Immigration Reform News

October 31, 2013

Extension of Flawed Federal Guest Worker Program Expected

It was reported that the U.S Department of Labor will decide by the end of 2013 whether or not to extend the CNMI-Only Guest Worker Program another five years.

No news here. Of course they will!

Federal officials listen to whatever Delegate Sablan and the CNMI business community feed them without conducting any further investigations or without asking for feedback from the 13,000 people who will be impacted the most by the decision. (Why get the opinion of the disenfranchised underclass.)

The Saipan Tribune reported:
The delegate reiterated that he has not been given any reason not to extend the CW program “but I cannot tell you that they have decided to extend it.”
This program should not be extended. Certainly it should not be extended without being reformed. The only just action would be to end it and grant permanent residency to every legal, long-term foreign worker who has been in the CNMI 5 or more years from the date the bill is enacted. But fair is not in the vocabulary of those who make the decisions.

Case in point – in September 2013, the U.S. Congress passed a law to delay implementation of scheduled CNMI $.50 federal minimum wage increase. Their decision was based on information fed to them by CNMI officials and CNMI business organizations that minimized the reality of the tourist boom, withheld information, lied, whatever you want to call it, to ensure that the business owners could keep money in their pockets, rather than giving it to the struggling workers.

After the delay was approved the business owners celebrated their victory. Hooray faulty statistics and data wins again! (See this post: Economic Truth Revealed After Bill Passes)

CNMI Group Opposes a Pathway to Citizenship for Legal Long Term Workers

The members of the Northern Marianas Descent Corp. are seeking a meeting with Delegate Kilili Sablan (CNMI-I) to discuss the immigration bill that the U.S. Senate passed last summer and U.S. House Bill 15 that has recently been introduced. Both bills promise a pathway to citizenship to an estimated 11 million undocumented aliens and to the CNMI's legal, long term nonresidents.

The group spokesperson and president, Ana Teregeyo, claims the bills "affect" the indigenous people of the CNMI and is asking Delegate Sablan to clarify the bill.

The group promotes the xenophobic idea that indigenous people of the CNMI somehow were entitled to have U.S. citizenship handed to them, but legal long term foreign workers who have served the CNMI community for decades do not deserve a pathway to citizenship. This racist group that enjoys the fruits of labor from the foreign workers would like them to be perpetually disenfranchised. Thankfully they do not decide, the U.S. Congress does.

The Saipan Tribune quoted Delegate Sablan:
“So someone who was born in the Northern Marianas before 1978, or who became a permanent resident under CNMI law, or is part of a U.S.-citizen family, will be able to remain in the Northern Marianas—just as we permitted under our own local law. These residents will be able to work and travel and after five years apply for a green card under the bill passed by the U.S. Senate and under the new House bill. Without that, their fate would be uncertain,” the delegate had said. 
The bills also allow workers who have lived in the CNMI since before 2003 to continue to stay and work. After an additional five years contributing to the CNMI, they can apply to be a U.S. permanent resident, if they want to. 
“That’s fair and it’s good for our economy,” Sablan said, adding that S. 744 and H.R. 15 fix problems for businesses and the CNMI economy that were created when federal immigration came to the islands.
GOP Immigration Reform Backers Stepping Up Their Efforts

The 600 Republicans from 40 states who are members of the group, Republicans for Immigration Reform, lobbied 150 Republican members of the U.S. Congress to push for immigration reform earlier this week.

It was reported that some major Republican donors are threatening to withhold campaign donations to Republicans who oppose immigration reform.

The group also put up this ad:


Anonymous said...

An extension of CW-1 program for another 5, 10, 15 or 20 years are not objected as long as CNMI long-term alien worker’s immigration statuses are confirmed before a decision is finalized by the secretary of U.S Department of Labor to extend it. Does Mr. Kilili, CNMI-Washington DC rep or Mr. Inos, CNMI Governor agree to this?
CW-1 program may be continuously needed to build more industries in CNMI in the future as the economic indicator of CNMI is developing slowly. And there is a need of demand for more foreign workers from the new investors who are trying to invest million and million dollars and they see a lack of local manpower to make this happen. Without a strong workforce, there is no such place in the world may get developed.
CNMI long-term alien workers VS unauthorized immigrants in US should not be compared on a signal bill to adjust their future by U.S Congress. It can be solved by Mr. Kilili, Mr. Inos, and USCIS-USDHS by a memorandum of understanding or MOU. And let the secretary of U.S Department of Labor to decide whether an extension of CW-1 is really needed or not. Is CNMI planning to sue U.S Department of Labor if it does not work? Something is smelled. Who knows, the shadow knows.

It's not your money! said...

Hi Wendy!

Actually, the CW program may be extended more than once, as long as the Secretary of Labor determines that alien workers are necessary to supplement the resident workforce. Section 6(d)(5)(A) of the CNRA states:

"Not later than 180 days prior to the expiration of the transition period, or any extension thereof, the Secretary of Labor, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of the Interior, and the Governor of the Commonwealth, shall ascertain the
current and anticipated labor needs of the Commonwealth and
determine whether an extension of up to 5 years of the provisions
of this subsection is necessary to ensure an adequate number of workers will be available . . ."

The operative language, "or any extension thereof," makes it clear that the extensions can also be extended by up to five more years.

The section dealing with eligibility for asylum, however, cannot be extended without Congress amending the law.

Wendy Doromal said...

It's Not Your Money

Thanks for the correction. I haven't read the law for a while because it makes me so damn angry to read it. I guess that provision is typical of our federal government that considers foreign workers as labor units rather than human beings. The fact that the bill has not been revised to provide a pathway to citizenship instead of providing for renewing nonresidents so they can be used up, tossed out and replaced if needed is also infuriating. I have zero trust in Sablan and Inos and even less in our lazy, heartless and issue-ignorant U.S. Congress and bureaucratic agencies.

Anonymous said...

Sop according to the quote from 4:32, then an extension, if granted, not necessarily will be fiver years. "It could be an extension up to 5 years."
So what happens if they only extend this one year then a request is needed each consecutive time?

Anonymous said...

stop the stupidity. Give them all green cards and get your workforce without the expensive fees and crazy process. How much does a hotel or big company spend every year to renew all its workers?