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: