MILE CNMI: A Voice for the Voiceless

August 6, 2014

Political voice is essential in any true democracy. The greatest movements in our nation's history sprang forth because of denial of political voice.
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!


Anonymous said...

M'am Wendy happy to learn your recovering and your health is better. We love you and pray for you. God bless you always.

Wendy Doromal said...

Anonymous 7:35

Thanks you for your kind words. Love to you.

Anonymous said...

America is not advancing. It cannot learn how to treat the people that keep it thriving. Politicians will all end up in hell burning for their sins against humanity.

Anonymous said...

The long-term (5-30 Years) services of Non-immigrant workers in CNMI are never introduced in any immigration bill by CNMI-Washington DC rep nor appreciated by CNMI lawmakers including CNMI governors. They keep improving CNMI in all business centers. CNMI failed to introduce or mention it to U.S government, “The contribution and dedications of these long-term Non-immigrant workers in CNMI”. CNMI always tend to need their services only and oppose immigration status that was the reason “A faulty and discriminatory CW program was forced to run in CNMI by U.S department of Homeland security under U.S Public law 110-229”.
CNMI legislature and people are to be taught how to love human and not to hate. It is the mission of MILE. We are the people. If we stay united, anything is possible.

Anonymous said...

very well said...all humans got same feelings...long term workers are not terrorist. USA dream bring us here to do so by local politicians other wise who can come here on tiny islands its just jungle and ocean thats you can enjoy life here.local people may be only enjoy by ego/showing off that they are usa citizens...look at them mentality then americans...after all they were also refugee is no body belongs to...except GOD.may god bless to all human being.

Anonymous said...

Of course Kilili won't bother to strike the iron even though it is extremely hot because it is election time. CNMI is far away from the Capital and Obama may only look at the welfare of the millions of undocumented immigrants and not the long term foreign workers when he pen the forthcoming Executive Order/s. If Andrew Salas will make it a political issue then he will win some hearts of the MILE CNMI group members but of course not all especially those who are still clinging to what Kilili promised them behind closed doors. All are calculated moves, not only for the candidates but the voters as well. Political promises most of the time have no face value and it is a gamble to the voting public to believe or not. This coming November, just chose the relatively small stone to hit your own head. Good luck voters!

Anonymous said...

hafa adai.The man with the shackle on CNMI parade was paid by kilili sablan for to get vote bank on islands.this the the face

Anonymous said...

"Citizenship is a privilege and not a right...."

President Barack Obama referring to territories and the people who live there. Well there you go, you heard it straight from the "immigration reform" President. To the Democrats and ultra left wing liberals who still follow this man with such blindness that he can do no wrong I ask you to just ask yourself what he meant by this statement and what it means to CWs in the CNMI. Go ahead, look in the mirror and ask yourself.

Wendy Doromal said...

Anonymous 7:22

Thank you for your comment, I was going to write a post about that brief filed by the Obama Administration (not Obama) but got side-tracked with job demands. I am really interested in this case, especially since David Cohen filed an amicus brief. I have the utmost respect for him and share the majority of his views.

I think the Obama Administration has been wrong on many issues. I am not a blind supporter of anyone!

Anonymous said...

Again the Liberals will find some way to distance Obama from what he said to what his Administration says ?! Amazing ! Is he the President of the United States or not ? Obama and the Democrats could careless about what happens to CWs in the territories like the CNMI. They can't vote for anyone in the US anyway. Kilili outright mislead people when he promised immigration reform will happen ! Barack Obama's polls are at a historic low, Hillary Clinton has blasted him and his administration on numerous issues.

Wendy Doromal said...

Anonymous 10:06

It is not true that liberals and Democrats "could care less about what happens to the CWs in the territories like the CNMI." Historically, Democrats have supported status for the CNMI's legal nonresidents, but Republicans like Tom DeLay have blocked the bills from moving forward. I devoted more than half of my adult life to fighting for status for the nonresidents of the CNMI and I am a liberal Democrat.

Residents in territories can vote for their U.S. congressional delegates. Remember that residents in territories do not pay federal taxes.

Kilili is one nonvoting member of Congress. He cannot make immigration reform happen any more than President Obama can. The Republican leadership has blocked immigration reform. That much is absolutely clear.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunatly in the recent article after meeting with Inos these young voters seem to have already been taken over by empty promises and rosy picture this Admin has painted.
they pose in the picture with "IT" flags.

Lets see if they do the same for any other candidates they interview.
But have not heard the results from the other scheduled meeting.
Maybe since it seems that MV supports Inos that they did not send any reporter to cover.

Anonymous said...

BTW, recently another large Fed grant given to the VA for homeless Vets. That grant included Porto Rico and the Virgin Islands but not Guam, American Samoa, or the CNMI.
So that tells just what Wa. DC thinks abut these areas.
I seriously doubt that anything that Obama does will have any effect in the NMI.

Anonymous said...

In regards to green cards for foreign workers married to locals.
A true fact is that besides the few local spouses that want to get their spouse on a road to citizenship, with the low wages they cannot qualify for the income requirements for Green Cards.

But on the other end the majority of the ones married to foreigners do not want them to get Cit. as they are afraid they will leave them.
Almost all of the these couples only the foreign spouse works and hands over the paycheck while the local spouse sits in poker house or on the beach.
I know many of both gender. @ of my former male workers got married to large women and they do not work and nly play poker or sit around in the garage or beach with the relatives and drink beer.
The same goes for more than 20 other couples I know personally and more that My own friends know.
Many also are trated much like maids and servants by the spouse family.
I have witnessed this many times and in many instances on Rota and also Tinian they are called by their nationality by the families. Such as "Hey Bangladesh, go get the beer" "Hey Filipino bring the food" etc.

I truly feel more sorry for these people as they are really stuck with no place to turn or any way to escape. They are need and used by the families for a paycheck.
Same goes for girl/boy friends, but at least they can get away.

BTW almost all that I checked have expired passports from their country.

Anonymous said...

6:49 Who wrote the grants? Maybe the CNMI and other territories didn't apply because there are no homeless Veterans there?

Anonymous said...

@10:24 pm Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald today announced the award of approximately $300 million in grants that will help approximately 115,000 homeless and at-risk Veterans and their families. The grants will be distributed to 301 community agencies in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

This was 08-11-14 I am subscribed to VA news and get these items as they come up same with SSA info.

Over the years I have known many homeless Vets that have come to the NMI and Guam from the US and ended up on the beach or in a shack or improvised shelter on some peoples farm or vacant lot. many were given handouts of food and cigarettes by the locals, also invited to do small jobs in exchange for a few bucks.
Before the VA office here (Saipan) I helped some get Medicare and also the ones that qualified to get SS disability coverage.
In Guam there are also many locals that I had met that were homeless along with the ones from Pacific Islands and US that served in the military.
I have also witnessed a few that were found dead after a while and we donated to bury them.
Some we managed to have enough info to get the military to bury them.

BTW another recent "grant" pays cash up front for burials. I have to go back and find the notice and read it through.

BTW there was also almost $1mil awarded last month to help Vets with transportation costs to get to VA hospital appointments. This is not part of the costs if they have to be refereed to say Guam or Hawaii as may be the case here.
It a also does not include places such as the Phil. as there is already in place reimbursement (cash) for those expat Vets coming from the provinces to Manila VA.
In the Phil. most times the VA give out a referral to the Hospitals in the closest proximity of the Vets domicile.

Anonymous said...

Not much has changed. Kids born here could eventually petition their parents and siblings. That is the same. Kids born here could vote when they came of age. That hasn't changed. Kids born here would get a US passport. That hasn't changed. What changed then? What changed is that for several years now, US immigration has been denying employment to long time Contract Workers and sending them home, or not letting them back in when they need to leave. Half of them have been lost in just a few years, and they are working hard at reducing the other half that have remained. This is the unfortunate state of immigration right now.