Is Governor Fitial Joking?

June 20, 2012

CNMI Governor Fitial claims that there are about 9,000 illegal aliens in the CNMI!  How in the world did he come up with these figures?

In March 2011 the governor announced that the AGO and USCIS were working on deporting 3,000 illegal aliens. In November 2011 the governor claimed that the alien workers who were granted parole-in-place were illegal even though parole-in-place is a legal status under the federal immigration system.

The governor says that some of the illegal aliens came to the CNMI from China and Korea to deliver babies and never left. From the Saipan Tribune:
“It's really big now. You know last year, you won't believe how many aliens came in. I'll give you the statistics (later). Most of them came in pregnant,” Fitial told Saipan Tribune in an interview at the Association of Pacific Island Legislatures' 31st General Assembly on Capital Hill yesterday.

The governor recognized that these individuals came here on tourist visas.

“But how can you stay for more than a year? They're still around, collecting food stamps,” Fitial added. The food stamps are meant for U.S. citizen children.

Under the CNMI-Guam visa waiver program, tourists from China and Russia can stay in the Marianas for a maximum of 45 days.
Most are tourists? "Most came in pregnant...these individuals came here on tourist visas," he claims. This statement may just kill the visa waivers.

Fitial noted that food stamps are meant for U.S. citizen children. Earlier this year he tried to deny U.S. children of foreign workers food stamps. He should know that the children of tourists, if born in the CNMI are U.S. children and are eligible for U.S. benefits. This is a scam if it is true.

In February 2012, I wrote a post about baby tourism in Saipan. Ironically Fital's former immigration director, Melvin Gray was quoted on one of the websites. In April 2012, the Marianas Variety reported an explosion of "Medicaid babies":
Applications of Asian non-citizens applying to the program on behalf of citizen children surpassed the FY ’11 total (1,652) in just the first six months of FY ’12 (1,747).

Several hospital staff members confirmed that non-citizen parents and their “baby-tourism” facilitators apply to Medicaid to pay for the infant’s healthcare while on island.

“You’d be surprised how many Asian parents have Medicaid cards when they visit the clinics,” commented one CHC staffer, on the condition that her name not be published.

Variety’s research for its previous “baby tourism” features indicated the same trend.

One mother who was interviewed with her newborn admitted that she had left the hospital without settling the bill, and that as soon as the baby received its U.S. passport, an English-speaking friend was taking her to the “free care” office — Medicaid.
Locals who are profiting off of baby tourism are those who rent out rooms and apartments and collect fees for guiding the woman through the process. Baby tourism agencies collect between $9,775 and $11,000 for arranging travel, accommodations, hospital and doctor visits, and securing the baby's social security card and U.S. passport. This is a business.

In February 2012 it was reported that hundreds of women a year deliver babies in Saipan. Still it is not believable that thousands of pregnant tourist came to deliver babies (I assume at the CNMI hospital) and have stayed for extended periods to collect food stamps.

Governor Fitial has to be joking when he says that there are 9,000 illegals. He claims that he will provide "the statistics (later)." I cannot wait to see these statistics, learn how the data was collected and who  collected it.


Anonymous said...

Ms. Wendy...I have always respected your thoughts on CNMI and it's issues. I do not always agree with you or the Governor. It disappoints me to see Fitial's picture on your post mocking him. I feel it will hurt your cause long term by mocking him this way . Very unprofessional. I do not like Fitial but it's sad to see this type of humiliation on your blog.

Anonymous said...

The governor is a joker,,a good spinner .just issuing statement without proof.

Wendy Doromal said...

10:10 Political satire is not "unprofessional" but it may be lost on the CNMI audience so I removed the picture!

Anonymous said...

He is Just making a fool out of himself... this is a good article to laugh about, what a smart governor.

Anonymous said...

Wendy, I liked the picture. Any picture of that clown is good. Especially when it can be copied and blown and used as target practice.(or other things thrown at it)
And in my own opinion 10:10 is off mark and whining.

Wendy Doromal said...

10:30 Boboy liked it too!

Anonymous said...

I do not expect any status for CW permit holders as they choose to apply for temporary work.

I don't know how many illegals or total workers are in the CNMI but I would have guessed it higher than 9,000. All the hotels combined (according to HANMI), THoldings, IT&E, DFS together total just less than 2,000 legal workers. If the total at PSS, CUC, and the hospital are added, we would have a strong base for an educated guess. If there are 20k aliens, and there may not be, there aren't more than 5,000 legal workers, it's not possible. There are only a handful of resteruants left and they don't employ many. We have about ten grocery stores and several of them employ citizens.

Everyone ran to get a pretend CW permit, some 1700 employers I think which is comical, but that is temporary, and as such the time in the US doesn't acrue.