of people who entered the commonwealth under commonwealth law to do a job. The job was generally speaking  to work in the garment industry. which of course  is gone. We now have thousands of people who no longer have jobs. 
They don't have a means of self-support so as a result of that they are adversely affecting the economy. We are very poor. We have health care which is very limited. We have people who are now using the health care systems, people who because they don't have jobs are subject to being exploited. In desperation they can commit crimes and that has an impact on the criminal justice system and drain other resources. We simply need to get these cases resolved and move on."
Many of the present day foreign workers did not come to work in the CNMI as factory workers. They were hired to work in hotels and restaurants, as engineers, accountants, construction workers, beauticians, nurses, teachers and numerous other positions. Of course, it was the CNMI government who recruited all of these foreign workers. It was the CNMI that allowed the factory workers to remain legally in the CNMI to find new employers after the garment factories closed. It was the CNMI that allowed the foreign workers to be renewed year after year after year until the years turned into decades making them de facto citizens. It is the CNMI that regards the foreign workers as commodities, rather than as human beings or future citizens. The majority of the foreign contract workers who lost their jobs between the time the umbrella permits were issued and the DHS Final Rule was released applied for humanitarian parole. If that parole was granted they remain legal and there is nothing that the CNMI government can do about that. Immigration is a federal issue.

This attorney general needs to review his files and determine who is committing the majority of the crimes in the CNMI. The majority of the crimes (at least those that are publicized by the CNMI press) are not committed by the foreign workers, but are committed by U.S. citizens. In fact, there are numerous crimes that have been committed against, not by, the foreign workers over the years. Many of these crimes were never prosecuted, including numerous sexual assaults and the brutal attack on a Chinese foreign worker by then police officer Jesse Dubrall.

How have any of the foreign workers "adversely" hurt the CNMI economy? They contribute to it by paying rent, and purchasing commodities and services. The economy will suffer if an exodus of foreign workers occurs. This is basic economics and common sense.

Buckingham defined the goals of lawsuit:
"To have those people who should be here, be here. Those people who should not be here, be gone. What we're looking at with the USCIS case is they should have completed their work on or before November 27th. They didn't. What we have now is something without rules, without a timeline. That isn't good for anybody. What we want is USCIS we like the cases simply to be stopped as of November 27th,  but if that's not done we want assurance we work with USCIS to get these cases reviewed, processed, resolved.  The solution would be individual case reviews. We pick up a case file, we look at it, and we can't be them but they haven't done their job so we want to be assured that individual cases on an individual basis, not as a blanket, but as an individual case is reviewed and then a determination is made. Should you stay, should you not stay."
The way I see it is when a person has lived and worked legally in a place then they have earned the right to be granted permanent residency status and "should be" allowed to remain in the CNMI.

Regarding humanitarian parole Buckingham said, "When something is granted without legal authority that is the basis for our suit. Our position is that the paroles were improperly issued on a blanket basis That is improper. That is what we'll be challenging."

The U.S. government does have legal authority to grant parole. Furthermore, how can it be considered "blanket" parole if every individual foreign worker had to file separate applications that were reviewed and approved on an individual basis by USCIS?

On the other hand, the CNMI Department of Labor has employed "blanket" actions to inflict permanent and irreversible harm to many of the CNMI foreign workers. The department made numerous declarations and public announcements dismissing all legitimate labor cases rather than enforcing their own Administration Orders. These blanket actions were made to the detriment of the cheated foreign workers and to the advantage of the criminal employers who got away with wage theft. Many of the violators were also allowed to hire new foreign workers to cheat.

The U.S. now controls immigration in the CNMI. Maybe this lawsuit will clear up a few things. It could clarify the intent of the CNRA, which is to align the CNMI with the INA rather than to continue to keep the CNMI as a "special" case or maintain the status quo forever. Both Fitial and Sablan push for the CNMI to be treated differently and as a "special" case under the INA. We see this push for "special" treatment in Sablan's bill, HR 1466. This discriminatory bill proposes to establish a "special" CNMI-only status that would continue the status quo while permanently harming the remaining 3/4 of the legal, long-term foreign workers by purposely leaving them out of the bill. We see this push for "special" treatment with the Fitial Administration's racist policies, remarks and proposed labor law that attempts to preempt federal law. Both officials have the same goal –to rid the islands of the majority long-term foreign workers so that the "local" people can maintain political control for as long as possible.

Perhaps it is time for the foreign workers to cut their losses and seek employment in a country that has just labor and immigration laws, less racism, and regards foreign workers as future citizens rather than commodities. Sometimes one has to wonder if the CNMI deserves or appreciates the contributions of the foreign contract workers.


Anonymous said...

Why do you think anyone who challenges the Federal government in court will 'lose'. Lawsuits against Federal agencies number in the thousands each year. Yes, many Citizens win and win big. The Fed-worship is downright scary. I won't be surprised if a group of Filipinos sued the Feds. If they did will you post on your blog that they will 'lose'.

Wendy Doromal said...

7:11 I do not think that anyone who challenges the Federal government in Court will lose. I thought that Fitial would lose his original anti-federalization lawsuit and I believe that the CNMI government will lose this one. I am not a "fed worshipper" --perhaps a justice worshipper. I guess you do not read this blog. I posted where others, including Filipinos, have sued the US government.

Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to see a "true" correct "accounting" breakdown by ethnicity on the convicted (and arrested) for crimes in the CNMI.
What will most likely be the breakdown will be the greatest offenders are
#1 FAS,robberies, domestic violence,robberies and other violent crimes.

#2 Chamorro, Carolinian. (with Carolinian outnumbering the Chamorro in criminal acts)Robberies, domestic violence, assaults and other violent crimes.

#3 Chinese.These crimes will be mostly drug related, domestic violence and attempts to 'sneak' into Guam.

#4 Bangladeshi, marriage fraud, other types of frauds, thefts, domestic abuse

#5 Phil. Other than Immigration problems there will probably be less than 100 convicted of various crimes over the years. Mostly for domestic abuse and job related embezzlement.

#6 Korean. very few and mostly domestic violence.

#6 Caucasian. few. mostly domestic violence.

#7 Japanese.probably a few domestic abuse and corporate theft.

#8 Thai. can't remember any.(but not to say there aren't any)

This list is only from my personal observation and is not meant to be racists or a exact scientific survey and was not investigated from various sources.

What would even more interesting would be to have a breakdown by ethnicity on the convicted felon's working in the present Govt and especially in the Administration with a breakdown within the various agencies.

Anonymous said...

It is amazing that this administration has no money to co pay for Madicaid or for SNAP or other necessities for the people but has much money for trivial lawsuits and unnecessary junket (at all levels)
This will be another Jenner and Block type of deal and most likely will go on past 1 year thus resulting in not much of anything but to reinforce that the Feds have the control, no matter what the outcome.
I wonder if they will use the same again?

Anonymous said...

At 8:49 Interesting statistics you have. From you racist brain I would suppose?

Green Cards for All! said...

There are two positive sides to this prospective lawsuit.

It will demonstrate Judge Manglona's commitment to the rule of law.

Where else can one find such great online entertainment at only 8 cents per page as on PACER (if one has an account)?

Anonymous said...

10:50 It is interesting that when any statistics or observations that mention any kind of race, many such as you are the first to accuse the observer of being racist when in fact the accuser themselves is generally the racist and bigot.
Especially in the CNMI. It also seems that many like you do not have reading comprehension also.
Go and ask any DOC officer what is the majority of the nationalities in detention.
Go ask the DPS which ones are the most prone to arrest.
Look back in the news archives and look at the nationality of the arrested and convicted
Read about in the US prisons, the majority of prisoners are black or Hispanic in many areas and they are the same group that are calling racist persecution by the cops.

JFYI, my father's his first wife was murdered by the Japanese.
My grandparents were also killed by the Japanese and my mother was killed during the US invasion when I was a baby and my father suffered from wounds received in the invasion and died about 1 year later after the war because of complications.
So I am supposed to be a racist against the US and the Japanese huh?
I spent time in Japan also Guam and Hawaii.
Grow up, you seems to have tunnel vision especially when it goes against your belief or your blind uneducated concepts.
Statistically wise, per capita, we have one of the highest crimes rates in US territories.(Among many other things per capita)and few crimes are committed by the CW or the Haole's in comparison.

Wendy Doromal said...

The AG made a racist statement that suggests that unemployed foreign workers have or will commit crimes. I want to see his statistics. Is he a prophet? Is he saying that these people will commit crimes, but not unemployed residents? How did he determine that one? Is he really going to suggest this in his lawsuit!? Let's see the statistics. I have posted here many times about the high proportion of CNMI police and other officials who have committed crimes (anyone can search this site). These offenders are not foreigners. Read the archives in the papers and do a search to make a list of just last year's offenders and see who committed the most crimes. I guarantee it was not the foreign workers -employed or unemployed. The AG's remark is racist and truly offensive.

Anonymous said...

BTW 10:50, years ago I also had to work with this DPS for several months and saw and heard and exsperienced much. I was under the feds at that time.
I was lucky to be able to get transferred from that assignment and the majority of incompetent individuals.
Note; not all, many personnel truly try but are held back because of their last name is not on the" connected" list
Crabs in the bucket mentality is alive and well there.

Anonymous said...

Your comments are anectodal give us some hard facts.