August 6, 2014
The American Revolution, the Abolition Movement, the Women's Rights Movement, the Civil Rights Movement and today's Immigration Rights Movement all sprang forth because of the denial of the democratic principles of equality, freedom, representation and political voice.
That said, the CNMI is probably the most undemocratic place on U.S. soil. Over 10,000 foreign contract workers have been denied a political voice for years and decades. The vast majority have lived and worked legally in the CNMI for over five years; many for ten, 20, 30 or more years. They are de facto citizens. They are the fuel of the islands' economy who have provided their skills and contributions to the people of the CNMI for most of their adult lives, for decades, for generations now.
Despite their legal longevity as nonresidents in the CNMI, most have never been granted U.S. immigration status because of laws meant to maintain them as the voiceless, disenfranchised underclass. Unless they have a U.S. citizen spouse or children who can sponsor them for permanent residency status now or when their children reach age 21, they have little chance of being put on a pathway to U.S. citizenship.
It is therefore, encouraging to see that the children of the nonresident workers are uniting to be a voice for themselves, their parents and the voiceless majority of the CNMI. They have formed a group called MILE (Maximum Impact Leading Excellence) CNMI, which will be meeting with the islands' political candidates, educating young voters and registering voters.
The Marianas Variety reported:
The group, according to the member who declined to be identified, will “promote the common good for a better future for everyone.”
They want to have a “maximum impact” on the island.
“We also aim for excellence in helping others in the community.”Members of the nonprofit met with Governor Eloy Inos and will be meeting with gubernatorial candidate Heinz Hofschneider and his running mate, Senator Ray Yumul next week.
The people of the CNMI would do well to remember that the harder a group is kept down, the more it will advance when finally released.
More power to MILE CNMI!