July 22, 2013
Apparently the group's members must have amnesia or have forgotten the events of the last three decades when the nonresidents were recruited, renewed over and over, suffered abuses at the hands of their employers, and built up the CNMI economy. Any "social, political and economic" impact has already happened and cannot be undone. The nonresidents have been and continue to make up the majority of the private workforce and are essential to keeping the tourism industry thriving and the economy moving.
What is this idea that the presence of nonresidents somehow impedes the progress of the U.S. citizens? Who is stopping any U.S. citizen from getting a job, opening a business or otherwise participating in their community?
The nonresidents workers should be regarded as future citizens, not as disposable labor units. It is unreasonable and unjust to identify people who have worked and lived legally on U.S. soil for five or more years, or even decades, as "temporary" or "guests". They are neither. They are valuable, contributing members of the community and should be treated as such. The nonresidents of the CNMI have earned and deserve permanent residency status.
The xenophobic group called the Northern Marianas Descent Corporation, is headed by President Ana Teregeyo, who is a former CNMI legislator. The racist agenda is backed by Rep. Felicidad Ogumoro, former Rep. Danny Quitugua, Connie Togawa, Jesse Taisacan and former Rep. Karl Reyes, according to the Marianas Variety. The group claims to have 7,594 members from Saipan, Tinaina and Rota. I would love to see the membership list.
This is just another supremicist hate group, not unlike the former anti-alien group, the Taotao Tano group and others, that advocated for the legal, long-term nonresidents to remain disenfranchised, oppressed and denied of all rights.
Teregeyo's claims,""We were caught by surprise" speaking of the comprehensive immigration reform bill that passed the Senate. What surprise? The CNMI status provision has been covered extensively in the CNMI media for over a year and was the subject of hearings on every island after the 2010 DOI Status Report was released. It would be virtually impossible for any thinking person not to have known about the hearings and legislation.
The Marianas Variety quoted Teregeyo stating another ignorant claim:
The bill would severely disrupt “anything that we want to do. We would become nonresident aliens on our own islands, and we don’t want that,” Teregeyo said.
She said their children and future generations would not have the opportunity they are enjoying right now if the bill becomes law.What exactly would be "severely disrupted"? What couldn't the indigenous people do if a group of legal, longterm nonresidents gained status? What opportunity are they enjoying right now that they would no longer have if status was granted? The ability to continue to rule over and oppress a disenfranchised underclass?
Being a U.S. citizen does not give a person the right to determine who will also be granted citizenship. Giving others rights does not minimize your own rights!
This is sad, very sad.