April 12, 2013
The Senate version of the comprehensive immigration reform bill is now expected to be released on Tuesday next week. The legislation will give a pathway to citizenship to 11 million undocumented aliens who entered the U.S. before December 31, 2011. The pathway may take as long as thirteen years.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio who recently has challenged some of the specific in recent weeks, is reportedly backing the bill.
The New York Times reports that the bill includes a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented aliens. Hopefully, that will include many aliens in the CNMI who have fallen out of status. Many or most lost their jobs when the economy crashed, but remained in the islands in an attempt to collect their stolen wages.
There is no news about a timeline for the House version.
The two top CNMI elected officials, Governor Eloy Inos and Congressman Gregorio (Kilili) Sablan, jointly penned a letter to DPS Secretary Janet Napolitano thanking her for extending parole provisions for Chinese and Russian tourists.
The pair also requested that Napolitano "keep an eye on those making money bringing Chinese tourists to the islands." As covered in this blog, for years Korean and Chinese women have been using the CNMI as a destination to deliver their babies so that they will be U.S. citizens and get U.S. passports.
In fact, several CNMI residents and Chinese and Korean nationals have made a profitable business off of the baby tourism industry. Since there is no law that I know of that prevents a pregnant woman from traveling to the U.S., I am not sure how they expect to legally end this common practice.
The final request in the letter is that the CNMI's exemption from accepting U.S. asylum applications be extended. The exemption provided for in U.S. P.L. 110-229 (the CNRA) is scheduled to expire on January 1, 2014.
This is about human rights. The CNMI is always open to bringing in the transitory tourists who open their pocketbooks and wallets. It is time that the CNMI also opens its heart to accept people who are in need of humanitarian relief. The request should be denied.