The Real Way to End Uncertainty

August 26, 2013

A recent Marianas Variety article quoted Congressman Sablan as pushing the U.S. Department of Labor to make a decision by Fall regarding a five-year extension of the CNMI-only guest worker program.  Congressman Sablan says extending the program will end "the uncertainty".

 P.L. 110-229 allows for a five year extension of the CNMI-only guest worker program. But why extend something that has turned out to be problematic, and in many instances inhumane? Why extend a program that has created so much angst for the legal, long-term foreign workers, most of whom have served the CNMI community for decades?

There is one humane and just way to end the uncertainty related to labor issues in the CNMI. That is to follow the recommendations from the 2010 U.S. Department of Interior report and grant all of the legal, long-term nonresident workers permanent residency. Among the recommendations in the Department of Interior Report was this statement: 
"Consistent with the goals of comprehensive immigration reform, we recommend that the Congress consider permitting alien workers who have lawfully resided in the CNMI for a minimum period of five years to apply for long-term status under the immigration and nationality laws of the United States."
The mandated DOI report that recommended permanent residency for the legal, long-term foreign workers was given to the U.S. Congress in 2010 to act upon. Yet to date no action has been taken to fulfill the recommendations.

There is no reason to continue the dance –the music stopped a long time ago. There is no reason to continue to keep people who have lived and worked in the CNMI legally for more than five years as a disenfranchised underclass. So yes, by all means end the uncertainty. The right way to do it, the only just way to do it is to push for permanent residency status for every legal, long-term resident who has resided in the CNMI for five or more years.


Angelo Villagomez said...

We've been in the final stages of fully implementing the Covenant for about 7 years now. That's longer than it takes to become a US citizen in the mainland. Foreign workers may not have been promised permanent residency or citizenship, but they sure as hell have earned it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you to remind this to all in the CNMI.

Anonymous said...

The expression “final stages of fully implementing the Covenant” was blatant pro-federalization propaganda.

It will take at least another half century to fully implementing the first sentence of Covenant Section 701.

The realities of geography cannot be wished away by magical thinking, either economically, socially, demographically, educationally, or environmentally.

This is so no matter how often a self-styled anti-corruption advocate invites a high-heeled friend at the Saipan Tribune to lavishly sing his praises and tosses brickbats at those with whom he disagrees.

Anonymous said...

its an spunk on workers political can do what they want they are all in one corrupted boat to do so as well in mainland. whole lobby is making money both side..this kind of situation is really invited by congrass lobby because of million of dollars.also federal official are involved to do so.shame on this people....CNMI politicians are lucky to do so not food stamp stamp people are happy with food stamp and federal grant by them fecto corrupted officials...its just like fitial ...same same but different....the man of congrass will be more happy to do so...he must think twice when he alone and think about foreign workers who cheated from decades and show them american dream by fecto vote bank.they worked hard now is like 14,000 some.if u really want to kick them out then send one time all off them you don't need to extend transitional period let they go home with empty cheated hand them love once is waiting.they are humanbeing not animal.your system will cheat them again and your chamber of commerce/employer will take advantage again.I request to president obama to do not extend this corrupted system...after all USCIS making money for CW1 visa..local government not providing higher rate like states...its everything expensive here....its has to be end..pls GOD support cnmi foreigners...AMEN