American Samoa Grants Amnesty to Aliens; CNMI Continues to Treat Them as Labor Units

September 26, 2014

American Samoa granted amnesty to over 4,000 aliens from 24 countries. The aliens included 2,474 foreigners who were registered in an amnesty registration campaign and 1,637 legal foreigners who were waiting for citizenship.

Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga signed the bill. He was quoted:
“The people we are talking about are contributing members of society, in some cases along with their families, who have fallen into circumstances not always of their own making,” Moliga said in a Tuesday letter sent to lawmakers informing them the bill has been signed. 
“We owe them the opportunity to become full-fledged members of the community so they can fully partake in all community affairs and be fully counted for public planning purpose when federal assistance decisions are made arising out of our population count,” he said.
Meanwhile U.S. Delegate Gregorio (Kilili) Sablan has been silent on a bill to grant status to the CNMI's aliens. Instead, he talks only of extending the flawed U.S. CNMI-Only Transitional Immigration Program until 2019. He seeks to extend the E-2 CNMI Investor visa, the exemption from the national limit on H visas and the exemption from U.S. asylum laws – all provisions of H.R. 110-229 that are set expire on December 31, 2014.

Sablan's September 25, 2014 press release stated:
“When the commonwealth government was in charge of immigration, those 261 foreign investors who now hold E-2 CNMI visas were promised they could stay if they put their money into the Northern Marianas economy. I believe we have an obligation to keep that promise, and we certainly cannot afford to see those investments leave our economy. 
“There is opposition here in the Marianas, too, from some who say that Public Law 110-229 and the policies it put in place violated the Covenant and that there should be no extension. These local opponents add to the difficulty of passing a bill in Congress. They make it harder to legislate policies to allow the Northern Mariana Islands economy to rebound from an almost 10-year period of economic decline. They make it harder for us to keep the commonwealth’s promise to 261 foreign investors. They make it harder for us to be sure we have access to temporary construction workers to build over 2,000 hotel rooms commonwealth elected officials have been promised in the coming years.
Extending an insecure status just extends the uncertainty for the affected foreigners. The obligation that should be met, is to grant them upgraded status to them. How long have they contributed to the economy and paid taxes?

The same can be said for the legal, long-term foreign workers. The CNMI should feel obligated to grant them permanent residency status too.

This month USCIS set the limit of alien workers at 13,999 for fiscal year 2015 stating:
DOL found that the majority of the CNMI’s current labor supply is provided by foreign workers. DOL indicated that the studies unanimously concluded that restrictions on the foreign labor supply will exacerbate the CNMI’s current economic problems and restrain current economic growth. In examining the unemployment rate, the labor force, and the number of jobs available in the CNMI, DOL also determined that even if all the U.S. workers in the labor force were employed, a significant number of jobs would still need to be filled by foreign workers.  On the need for foreign workers to fill specific industry jobs, CNMI government officials reported to DOL that legitimate businesses in the CNMI have difficulty finding qualified applicants for skilled jobs who are U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents. DOL thus concluded that there are an insufficient number of U.S. workers available to meet CNMI’s businesses’ current needs, and that a five-year extension of the CW-1 program is warranted. 
For the aforementioned reasons, DHS recognizes that any numerical limitation must account for the fact that the CNMI economy continues to be based on a workforce comprised primarily of foreign workers. Therefore, any new fiscal year numerical limit must allow for economic growth until the end of the transitional worker program, which is now December 31, 2019.
The business owners and haters in the CNMI want to benefit and take, take, take from the foreign investors and the foreign workers by keeping them perpetually disenfranchised, voiceless and under their thumbs. This has been their attitude for decades. They will not change their attitude because they do not have to. The system allows them to fill their pockets at the expense of the sacrificing legal nonresidents. Their brazen greed knows no bounds.

Only the U.S. Congress can take action to stop this shame on U.S. soil. Unfortunately it too is self-serving, devoid of compassion and lacking a sense of justice.


Anonymous said...

Looks like that may be a source to replace the current the NMI
Those under amnesty eventually will be able to travel as Samoan cit.and travel to US to work and live.

Anonymous said...

The final word came from CNMI government to have a discriminatory and inhuman CW program in CNMI which is run by U.S department of Homeland Security-USCIS. CNMI governments plan to replace all CW workers in CNMI by U.S workers or permanent resident or citizens of freely associate states and do not intend to recognize the contribution of these long-term non-immigrant workers in CNMI society. This is an attitude forced by greedy business owners toward CNMI government. It can still be changed by a MOU between CNMI & Federal government. Mr. Gregorio Kilili Sablan-Washington DC CNMI congressman and Mr. Eloy Inos-CNMI governor (No difference between Mr. Eloy Inos and Mr. Benigno Fitial, Most CNMI residents say) may request to U.S Congress to see the changes. A place cannot be well developed if people are considered only as labor units. Give freedom to the non-immigrants in CNMI who have been here for many years and recognize their contribution. Look at American Samoa; Do CNMI government and CNMI-Washington DC rep have something to learn?

Anonymous said...

"This is an attitude forced by greedy business owners toward CNMI government"

Your are totally mistaken. If you remember Nancy Pelosi's now infamous gaffe on Obama Care "We have to read it after it passes to know what's in it." This rings true in the pro Federal takeover marchers and so forth. You never took the time to actually read the Federal Law until it passed ! It will take an act of Congress to change it now and that is not going to happen.

Wendy Doromal said...

I never endorse anything I have not read or do not understand. I read the law.I was also PROMISED by members and staffers of the US Congress not to worry about the removal of the grandfathering clause. I was reassured that the provision that stated DOI must recommend a status for the nonresidents would be acted upon after the report was released in 2010.

Looking back I see that those who removed the grandfathering law were liars. Otherwise they would have introduced a stand alone immigration law immediately after the release of the 2010 DOI Report instead of spitting out the same old line that they allow the delegate to take the lead in issues that affect territories. Every member is more interested in their own re-election then what is best, moral or just. Members of Congress dance around issues because to take a moral stand could cost him/her the election. They are there for the money and power. Period. The current members are not deserving of their salaries, our trust or any respect.

Anonymous said...

Hey Wendy,

In the CNMI they don't need to worry about getting re-elected because CW's or aliens don't vote.

And by the way, If you claim to be a teacher, you should know ever since that politicians don't keep their word. Are you that gullible? I don't beleive you just know this now, DUH!!

Anonymous said...

No one is blaming you Wendy. The activists on Saipan made money, the lawyers (Woodruff) made a lot of money and the contract workers are of course left with nothing. You are right about the money. The CWs were used and continue to be used to enrich these people. There is some hope though. The CW groups are finally aware of the deception and lies.

Anonymous said...

8:57.....Finally somebody woke up. And who is really benefiting out this? Its the feds cuz of their high paying salary.

Anonymous said...

The Feds are slowly closing in on the CNMI and soon the Covenant will be done away with. The inept Federal officials are still stuck in the garment days showing reruns from the late 1980s and saying "See we have to take over !". First the oceans are gone (monument) then the land (Tinian, Rota, Saipan) now the last nail is the Covenant. They could care less about the CWs.

Anonymous said...

Wait until any f these construction development begin on Tinian and IF this Saipan Casino eventually begins there will be many of these workers that will come in to work and then they won't leave and also they won't be tied to any one company.

It will be interesting at how loud the NMI Govt. and many of the people will yell about the "outsiders" taking their jobs, when in reality few of the ones yelling actually want to work.

Look at the different locations that provide training, nobody id beating their doors down to get in and the excuses are that they do not have transportation to go to school.
The ones that can finish their training most likely will be able to get a job if they are willing to start at the bottom.

Later I will be willing tobet that this NMI Govt. will have wished that they had of requested for permanent status for the CW's instead of the large influx of "outside" worses that the Govt. has no control over as to how lng they stay or for whom they work for and also for how much they will work for. Wait and see.
I will predict all of this will come into play within 1 years and also wages will rise eventually across the board

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering if you truly do live in some fantasy land of make it up as you go along. The Feds answered the prayers of the unity marchers. The Feds took over CNMI immigration and implemented Federal law. It would make no difference if the CNMI Gov demanded improved status or green cards or anything. Thats not how it works. Get a grip for crying out loud. The CWs are numbers in a database in DC nothing more nothing less. That is the reality of their plight. Ms Doromal has spent years trying to put a face on the CW but it fell on blind eyes and deaf ears.

Anonymous said...

we need justice in washington dc .all politician here are in one race and control by magnificien giant investor .a lot of scamer ,proud ,confiracy busines to corporation.human smugling through school student,phyramid scructure drugs related marijuna and ice..

Anonymous said...

Wendy, your whole migrant worker argument is warped. You're saying because the CNMI has contract workers who have been there for years, they should automatically be granted U.S citizenship in a Commonwealth? Ok, so if I a U.S. citizen should park my butt in Australia or New Zealand for a few years, I should demand they give me the right of their citizenship as well? Why is that the U.S. should do that, but no other country does? Contract workers can always go back to the motherland. No one is preventing that from happening. If anything, create a CNMI card - something akin to citizenship that let's them stay, but it won't let them go to the U.S. mainland (their hidden motive).

Wendy Doromal said...

Anonymous 3:15

The Commonwealth is U.S soil. If the CNMI's contract workers had been in the U.S. five years legally they would have qualified for permanent residency and have been set on a pathway to citizenship. I know former CNMI workers who are now citizens in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. They followed legal paths. If all the contract workers went back to their motherlands, the CNMI would be devastated economically. You think they have "hidden motives"? Maybe they just want to be treated with respect and be given the status that they deserve and have earned. I imagine you would have said the slaves had hidden motives for wanting their freedom too. History will look back on this disgraceful treatment of the LEGAL, long-term non-resident workers in a similar way.
"Park your butt" anywhere you want.

Anonymous said...


Guess what. I worked in Saipan and was a supervisor that managed "guest workers". I have no problem with them whatsoever, except that they shouldn't expect "citizenship". They take these jobs so they can send money back to support their families. Just because you are on contract and happen to live in a U.S. "Commonwealth" doesn't give you the right to jump the immigration line because you have been "on island" for whatever amount of years - or give you some type of right to "demand" something. If you really want to help contract workers, start with their home countries. Demand that their "home countries" step up to the plate and provide them with decent opportunities so they wouldn't have to leave in the first place. Contract workers actually hold the CNMI back from progress. First, most of the money they earn is sent off island and that hampers the growth of the local economy. Second, they keep wages artificially depressed, which in turn once again, keeps money out of the local economy and keeps U.S. mainland workers from being interested in working in the CNMI which once again hampers "growth". Get off your high horse Wendy and look at the facts. I do admire your sense of humanity, and I also have sympathy for their plight. But the CNMI needs to move forward, but it can't do it with a collection of disenfranchised contract workers that want the ultimate prize of a "green card". Maybe I should petition my U.S. Senator to start sending illegal Mexicans to the CNMI??? Hopefully you will support them as well.

Anonymous said...

I want to cut & paste your recent comment from the comment section where you said; "If all the contract workers went back to their motherlands, the CNMI would be devastated economically".

Ok, whose side are you on????

Yet here is what you also said on your recent blog commentary:
"The business owners and haters in the CNMI want to benefit and take, take, take from the foreign investors and the foreign workers by keeping them perpetually disenfranchised, voiceless and under their thumbs. This has been their attitude for decades. They will not change their attitude because they do not have to. The system allows them to fill their pockets at the expense of the sacrificing legal nonresidents. Their brazen greed knows no bounds".

Wendy, I don't understand. Simple solution - contract workers go back to the P.I. and leave Saipan to fail economically. Isn't that how to win your battle??? Everyone has a choice in life. Nobody can own us unless we allow it. Nobody is holding the contract workers from leaving (unless you count those in the illegal Chinese community). It's quite simple - call WINGS TRAVEL, book a flight back Manila. End of story.

Wendy Doromal said...

Anonymous 2:28
I get what you’re saying. You are like the majority of the Saipan business owners who want to hire cheap foreign workers because you can pay them the ridiculously inadequate minimum wage and keep them under your thumb because they are disenfranchised and voiceless. They are disposable labor units, to you and the ethically challenged employers in the CNMI who do not want them to ever have citizenship. You want to use them up and toss them away.

The foreign workers make up over 90% of the private workforce. They are essential. If you “sent them all home” the CNMI economy would collapse. Even if the U.S. citizens there could fill the jobs (had the skills and the inclination to work) that the foreign workers hold there are not enough of them to fill every job.

Your other remarks do not deserve a reply.

Wendy Doromal said...

Anonymous 1:52

The two statements I made do not contradict each other. My position is to raise the minimum wage and grant every legal long-term foreign worker permanent residency. My battle is a moral one.

Good will out.