August 28, 2013
Predictably, the governor consulted the Saipan Chamber of Commerce for input to the questions. The chamber, in turn, "solicited responses also from the Hotel Association of the Northern Mariana Islands and CNMI Chapter of the Society for Human Resources Management", according to the Saipan Tribune.
Always the politicians and government officials consult the business owners -the ones who have made their riches off the backs of the disenfranchised, impoverished underclass; the ones that most benefit from extending the broken program.
Why is it that no one considers consulting those who truly have the biggest stake in the game –the voiceless nonresident workers who are the backbone of the CNMI economy? The nonresident workers who deserve freedom and a pathway to citizenship, not five more years of oppression, suffering and disenfranchisement.
- Given the recent changes in the CNMI economy, i.e., the changes in the composition of tourism and the end of the garment industry, what strategies are being developed by the CNMI government to adapt to these changes which will make the CNMI a more vibrant economy?
- What efforts by the CNMI government have been undertaken to adequately train or educate CNMI citizens to assume jobs held by alien workers? Who will carry out training and educational programs? What is the result of these efforts? Have they been successful? Will they be continued?
- At what rate will the CNMI’s workforce grow over the next five years? What percentage of the anticipated CNMI workforce growth over the next five years will be met by foreign workers, if they are available?
- Do CNMI’s businesses have any difficulty finding qualified applicants who are U.S. citizens and legal residents for any of the jobs they are trying to fill?
- What efforts have the CNMI’s businesses made to recruit U.S. citizens and legal residents for the jobs in their businesses? What do employers say are the impediments they face in finding U.S. citizens or legal residents for these jobs in the CNMI?
- Given the CNMI unemployment rate, what makes these jobs unattractive to U.S. citizens or legal residents?
- What types of research has been carried out by the CNMI government or other organizations to understand the economic implications of the possible elimination of the CNMI-Only Transitional Guest Worker (CW) program on the economy of the CNMI?
- What are the reasons for the low workforce participation rates by U.S. citizens in the CNMI?
- For which occupations or educational skills do the CNMI’s businesses have current needs?
- The implementation of the minimum wage laws in the CNMI resulted in higher wages. Have these higher wages created less demand for labor given the limited resources available?
- Do foreign workers in the CNMI pay income tax?
- Is the unemployment rate in the CNMI based on both resident and foreign workers?
- If the transition period ends, do employers think they will use existing worker visa programs (e.g., H2B, H2A etc.) more? If not, why not?
The questions not asked, that should be asked:
- How can you justify the continued oppression and disenfranchisement of legal, nonresidents who have lived and worked in the CNMI for 5, 10, 20, 30 or more years on U.S. soil?
- How can you justify the undemocratic and un-American treatment of the CNMI's legal nonresidents held as a permanent underclass?
- How many more years do you intend to fight against a pathway to citizenship for the nonresidents who poured their sweat and tears into building your community?
- How can you justify reaping taxes from people who do not reap the benefits of their contributions and are denied basic political, economic and civil rights?
- Why did you allow millions of dollars in wages to be stolen from the nonresidents workers even as you allowed their thief-employers to walk with impunity? What do you intend to do to make these people whole?
- Do you acknowledge that your insistence in delaying federal wage increases in order to appease and please the business owners is also a major reason that many U.S. citizens refuse to accept jobs in the private sector?
- How have the policies instituted by the CNMI lawmakers perpetuated the high level of poverty in the CNMI?
- How have decades of greed and corruption not only hurt tens of thousands of innocent foreigners that you treat as replaceable commodities, but your own people, as well?
- At what rate will the legal nonresident workers leave the CNMI because of continued uncertainty and little hope of ever seeing a change in their status?
- Isn't it true that if the legal nonresidents were to be given permanent residency then there would be no need to extend the CNMI-Only Guest Worker Program?