Federal Biometric Processing Will Take Place at Labor Abusing Businesses on Rota and Tinian

March 20, 2012

Does anyone else think it is inappropriate for a United States Government agency to use labor abusing businesses as sites for their biometrics information collection? The USCIS will be collecting biometric information on Rota and Tinian at businesses known for cheating foreign workers. I think it is entirely inappropriate that the sites the USCIS selected as bases for their mobile teams are businesses where foreign  employees have routinely been victims of labor abuses.

The Rota Resort and Country Club routinely made their foreign employees pay for their own physicals and permits if they sought renewal under the CNMI labor system. Employees reported being told that if they didn't pay for their own permits and physicals they "would not be renewed". Hundreds were cheated by this employer.

The Tinian Dynasty Hotel and Casino is a well-known labor abuser of foreign employees. The company has stolen hundreds of thousands in wages from the employees over the years.

How were these locations selected? Maybe the federal agency does not know about the Rota Hotel and Country Club, but DHS and USCIS should be well aware of the abuses at the Tinian Dynasty Hotel.

Here is the press release
Beginning next month, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will be collecting biometrics information on the islands of Rota and Tinian, from people who are seeking an immigration benefit. A USCIS mobile team will process biometrics in Rota from April 2-12; and in Tinian from April 16-May 7.

When USCIS collects a person’s photograph, signature, or fingerprints, this is called biometrics collection. The type of biometrics USCIS collects is decided on a case by case basis.

Individuals on Rota and Tinian will be receiving appointment notices in the coming weeks indicating when and where they must go for their biometrics appointment. Individuals must have an appointment notice in order for USCIS to process their biometric information.

USCIS is the agency within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that handles immigration benefits. More information can be found at www.uscis.gov/cnmi or by calling (800) 375- 5283.

USCIS Biometrics Collection on Rota and Tinian


Rota – Monday, April 2 to Friday, April 6
Monday, April 9 to Thursday, April 12

Tinian – Monday, April 16 to Friday, April 20
Monday, April 23 to Friday, April 27
Monday, April 30 to Friday, May 4
Monday, May 7

Rota Resort and Country Club
(Conference Room, 1st Floor, Building H5)
Rota, MP 96951
Tinian Dynasty Hotel and Casino
(the Tinian Room)
One Broadway
Tinian, MP 96952
A true slap in the face to the foreign workers and an extremely insensitive action on the part of the USCIS. I certainly hope that these establishments are not receiving compensation for use of their properties.


Anonymous said...

Ironic to say the least and rather another slap in the face to OCWs.

Anonymous said...

"Does anyone else think it is inappropriate for a United States Government agency to use labor abusing businesses as sites for their biometrics information collection? "

Yes, me. It's wrong. Why couldn't they have it at the mayor's office or hospital? Makes you wonder who the contacts are that USCIS has in the CNMI.

Anonymous said...

Why would the USCIS care about wages owed Wendy? They don't. TSA's office is located in a building owned by Willie Tan.

Wendy Doromal said...

3:33 Every official involved in the transition should have been briefed on the history and the present state of the CNMI foreign workers. They should have been educated on the corrupt political players, they should have reviewed the complaints and the unpaid administrative orders. They should have learned about Fitial's role in starting the mess, ties to the garment industry etc.; they should have been briefed about the roles and past actions of all of the other political players.

You are right, why would I expect an agency in the U.S. to have sensitivity or consideration? I should have learned after all these years, right? There are few officials or members of Congress who are doing anything but collecting a paycheck. If I learned anything from all these years of pushing for reform and justice, it is to trust no one in the Federal Government and to be happily surprised if I cross paths with a government official or employee who is genuine and caring; who has a conscience and courage to do the right thing. I can count on my hands (maybe one hand) how many of these people that I have met over 20 plus years of dealing with officials on this issue.

They SHOULD care. They don't care because the foreign workers have no voice and are disenfranchised. The United States Government views them as replaceable commodities (not human beings), just like the CNMI Government does. No one represents them even though they make up a majority of the adult population in the CNMI. Every official in the CNMI has emphasized that he is out to "protect my people". What person with a title or in a position of power is protecting the rights of the foreign workers? There is not one official in the CNMI (local or federal) who even stands up publicly for them any longer. The foreign workers no longer have a political champion in the U.S. Congress standing up for what is right and what is a just and democratic plan for the foreign workers. Generations will look back at this time in the history of the U.S. with disgust and awe at the inactions of the appointed officials and political leaders. The CNMI will forever remain as a badge of shame for the United States which contributed to the immense suffering and inhumanity of thousands of good people invited to work in the US. The United States should not be pointing fingers at other nations and calling them human rights abusers when it has allowed human rights abuse in the CNMI for three decades and done little or NOTHING to stop it and now is contributing to it! When finally given the chance to make things right, the United States Government perpetuated the abuses! This will end up being the defining statement of the political careers of every member who has co-signed HR 1466, every wishy-washy, self serving Obama Administration official who has failed to push for reform, justice and freedom for the legal long-term foreign workers and every single federal official who silently watched the injustice, the theft of wages, the abuses and the inhumane CW guest worker program. If I can do nothing else, I can ensure that they go down in history with the reputation that they have earned.

Anonymous said...

I would beg to differ with you, do you know who the employees are who the Feds brought out to Saipan?? DO you have any idea on what they know about the CNMI and its history? Do you know anything about what considerations are made with a decision like this? The mayor's office?? On Tinian? sure no ethical issues in that office. Bottom line is an undertaking like this needs to be done in a large space and will require a number of staff. What other hotels with those criteria are there on either Tinian or Rota????? Since there isn't another hotel big enough let's tell the Feds not to do it on either Rota or Tinian. Those who need biometrics can go to Saipan on their own dime if they really want to apply for a status...sound better??

C'mon folks, the Feds are doing a whole lot better job making sure that all applicants are judged on thier individual facts of the case, no more doing something because it is a friend of a friend. What do you want? The Feds to come in and call all the aliens in the CNMI together and have a massive hand out of status and benefits????? It ain't going to happen! The laws and regulations are made by Congress and the Agency. I think they have been more than accomidating. is everyone happy? NO, is everyone going to be happy? NEVER it is what it is so get used to it people...life aint fair and never will be, the world wasn't fair before mankind came along and won't be since.

Wendy Doromal said...

8:50 Said:

"DO you have any idea on what they know about the CNMI and its history?"

If they don't know about the CNMI and the history of labor abuses and ill-treatment and discrimination against the foreign workers then they should, if they DO know about it then why would they select locations where labor abuses occur?

"What do you want?"

I want the assurances and promises made to me by federal officials and members of Congress to be followed and/or fulfilled. I want the legal, long-term foreign workers to be set free after all these years and decades and to be given permanent residency. I want my tax dollars to pay the salaries of federal employees with some amount of sensitivity and federal employees who do their jobs. I want fully funded and staffed federal offices in the CNMI. I want the USDOJ and USDOL to go after the crook employers who routinely STEAL from foreign workers without people having to beg them to do so. I want to see employers who steal from foreign workers to be barred from hiring foreign workers until every penny owed is paid back to the victim-workers. I want JUSTICE for the legal, long-term foreign workers. I want to see them respected and treated with dignity.

". . .is everyone going to be happy? NEVER it is what it is so get used to it people...life aint fair and never will be, the world wasn't fair before mankind came along and won't be since.

Some parts of life are not fair because they are circumstantial and out of anyone's control. For instance, no has the control or ability to select their birthplace or their parents. However, there are MANY things that are not fair because people who have control and the ability to ensure that they are fair, to institute reforms, refuse to do so. Many things are not fair because self-serving, greedy, ignorant, racist or plain cruel people with power purposely make sure that the circumstances are and remain UNFAIR. The United States Government can and should correct the injustices and suffering of the legal, long-term foreign workers. This is not about fairness. It is about American values and principles being stomped to hell. It is about human rights abuses on U.S. soil. It is about injustice. It is about the failure of democracy. It is about uncaring officials doing the least that they have to because they think that no one cares and they know that the people that they are harming are voiceless and disenfranchised.

Anonymous said...

You are a Fanatic Wendy. You find something wrong with everything and sound like a recording about lost wages and abuse. That was before, get over it. The Feds are here right now, verifying CW1 employees employer and so on. The investigations are vast and there will be violators. These CW1's will be considered illegal and ineligible for improved status. We do need expedited deportations to clean up the illegals fast. Every day they are here hurts both residents and nonresident workers.

Anonymous said...

Wendy Doromal said...

The CNMI will forever remain as a badge of shame for the United States which contributed to the immense suffering and inhumanity of thousands of good people invited to work in the US.

That is your own subjective opinion, Wendy. How many guest workers cycled through the CNMI between 9 January 1978 and 28 November 2009? 100,000 total?

And how many had complaints or were victimized? 5,000 or 10,000 tops?

A vast, vast majority of the guest workers left the CNMI far, far better off than they were before, and more than 10,000 are still struggling to do whatever they can to remain. Hardly a place of “immense suffering and inhumanity.”

In fact, the sorts of abuses against which you delight in decrying are occurring much more often in towns and cities throughout the United States.

You seem to be lacking perspective. The courts of public opinion and history will be far kinder to the CNMI (and the feds) than you are.

I wish you well and admire your work, but you need a dose of reality.

Wendy Doromal said...

6:58 Sick of hearing it? Maybe someone in power will get sick of hearing too and DO SOMETHING ABOUT CORRECTING IT. The lost wages MUST be paid. It it WRONG! It is THEFT. It is CRIMINAL! The theft employers must pay!

Wendy Doromal said...

7:10 Of course, it is my opinion. I will work to make sure there is reform. If there is none, then I will ensure that the United States Government takes responsibility for the suffering and inhumanity that IT allowed on U.S. soil. NO, the public opinion and courts will not be kind to a haughty country that condemns human rights abuses and then allows them on its own soil. That is the reality. Watch...and read...

Anonymous said...

TSA is in Tan's building because lost US employees went to the administration here or the puppet Governor and that is where they were directed. So the monopoly in the CNMI continues. The feds also ship via Tan's company, and air frieght company, use some of his insurance, use some of the travel services, and of course everyone in the CNMI supports his fish and food stranglehold including the feds. In addition, fed grants are routinly given to Lynn Knight, or the SCOC, or Bridge training...what a joke.

Anonymous said...

"The lost wages MUST be paid. It it WRONG! It is THEFT. It is CRIMINAL! The theft employers must pay!"

Very right! every victims should be merited to received what is theirs, this is no difference when a perpetrator of a crime can be instituted legal proceedings against him for what he made years ago.

There are still records that can be used at the DOL.

Whether a person here is documented or undocumented, it is still a crime to not pay that person wages they are entitled to under the law and humanity.

Employers who perpetrate this action, particularly against alien workers, should be held criminally liable as well.

I am also replaying this records...

- Melberlin

Anonymous said...

Is there any statue of limitations for "non payment of wages" cases?

It's not your money! said...

The statute of limitations is six years for an action to enforce a contract, and less than that for torts. Actions on labor contracts were far shorter, perhaps 12 months. Any action that is not brought timely will be dismissed. In the U.S. system, claimants may not "rest on their rights." The law requires that you file an action within the time limits allowed, and that you actively seek to advance that action. Similarly, if you get a judgment, you need to take some action to enforce it. Many of the people who were undeniably owed wages either did not file complaints, because they did not want to alienate their employer, or obtained orders from the CNMI Department of Labor Hearing Office, but took no further action to enforce those orders (and sadly, in most cases, the Department of Labor did nothing to enforce its own orders over the years). And many claimants are owed money by businesses that fled the island or went bankrupt. The Department of Labor failed, in many cases, to file timely notices with the bonding companies, or did so, only to relent when the bonding companies turned out to be insolvent. Under the circumstances, there is simply no conceivable legal basis for collecting most of the money that is owed.

Wendy Doromal said...

Thanks INYM

All the more reason to grant permanent residency. It should be given immediately as a form of reparation. The United States Government has been a major fail in regards to protecting rights. Overall, the U.S. knew that thousands were cheated and did NOTHING to help them collect their money. (except for Faye von Wrangel's heroic efforts and a scattering of other cases where workers were assisted) Even after the ombudsman's office collected thousands of unpaid judgments the U.S. Departments and Congress sat by and did NOTHING. In many cases, workers repeatedly trekked to the DOL to try to collect judgments. They could not sue because they had no money! Even unscrupulous attorneys have taken advantage of foreign workers, as you know. The DOL had the responsibility to enforce judgements. When the department failed to do so the US government should have stepped in. The US government KNEW that the cheated workers had no money to pursue claims. Just like reparations are made for any gross wide-scale injustice committed against people anywhere in the world, reparations MUST be made here. I will repeat the broken record until the foreign workers receive their money or JUSTICE.

Thanks Merberlin -Hope you and your family are doing well.