2013 -The Year to Enact Immigration Reform

January 3, 2013

From the Halls of Congress to the White House, elected officials have promised to act on comprehensive immigration reform now.

If nothing else, the last election was seen as a mandate for fixing the broken immigration system. Republicans were defeated in large part because of Latino and Asian voters who cast their ballots overwhelmingly for Democrats. Latinos voted 71% for Obama, 27% for Biden.

In an interview on Meet the Press last week, President Obama said that he will take on the issue of immigration reform this month.

From The Huffington Post:
An Obama administration official said the president plans to push for immigration reform this January. The official, who spoke about legislative plans only on condition of anonymity, said that coming standoffs over deficit reduction are unlikely to drain momentum from other priorities.
After the passage of the "fiscal cliff" legislation Tuesday, President Obama again promised to make immigration reform a priority saying, "It's not just possible to do these things; it's an obligation to ourselves and future generations."

Vice President Joe Biden attended the swearing in ceremony of the Latino lawmakers sponsored by the Hispanic Caucus yesterday. He said, "Have you ever seen a time when Republicans have had a more rapid epiphany about immigration than they have this last election?"

"In one sense, we have a long way to go, bringing 11 million Hispanics out of the shadows and into the light of day. What's different today is that the rest of the nation, the rest of America, recognizes it's time. It's your time."

So what is the timeline? Word is that it will take about two months to work out a comprehensive immigration bill that could be ready for a vote by June.

During the opening session of the 113th Congress, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) stressed that immigration must be a priority:
"By and large, the United States is a nation of immigrants. Built, enriched and strengthened by men, women and children who share our patriotism and seek the American dream. The strength of our democracy will be advanced by bold action for comprehensive immigration reform. 
We must empower the voters. We must remove obstacles to participation in our democracy for all Americans.
It is not just the time for the Latino immigrants and undocumented immigrants. It is time for the legal, long-term foreign workers of the CNMI!

I will continue to let policy makers know that any comprehensive immigration reform must include the CNMI foreign workers and must reflect the intent of the CNRA, which called for one uniform immigration law for the U.S. What we do not need is a comprehensive immigration law that would create a separate law for the foreign workers of the CNMI. If 1 million undocumented aliens in the U.S. are to be granted a pathway to citizenship, then so it must be for every CNMI foreign worker!


Anonymous said...

With this mess and inefficiency that USCIS has made of these CW applications, I now think that it is the best to just grant all of these CW that have been here for at least 5 years prior to the Fed takeover a type of US status that allows them to be able to travel within the US and open a way for citizenship.
The US may have to make a special "card" for this but this would be unique to the CNMI as these people have been here legally.
This would also level the playing field on both sides of the aisle for all.
It would give the CW the option to move between employers if they were not satisfied with their treatment, or move to the US or Guam.
It would also allow the US workers along with the CW to be able to compete for the job on a qualifications and work ethics.
It would also raise the wages as more employers would have to pay to keep skilled workers instead of keeping the same status and hieing CW so they are indentured to the company and can be abused and under paid.
It would also put all on the same payroll taxes with SSA benefits later on. (for the younger ones)
There should be some kind of exemption allowed for those workers that will not be able to be able to work for the 10 yrs to qualify for SSA.
The Medical would be under the "Obamacare" that will be costing the employer and workers much anyway.
Since this Obamacare does not apply to foreign workers, with this coming into effect, at present it will also make hiring CW more cheaper than hiring US workers.After 2014, any needed outside workers can come in under the present US visa systems.

Anonymous said...

Also, as Kilili has stated that he will "have to confer with his constituents" before he supports any "status" for all of the CW,I doubt that he will support any action as it seems that many in the NMI seem to have the impression that there is enough worker to take over the existing jobs.
But the private sector wants to keep and perpetuate the present system so they will not be favorable to have the present CW force get any kind of status.

The other thing until we can get rid of Fitial, that will also be a problem in any status change for the CW.
I do not know where Inos stands on that.
I think it will take the Gov. AND Kilil to make the CNMI CW situation come into the light.
Without those two requesting it, nothing will come out of it.

Anonymous said...

Obama BARELY won the election with almost half the Nation voting for Romney / Ryan ticket. Yeah the majority of Latinos voted for Obama but I wonder why? What has Obama done for any of them?

Wendy Doromal said...

1:29 Obama won by more of a margin than George W. Bush (both elections), JFK, and many others. See this chart.The Latinos and Asians voted overwhelmingly for Obama because they know that the Democrats support immigration reform and issues that are important to them.

Anonymous said...

Hi. Several times did I enjoy a dinner off of your floor. We spoke of the apparent end of CNMI Culture and eventually the peoples known as the "Indigenous" of the Islands. Self defeating practices of excluding full citizenship of those who live and work on the islands regardless of their origin. The Preference to hire local deficient teachers often family members to perpetuate poor educational outcome. To exclude USA citizens from full participation in the economy including business investment and property laws. ALL promote the decline of the Indigenous and lowers their own expectation for their own competency. Compound that with the practice of employing "Foreign Labor" for near slave labor or no wage and a whole host of problems begin to eat away at the society we now see falling into ruin.

The environment will sustain an economy. The problem has always been that the people in that environment have been encouraged to want more than they produce.

Oh we can lament this for hours. Just let's not put salt in the coffee or find monitor lizards in the kitchen as we do it.

Keep the CNMI in the minds of USA GOV. Perhaps one day we can open the Paupau Hotel as a Drug Free/ Dry Retirement facility. It stands empty ad a skeleton like the Culture of the CNMI.