Immigration Reform by Summer?

April 21, 2013

Congressional leaders missed most of their self-imposed deadlines concerning the introduction of the immigration reform bill, so the target date for passage this summer may also be unrealistic. However, most supporters believe that some form of an immigration bill will pass this year since immigration reform is being aggressively pushed by lobbyists representing a broad range of interests, including religious, business and human rights. Additionally, an overwhelming majority of the American people support immigration reform with over 60 percent supporting a pathway to citizenship for undocumented aliens.

S.744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, had its first hearing on April 19th. Republican Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) objected to the "rush" to get the bill passed and attempted to tie the issue to the Boston tragedy. The Boston bombing suspects came to the U.S. as legal child immigrants over a decade ago. Trying to link the tragedy to the immigration reform legislation and use that as a delay tactic is not sensible or justifiable.

The Senate Committee on Judiciary will hold a second full committee hearing on April 22nd. A diverse panel of witnesses is scheduled to testify, including Arturo Rodriquez, President of the United Farm Workers, and Jack Abramoff's co-conspirator, Grover Norquist, President Americans for Tax Reform. A mark up hearing may take place as early as May.

CNMI elected officials and the business community are backing the CNMI provision in the 844-page immigration reform bill. Governor Eloy Inos said that the CNMI provision is "good for the CNMI economy." From The Marianas Variety:
“We hope that our delegate will continue to work and collaborate with other members of Congress so that we can achieve the desired goal which is to allow for an eventual pathway to citizenship [for qualified nonresidents],” the governor said. 
He said this will be good for the local economy “because what it does is it allows…businesses to continue to operate here and addresses the issue of potential labor shortages.” Granting qualified nonresidents improved immigration status, he added, will give the commonwealth breathing time to train and educate more local workers and businesses can have the transition period they need, especially in the area of tourism.
This is certainly a refreshing change from the vocal views of disgraced, former governor, Benigno Fitial, who was belligerently against granting U.S. status to the legal nonresidents.

Alex Sablan, President of the 160-member Saipan Chamber of Commerce, also supports the bill. He was quoted by The Saipan Tribune as saying that he “is pleased to see CNMI immigration matters affecting our businesses and jobs, our economy and our community included in the federal immigration reform bill now offered by the bipartisan committee in the U.S. Senate.”

Others share my concern with the 5-year wait period for permanent residency status, including some worker leaders and members of the CNMI House. Former CNMI immigration director, Saipan Representative Tony Sablan (IR) is supportive of granting the legal nonresidents green cards. He was quoted by The Saipan Tribune:
“Personally, I object to adding five years waiting period. That is a double standard applied to foreign workers in the CNMI. For me, whatever is required of foreign workers in California or New York to become green card holders should be the one applied in the CNMI too.”
Longterm nonresident Carlito Marquez was also quoted as questioning the 5-year wait time:
“The five years of waiting upon its effective dates is quite hard for those foreign workers without employers who are now struggling to survive and just holding on for any improved status that they are expecting to happen soon. But we can't do nothing if 'that's the law' otherwise, we challenge it [again] in the court of law,” he said.
Most of us agree that ideally there should be no five-year waiting period for legal nonresidents to receive permanent residency. We all know that have waited more than enough. Granting the estimated 12,000 or less legal, longterm nonresidents green cards would not only make them whole after years and even decades of uncertainty, suffering and in many cases abuse, but would eliminate the need for an extension of the expensive and problematic federal CNMI-only Transitional Guest Worker Program.

Because legal, longterm nonresidents must maintain permanent residency in the CNMI during the five year period to qualify for a green card, nonresident workers who lose their jobs or have their hours cut will face extreme hardship as they attempt to hang on to qualify. Under the bill, the CNMI legal nonresidents will not be afforded the flexibility that the 11 million undocumented aliens will be given as far as freedom to move in the states to find work, so they will be at a distinct disadvantage in their journey to gain U.S. status. The pathway to U.S. citizenship for the CNMI legal residents is also more arduous because unlike in the U.S. mainland, there are few charities in the CNMI to support immigrant individuals and their families in need.

Of course, the provision can be changed, but to push it poses a risk of having it cut out of the bill completely. I am under the impression from sources in Washington that this is the best that could be negotiated and it is best to keep the provision "under the radar" so political extremists do not remove the provision in its entirety from the bill.


Anonymous said...

It's going to be a lot longer than summer for this law to pass. There are so many variables, risks and amendments to consider. For example, there are age restrictions. Illegals must pay back taxes and know English. As for CWs only a very small number will ever see a green card. Those that are above the age of 50 will most likely be send home as they would become an instant financial burden on the Federal government.

For those CWs that are taken to the airport to be sent home tell the Delta representative that you refuse to fly under any circumstances. They will NOT let you board. Sit down on the floor or simply burn your passports. Many have done this before and it works!

The Patriot said...

This is a terrible advise and outragous thing to say:

"For those CWs that are taken to the airport to be sent home tell the Delta representative that you refuse to fly under any circumstances. They will NOT let you board. Sit down on the floor or simply burn your passports. Many have done this before and it works!"

That (meaning ignorant strategies) is why we don't have asylum here. I would hope anyone following such advise is locked up, fined, jailed, and deported post haste.

I think Americans are bending over backwards to help people and resolve the immigration issues. US citizens may not fly to China, PI, or India and open a business, so the anti-American sentiment read by anonymous commentators is uncalled for.

The US has millions unemployed or under-employed, so this is a serious matter and I am of the opinion that no one diserves anything beyond what charity America offers.

It's not your money! said...

Maybe not the best advice, Anon 6:24.

8 USC section 1231 requires that an alien who has been ordered removed be removed by the attorney general within 90 days. 8 USC section 1231(a)(1)(A). The alien shall be held in detention during that 90-day detention period. 8 USC section 1231 (a)(2). If the alien is not removed within 90 days, the alien may be held in detention beyond the 90 days, if the "alien fails or refuses to make timely application in good faith for travel or other documents" or "conspires or acts to prevent" his or her removal. 8 USC section 1231(a)(1)(C). And even if released, "[n]o alien ordered removed shall be eligible to receive authorization to be employed in the United States." 8 USC section 1231(a)(7).

So if you want to be held in immigration detention and ineligible for any employment, go ahead and burn your passport, refuse to fly, or engage in other childish behavior.

Anonymous said...

what a abuse and discrimination plus no humanity in this world...god bless usa and its abused system for foreigner with hope for better life.what a joke usa FEDERAL/IMMIGRATION/HOME LAND SECURITY...this is the reason why usa suffering by its people.its time to change...look human rights in your country before you seek in another nation such as a n-korea/china/afganistan etc...usa creating more problems instead of solve...time to change amen gordbless usa/world

Wendy Doromal said...

6:24 I agree with It's Not Your Money. Yours is terrible advice:
"For those CWs that are taken to the airport to be sent home tell the Delta representative that you refuse to fly under any circumstances. They will NOT let you board. Sit down on the floor or simply burn your passports. Many have done this before and it works!"

I never heard of anyone doing this and cannot imagine why someone would. CWs are not "being taken to the airport" as far as I know. A person who is to be deported would go through a process, including a hearing and possibly appeal hearings. If facing deportation, I would think getting an attorney is the best thing to do. There are numerous Obama Administration memos that encourage discretion in deportation cases.

captain said...

Wendy, off subject.
Since you are a teacher, Hawaii teachers have endured many things and have worked without a contract fot about four years this is what has been worked out.
This is just for your observation.

I have no interest in this one way or the other but I do realize that many things are going on in many parts of the country in regards to cut backs etc.
good or bad, your call.

BTW is did not sen this via your e-mail as I know that much is sent to the spam folder.

Anonymous said...

A lot of emotional responses but you're missing the point. A CW who hasn't worked for years, has no money and over the age of 50 has absolutely nothing to lose. There are thousands of them. Being sent back to the PI, China or Dhaka is a death sentence. Imagine life on the streets after eating your last Delta breakfast. It's commonplace for deportees in Europe to not only burn their passports or refuse to fly they are ironing their fingerprints off ! The only way to get deportees who refuse to leave island would be sedation and a C130.

Wendy Doromal said...

Hello Captain

Thanks for the link. Sorry about my spamblocker. I try to pull out all of the emails from real people. I get hundreds of junk mail ads and solicitations every day.

Anonymous said...

To Whom it May Concern;
Almost all comments that are being publish regardless of topic or subject were FULL of hatred, anger and bad wishes just because they din't like what is being said about the topic. And most of the time instead of lessening the problem it becomes worst. Then you'll say "Let's just HOPE & WISH for the BEST" Why can't we just make the GOLDEN RULE our RULE? I may not be in a position to say this but it might work for goodness sake. Lastly, let's have a little bit of LOVE in our HEART.

Anonymous said...

how about if i'm 4 years only prior to May 8, and working here for 9 years, aren't there any provision to be included that those who are in Saipan when P.L.110- 229 implemented and have resided in the CNMI continuously from May 8, 2008 and less than 5 years prior to May 8, 2008 can wait till they reached ten years of legally stay and working in CNMI before they can apply for permanent residency, I guess that was a humanitarian consideration in our part.

the prophet said...

The case is really heating up and I don't think it will pass. I hope that I am wrong. Below is todays (Friday the 26th)news:

"McCain made things pretty clear this morning: There are only two paths forward," says the Washington Post's Greg Sargent. "The first is immigration reform with a path to citizenship. The second is failure."

Goodlatte has said he may be open to a introducing a bill granting some kind of legal status to undocumented workers, though there is no guarantee he'll actually do so. And even should the House consider such a bill, many House Republicans remain deeply skeptical about a pathway to citizenship, likening it to outright amnesty for scofflaws. Several prominent conservatives have publicly threatened to thwart legislation one way or another, possibly by attaching poison pill amendments to larger immigration bills.

Anonymous said...

JFYI, for the CW that may be out of a job or will ot fit into any possible status or are tired of what's going on and want a change.

Off subject again, Norway has/is been hiring many Phil. workers as house workers at above US wages.
They average #10 per hour for minimum 40 hour weeks. (160 Hr month)
When they hire one they take them as family status, the whole family, kids spouse, similar to what New Zealand does.
I was not aware of Pinoy working in Norway until recently.

I just helped one of my prior workers' family in the Phil get moving to join her.
In this case the wife works and the father takes care of the kids in the Phil. The kids and husband will join the wife now.
Also other adult married family members are waiting for their visa to go there as house workers.

But winter is very cold.BRRRR

Anonymous said...

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but thought this would interest you Wendy.

Thousands of girls making 38. a month, or 9.50 a week, for a sleezy garment factory producing for US brand names.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:30

You need to get your facts straight about working in Norway. Filipino workers generally fall into two categories for Norway: Healthcare and offshore oil. Both of these are VERY difficult to obtain and the process is long. I have worked in Norway and never heard of any company or government agency flying out their entire family. This would be very rare. Also, for nurses one of the pre reqs is having to know the language. There are many online scam agencies promising jobs in Norway. Don't believe them. No company will fly out your entire family to "join" you out of some kind of humanitarian gesture. Most Filipinos work offshore as cooks and janitors and even those jobs are very hard to get.

Anonymous said...

folks better start looking elsewhere than Saipan. the pot at the end of the rainbow is a myth and this immigration bill is not happening for a long time if ever. this administration has over reached. look at the health care debacle and now a federal judge has said the obama admin didnt have the authority to tell dhs not to arrest and put people in deportation proceedings. he thinks he can do what he wants and is finding out it aint so. americans are burning up their senators phone lines about this. 4.5% of the folks in the US are illegal aliens If every one plus their cousin call a senator less than 10% of the calls they recieve will be for this poorly crafted bill, yes i have read all 900 pages and understand it. dont expect anything but an extension of the transition peoriod. bottom line, as it has been since 11/28/2009, get a legit non immigrant or immigrant visa found under the current INA or get a plan to go. dont have to go home but you cant stay here.......i know but this is my home......if you dont have an NIV or IV the fed government says it isnt anymore......such is the way of the world.

Anonymous said...

11:24 thank you for the link and info. I will print it out and show it to others that are planning to go their.
I do know that this guys wife is presently working their and also his brother and the family is there along with other relatives.
All as house workers.

But thanks again, I will try and help these people out and do some more research on the links provided so that they and other do not end up in any scams as I have seen and heard of so many both in Saipan and many more on my travels dealing in the Phil.

Anonymous said...

11:24, BTW no fees were paid for these position, they were all obtained by family members working there already.

Anonymous said...

Work positions are not obtained by family members. There is a long and difficult process in getting a work visa for Norway. The demand for foreign workers in most western countries like Norway and Australia are dropping and getting visas is becoming increasingly difficult. Sure there are house worker positions but the pay is lousy as are the benefits. Workers must go through an invasive medical screening process prior to even being considered. The black market workers are finding themselves being abused and ripped off even in Norway so don't travel there unless you have a job waiting for you. If you are traveling without a sure thing make sure you have at least $10,000 USD in a bank account for emergencies. It will cost you that much just to move there and back.

Anonymous said...

BTW mistake, they did not go to Norway they went to Finland.

Any employment info or warnings on Finland employment?

Anonymous said...

BTW the following Phil. embassy have been closed or are in the process of closing.

Koror, Palau
Caracas, Venezuela
Barcelona, Spain
Stockholm, Sweden
Dublin, Ireland
Frankfurt, Germany
Havana, Cuba
Bucharest, Romania
Helsinki, Finland

Anonymous said...

Finland, Norway - same same. What a sad state of affairs when getting work as a housekeeper or nanny in a foreign country is somehow a wonderful venture.

Finland is equally as difficult for Filipinos to get work. As the above mentioned, the PI is closing it's consulate in Finland. I have no idea where the fantasies of lucrative overseas work came from but people are being mislead. There are jobs but only for the highest level of worker. For example you will find openings for engineers in Dubai or Shanghai for Filipino engineers but these are very low pay and work conditions are horrible. The only way for an engineer from the PI to get work in the EU is to pass all EU tests - get a work visa - and spend mucho euros to get it.