August 2, 2012
The same people who were handed U.S. citizenship propose a restrictive "status" for only a limited group of all of the CNMI's legal, long-term foreign workers. From the Saipan Tribune article:
In particular, senators want Sablan's HR 1466 amended to ensure that only those lawfully admitted aliens residing in the CNMI for at least five years prior to May 8, 2008 will be conferred CNMI-only resident status, and any other condition as may be required by Congress.It is always interesting (but also truly sickening) when an official or elected body makes a proposal or supports a law that would ensure political, social and economic control over an oppressed underclass. It is immoral and despicable to propose the continuation of a society of the haves and have nots, the privileged and under privileged, those with rights and those denied even basic civil liberties and rights.
“The Senate finds that these conditions will ensure that this special status conferred by HR 1466 will be limited to those lawfully admitted aliens residing in the CNMI,” senators said.
Senators also request that, if practical, HR 1466 be amended to include the CNMI Senate's recommendation for the improved status of guest workers in the CNMI.
The Senate asked the U.S. Congress in March 2010 to grant alien workers who have been in the CNMI for at least 10 years as of May 2008 an immigration status similar to those granted to citizens of the Freely Associated States.
Perhaps more interesting is the twisted reasoning and offensive excuses for denying basic civil liberties and democratic freedoms to individuals who, by all criteria, already de facto citizens deserving of equal rights. In this case, the individuals were recruited to work in the CNMI as skilled and much needed foreign workers. They were legally renewed year after year by the CNMI government. Many have lived and worked for 5, 10, 20 or more years in the CNMI. Many have lived and worked legally in the CNMI for more years than they have lived in their own homelands. Still they are not appreciated or welcomed as equals. Instead, they are treated as a powerless, disenfranchised, oppressed and disrespected underclass on U.S. soil with the blessings of U.S. Congress and officials. If this was happening in another country there would be an indignant outcry from American politicians and the general public protesting the blatant and outrageous denial of civil liberties and human rights.
No one should ever propose for another, that which he would not accept for himself. Would any of these CNMI senators, Delegate Sablan or the co-sponsors of H.R. 1466 wish to live with a status that denies them basic rights in a place that is their home?
Basic rights like the freedom to travel, the right to vote, and the right to serve on a jury should be bestowed upon the legal, long-term foreign workers after their years of dedicated sacrifice and service to this American community. The proposed status or an extension of the CNMI-Only Transitional Worker Program would keep them forever under the thumbs of their CNMI employers and make them vulnerable to exploitation. It would ensure that they are permanently silenced with no political, social or economic voice. Such a proposal is un-American, undemocratic and yes, evil. Granting the legal, long-term foreign workers permanent residency would ensure the skilled workforce the CNMI needs and the freedom of the legal, long-term foreign workers so desire.
Ask yourselves, why are so many business and CNMI elected officials pushing for an extension of the flawed CNMI-Only Transitional Worker Program years before the December 2014 deadline. It is only because they want to maintain the status quo to keep their ruling status and power in the undemocratic and unjust two-tiered society that they created. Truly unconscionable.