June 20, 2012
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.Most are tourists? "Most came in pregnant...these individuals came here on tourist visas," he claims. This statement may just kill the visa waivers.
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.
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).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.
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.
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.