Immigration Moving Slowly

May 5, 2013

While politicians, talking heads and the American public debate the merits of the Senate immigration reform bill, S.744, which was introduced last month, there still has been no bill introduced in the House. Those working on the House bill said it will be released within weeks, but that was also said in March, so we will have to wait and see.

Most agree that despite the flaws in S744,  it is an acceptable compromise. DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano appeared at the last of three hearings on the bill. She echoed President Obama's view that the bill is a compromise and although there are sections that the administration does not agree on, overall it reflects the Administration's basic principles regarding comprehensive immigration reform.

In his weekly radio address from Mexico, President Obama appeared optimistic on the passage of an immigration reform bill:
In recent weeks, we’ve seen a commonsense immigration reform bill introduced in the Senate. This bill is a compromise, which means that nobody got everything they wanted – including me. But it’s largely consistent with the principles I’ve laid out from the beginning. 
It would continue to strengthen security at our borders and hold employers more accountable if they knowingly hire undocumented workers. 
It would provide a pathway to earned citizenship for the 11 million individuals who are already in this country illegally. 
And it would modernize our legal immigration system so that we’re able to reunite families and attract the highly-skilled entrepreneurs and engineers who will help create good paying jobs and grow our economy. 
These are all commonsense steps that the majority of Americans support. So there’s no reason that immigration reform can’t become a reality this year.
Advocates, including the Catholic Bishops and officials from immigrants rights groups, continue to criticize the bill. One concern is the cutoff fate that excludes people who arrive after December 2011.

In the CNMI provision, a pathway to citizenship is for legal aliens reaches back even farther –back to 2003, for some. Legal, long-term aliens in the CNMI are protesting the difference in dates, as they should. Under the provisions in S.744, 11 million qualifying undocumented aliens would be granted a pathway to citizenship if they arrived before December 2011.  However, many legal aliens in the CNMI would not even be considered for any type of status, never mind a pathway to citizenship, if they arrived after 2003. A uniform date should run through the bill according to long-term legal aliens who are left out by far reaching cutoff dates.

One CNMI long-term, legal guest worker questioned, "Why 2003? Why not 2008 or 2011, like it is for the undocumented?"

The bishops also cited the fines, income and employment requirements that must be met to qualify that are part of the bill. Kevin Abbleby director of immigration refugee policy for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said, "If you're going to leave several hundred thousand behind and leave them in the shadows you're not solving the problem. We're very concerned that what the bill does is it punishes people for being poor."

Still, most advocates agree that they will fight for the bill, despite its flaws.

21 comments:

captain said...

This "reaching back to 2003 does not make any sense especially when these CW are "legal" aliens under the old NMI law and the present Fed. CNMI laws.
Just what is the logic in this?
I would think that the ones that have been here from just before the Fed take over even up to a year before that should come under any "new reform"
They allow "illegal" but don't allow the legal in the NMI?

Another thing while I know what to expect if they do not allow the extension of the present CW, I do not think that that is a solution.

It might behoove all to push this thing from another direction, that being, if the NMI concerned can convince the Feds that by all of the CW leaving it would have a devastating effect on the economy then push for what the original Fed take over had in the bill until That criminal Fitial had it taken out.
Give all of the ones that were here at the time before the takeover an "instant" status that would be a green card and a pathway to Cit. or just have them all leave as planned and let the economy 'tank out'.

IF an extension is granted the CW, nothing will be done as far as locals being trained and also for many of these companies hiring practice and the CW willing to work for low wages and put up with abuse.

Locals will not take the Hotel and service jobs and also work for minimum wages.
They will not go and get training.
Why should they when the ones that are willing to work at those low wages will not get hired anyway.

So give them a resident status that will allow them to vote or a green card that will also allow them to vote or let them all leave and see just how fast this thing gets turned around before any of them leave.
This would also be a two fold improvement as it would also get rid of these professional political families that suck off the people and have forced many other families off the islands to greener pastures.

All or nothing. I would bet that no matter what, if they would all band together and actually plan to leave without a status that things would turn in their favor very quickly.
Speak out against an extension and the rest of this political posturing with the US elected..

Also another thing these Catholic Bishops should just mind their church and stay out of politics.
They stick their nose into it in the Phil. and other predominantly Catholic countries and screw thing up by their threatening elected, now they are getting involved in the US?

Anonymous said...

Captain, I totally agree with you with 'Give all of the ones that were here at the time before the takeover an "instant" status that would be a green card and a pathway to Cit. or just have them all leave as planned and let the economy 'tank out'.'

it is exactly what I have been thinking and consider to be the best solution to both sides, the local and the legal aliens.

Besides, I would also like to mention a problem which a number of CNMI long term investors with e2cnmi visa are facing. I am not sure if you all are aware of it but I would like to bring this matter up. Many of these foreign investors have been in the CNMI for decades and have made a lot of contributions to the community. They consider the CNMI as their home. I am shocked to learn that they are not even included in any types of the cnmi provisions. It also means these people will not be able to operate business if their status are unsolved, quite a few companies will have to close down towards the end of 2014. it will affect the workers and harm the economy.

It is unjust that investors are not included in the bill. I say granting immediate citizenship to these people is a must!

Anonymous said...

One CNMI long-term, legal guest worker questioned, "Why 2003? Why not 2008 or 2011, like it is for the undocumented?"

Because you are contract worker and not an immigrant. I know it's frustrating but the system will not work in your favor. Just over 2,000 CWs have gotten their work visas approved. That is roughly the number of hotel workers, cooks, etc. in the tourism market. Remember that you marched for this without knowing anything about how the Federal government works. It's all about paperwork and not about the individual. Never has been. Obama needed votes to win a 2nd term and future Democrats need votes to get elected. So make nice with hispanics and get them to vote. You cannot vote therefore really don't matter - at least that's how a politician thinks.

Anonymous said...

To the PEOPLE CONCERN;
No NEED talking or using WORDS that will affect CNMI with EXIT of ALIENS comes Nov./14 like (impossible for saipan to keep the economy alive,Tank out or what ever)because you are just wasting time while the time is running so fast and you all know that for sure. Why don't you just accept the truth that THE ONLY REAL SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM IS VERY SIMPLE. No need of so many discussions and debates. Just TELL your (FRIENDS)to ask UNCLE SAM to GIVE STATUS all ALIENS who have been here legally 10 years and that's it any way they deserve it and I think also that President B. Obama will refuse to that.
LASTLY with all due RESPECT DO IT NOW BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE.
tHANK YOU VERY MUCH VIBA CNMI!!!rtjHeal

Green Cards for All! said...

Captain, despite your ingrained religious bigotry, people of faith and their leaders have the same right to organize and speak up on social issues as anyone else, even if you disagree with them on issues of “over-population” or imagined religious institutional wealth.

Christian activists such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. made a great impact in progress toward social justice, just as religion formed the western educational and medical systems so many today take for granted.

The faithful can play an important role in ensuring the human dignity of each individual is recognized, no matter where they may have been born.

Anonymous said...

CNMI immigration provisions entered into S744 in a CNMI style-discriminatory. These alien workers are legal and considered to have immigration status poorer than undocumented alien workers in the United States. Undocumented alien workers in U.S mainland can have a better immigration status that entered there before 2011 than CNMI law abiding, tax paying long-term legal alien workers who have been in CNMI since 2003. There is an 8 golden years (2011-2003= 8) for each alien workers consumed and sucked by CNMI immigration provision and it also recommends to spend an additional 5 years to get a LPR. It looks like (8+5=13 years to get a LPR). And foreign workers who have been in CNMI legal after 2003 and CNMI undocumented alien workers are skipped. What a great calculation, Mr. Kilili made with his calculator or constituents? CNMI investors are not included in the bill because they are not long-term alien workers but business associates. CNMI immigration provision does not care for alien workers and investors who have been in CNMI for the last 15, 20 or 25 years. “The CNMI devils in the details”—Mr. Kilili is right.

Anonymous said...

The 11 million in the states are illegal aliens, and those in the CNMI are contracted workers similar to H visa workers, so when a person accepted or falsified documents for a CW job, they forfeited claims as an illegal alien, which didn't really hurt their case, because mainland undocumented workers will need to show W-2 income forms 125% of the poverty line for many years before citizenship, which will never happen in the CNMI.

Anonymous said...

I support granting legal status to CNMI investors as I realized many of these investors also work in their own business as staff due to the poor economy in the CNMI. They are legal aliens and they are the people who came here first to invest then creating job opportunities. .
Undocumented aliens in the mainland US are given a pathway to citizenship,
therefore I don't see why these LEGAL long term CNMI investors are not in the bill.

Wendy Doromal said...

10:51 How could anyone say that someone who lived and worked legally in the US for years or decades does not deserve a pathway to citizenship, but an 'illegal' alien does?

12:38 I agree that the long term investors deserve a pathway. They were welcomed, given business licenses, grew the economy, provided jobs for years and decades. The constant talk that most are "scam" businesses" makes no sense. Is there not a licensing process, oversight, and law enforcement?If so how are there "scam" businesses existing in the CNMI? How will the departure and closure of these businesses impact the economy and the families involved?

Selfishness, greed, petty competition, one-upmanship, and mean spiritedness has poisoned our country and the minds of our young.

Wendy Doromal said...

Hello Captain:

The Catholic Church, like most churches, is involved in moral issues and family issues as part of their mission. Immigration reform is one of the most pressing moral issues of our times. I would call it the civil rights movement of present. I have had the honor of working with members of the Catholic Church on immigration and migrant worker issues for decades, including working with the Sisters of the Good Shepherd and the Sisters of Notre Dame, leading charitable drives for children of migrant workers, attending DREAM Act rallies and marches and protests for justice for migrant farm workers. Some of the strongest voices for reform over the last few decades have been from the Catholic Bishops and church leaders.

captain said...

@8:03 'Green Cards for All'
Since you want to make an issue.

I don't have problem with people like Dr. King, Ghandi or other people and religions such as Shinto, Buddhist, Lutheran, Protestant, Baptist etc. (Even though I have some Muslim friends I am very Leary of that religion and people)

I have a very big problem with the hypocritical Catholic Church and almost of it's so called teachings.

Look back through out history on the Catholic church from the days of the Jews. (Jesus)
Up though the "inquisition" periods and so on.
The Spanish Conquistadors killing and murdering people in the name of the church.
The Spanish, the Portuguese Jesuits with their "Black Ships" that were raping and pillage Japan and Asia etc.
I can go on and on.

Another thing that came up recently within my extended family in both the CNMI and the Phil. which are born Catholic and go to church from young time.
(I was also Catholic, an alter boy and attended Parochial School during some years of school and even had one foot in the door to becoming a Marynoll Missionary)

In a conversation not one of the people knew about any of the catholic teachings and the Bible from the garden of Eden, the original sin, why do babies get Baptized, why is there confirmation, confessions and so many other basics teachings etc.

I also asked 17 from outside of the family and none knew.
They did not know why there were certain Church Holidays or what they represented etc.
Nothing about any teaching of the catholic church.
Many of the elders even read the bible (Tagalog version)

I asked why they did the things that they were doing in concerns with the church and they all said "because the priest told them to follow his direction or they would fall out of grace" (and more)

Some of these people are in their 80's and many are younger and in school.

In the past President Arroyo was going to support the birth control pills and condoms in the Phil upon her assuming the presidency and the Catholic Bishops told her if she did they would excommunicate her from the Church. (This was in the news confirmed by her)

They even threatened the present President Aquino and many of the present elected about passing the controversial bill, which passed and then the Church got a stay from the court.

Many Bishops and Priest in the Phil. have girl friends and children. (some openly)with the church goers are paying for.
I know of many personally and never realized they were still practicing priests.

Still in today's time the catholic Church is threatening and intimidating people.

They need to stay out of politics and start to actually teach and guide the people in biblical teaching.
When a legitimate question cannot be answered about church teaching the first thing that comes out of the Priest or Bishop is that you have to believe because it is a mystery and God said so.
"Well God told me differently"

I won't even go near the child molestations issue etc. involving the priest and Bishops.

I won't even get into the 'Idol worshiping" either and much more.
Have a good day.

Anonymous said...

The CNMI needs foreign workers, but doesn't need the CW visa. There are many federal visas which will allow for hotel workers, waitresses and skilled professionals. The problem with those visas is that they have minimum wages by job and education requirements which CNMI businesses don't want to pay.

The reason that some teachers, nurses, accountants, and engineers are paid as low as $5/hr. in the CNMI is because the CW visa allows it. No one can tell a business they don't need a worker with a master's degree, but if you require a higher salary to hire a foreign worker with that special training, I guarantee that the same job may only require a high school education. The CW visa needs to go. The CNMI economy will not tank and businesses will use other US visa categories and will likely hire more U.S. workers.

Anonymous said...

why not granting all these legal aliens green cards? They are our friends and neighbors. If they have been in the CNMI for years, they deserve to have a pathway to permanent residency.

Anonymous said...

10:51 you are changing the rules from the poor abused workr to the person who came legally, commited immigration fraud to run a business, then double dipped back into the worker group for sympathy and a CW permit, and now claims US investor visa status.

Cut the BS, coming to work legally ten years ago gave no entitlement to a US investor visa. You hire no citizens and are 100% or our CNMI labor problems of non-payment and the rules say you can't operate now without an E2 visa (whether CNMI or upgraded to E2) so lock your doors please

Anonymous said...

And Wendy, to make a better community we need a strict rule of law and your assertion about 12:38 "I agree that the long term investors deserve a pathway" may be skewed by your convictions on this case and not living here because if you lived here you may reconsider that we have an opportunity to do the right thing and eliminate some very bad people who have no respect fot the law, rule of law, America, or anything else and if you would like a list of my favorite 50 for the deportation line I will submit and Barry L and Willie W aren't even in the top, or bttom 50.

I am a soft hearted liberal for the poor abused worker struggling for decency but lets keep the story real and accurate

Wendy Doromal said...

Anonymous 11:52

I see, you are saying get rid of ALL of the foreign investors who own small businesses? Get rid of all of the small business owners who were lured to the CNMI, welcomed and encouraged to open businesses and hire people because SOME may be operating illegally? That makes no sense and it is racist. Where are your law enforcers, if the CNMI is running rampant with lawbreakers? If you actually know of illegal businesses have you notified authorities or do you just stereotype all of the small foreign-owned businesses as illegal to suit your prejudiced theory? YOU keep the story real. I communicate with legitimate small foreign business owners every week. I will write a post about their plight. Do not stereotype. Do not whine here. If you truly know of illegal activities, then stand up and out the people, name names and report them to authorities.

Wendy Doromal said...

Anonymous 11:44 Read my message to 11:52 above. It applies to you too. Who allowed these "illegal" "fraudulent" businesses? Who licenses them? If they are illegal, then you need to tell authorities!

Anonymous said...

CNMI long term investor said:
Thank you Wendy for speaking up for us. very much appreciated

captain said...

Wendy, I think that what some are referring to as "illegal" business involve CW that, as you are aware of from the past, under the then CNMI laws (and now Feds)no CW was/is allowed to own or operate or otherwise engage in business within the CNMI if they indeed were brought in or are employed under a work contract.

As you are aware of these CW were/are "bonded" to one employer only.
In the past they had to get a transfer approved by DOLE/DOL (now the Feds)to change jobs and also had to have the two years work experience in that trade from their point of origin..(at least legally as was written)

What has happened in the past was that so many times these workers would get one of the local person (or another outsider US Cit.) to "sponsor them" in a business and one or a bunch of them would put their money together and open a business with the US Cit. name and License or Corporation, they would pay gratuity to that person while that person would "technically" hire them for the licensed company but in reality that company would be a front to keep them here legally while it actually belonged to the CW. They also paid all of the fees.

I have done that same thing for some of my former workers in the past just to give them a chance to make a living while waiting to try and collect their back wages. I formed a Corp. with many sub business names.

Many times these workers were given only days to leave and in many instances were locked in their barracks until their flights were due and physically brought to the airport and put on the plane so there was no recourse to collect their pay. In these case their friends or co-workers would go around and solicit help from many of us to help them.

I have also precessed transfers many times for some of the women that were going to be sent back to their point of origin by their employer when they became pregnant.
They then technically worked for my company but in reality they were free lancing as part time house workers and cleaners for cash. Many times I put them up in a compound with other workers opr they stayed with friends.

There are also many individuals that came in with money that opened companies that did not meet the criteria under CNMI laws that paid off certain officials so that they could open a small business.
By the same token as one commenter states there are many companies that are in limbo that came in with good intentions and got caught in the middle by the corrupt officials and now are facing a problem as they cannot meet the Feds requirements.

The Feds knew about these scams on both sides and that is one of many reasons that they took over the Immigration of the CNMI besides the concern of the high number of CW verses residents.

On another area, I am surprised that the Feds. have not made a move on A. Samoa and take over their immigration as well.

But there there were not 40k foreign workers to contend with in A. Samoa and in the past the majority of the "foreign" workers are from W. Samoa with the same last names and lineage with some from Tonga and other Pacific Islands and these officials would get paid off by the then Canneries.or many would just be smuggled in. I have done that also during the many years that I was there as a majority of the A. Samoans do not have the skills and many are not reliable to show up for work.

All small numbers there compared to here now and especially in the past.

And NO, many of us are not so clean from the past but not as corrupt as the "elite" and the professional politician with the proper names.
All a matter of survival and some of us actually rescued many.

Some of these small business survive till today and also many of the original people have married US Cit. so their business come under different laws.

Wendy Doromal said...

Anonymous 4:05 -Captain

Could you please email me at doromal@earthlink.net. I would like to interview you for a project that I am working on.

captain said...

Look for my reply to your mail, contact from
There may be a little delay in my response but I will get back to you.

If you do not receive this contact mail post again in this media.

Have a nice day.