Ashamed To Be An American: Another Katrina Disaster Failure

September 8, 2015

Stories of typhoon aid being denied to Filipino and other foreign workers in the CNMI are heartbreaking. Typically the CW workers have the worst housing in the CNMI. Houses constructed of wood and tin, some with dirt floors, converted shipping containers and apartments with slanted floors and unstable stairways.

If the U.S. can provide visas to foreigners to work in the CNMI then shouldn't they provide aid to them in a disaster?  Take the CW workers out of the CNMI and the economy and tourist industries collapse. It is about time these people were recognized as long-term de facto citizens and given green cards. But right now these people who make up 90% of the private sector they need assistance.

The Marianas Variety covered a story about foreign worker Rolando Magdaraog who sought help from FEMA and was denied. The 52-year-old man has been in the CNMI  sixteen years and now sleeps in his car:
“We work hard, we follow the law and we pay taxes. But there was a typhoon and we are also victims of it. I know that the U.S. and the CNMI are generous to those who need help so I’m still hoping for humanitarian consideration. “If not, what can I do? I guess nothing. I just have to work harder and start all over again.”
There is absolutely no reason that anyone who loses their house in a storm is sleeping in a car. The reporters covering these stories should publicize the names of the landlords who are not making repairs to destroyed homes.

So where is the help for these people who built the CNMI, who keep the economy thriving? I will be making calls to the U.S. Senate and U.S. House today to see what aid can be given to the foreigners. I am ashamed of the way our country is handling this disaster.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Where is the help from the Philippine government ? Where are the container ships full of food and supplies ? Speaks volumes....

Anonymous said...

Ashamed to be an American? You sound like Michelle Obama. America may not be perfect, but it is far better than most governments around the world. The nice thing about America is that you are allowed to say you are ashamed. That in itself (freedom of speech) perpetuates societys ability to think about critical issues and institute change (and progress). Saipan is a perfect example of why it lags behind in progress. Too many people afraid to speak out. Status quo and all that. Saipan is a microcosm and perfect example of how not to climb out of the abyss of ignorance. Further, Saipan is a perfect example of failure because it rejects and fears outside ideas and influence. A small island with a collective group of individuals fearing for their own survival and control will never rise above the limits of their ignorance and lack of experience which has been limited by natural selection in a limited place.

Anonymous said...

The Philippine consulate set up a food drive for Pinoys never mentioning anyone else yet Filipinos will line up for their WIC and SNAP for their US Citizen anchor babies. FEMA is now actively investigating fraud from CWs who have wrongfully claimed money. A FEMA investigator does not care who they are or what their status is.

Anonymous said...

Filipino's are famous worldwide for their ability to survive and work the angle's (very creative & charming). Contract workers who have housing and meals (i.e., Hyatt's CW employees)should be scrutinized first to see if any of them applied for FEMA assistance. Some of them, although they are offered and provided with accomodations at the Hyatt Employee Housing, choose to live in Garapan on their own. Wonder if they are trying to get some assistance? This goes back to making the "employer" responsible for the contract worker, even in times of disaster. It should be a USCIS requirement that employers on Saipan are REQUIRED to pay, house & feed all foreign contract workers - even in times of disaster. You want to have your cheap labor? Then be responsible for your cheap labor. While I can sympathize with "everyone" who has been affected by this natural disaster, (and emergency aid should not be denied to anyone who is immediately suffering) - there will always be some "scam artists" in the crowd who will try to game the system.

Anonymous said...

It is not the CW's part to request for FEMA assistance to repair a house that does not belong to them. Secondly, the employer should make sure that the CW receives assistance with problems with landlords/leases. They should NOT be responsible for all the family of the CW's. Some CW's have as many as 10 relatives from the PI living with them, none of who work. A contract worker is a non citizen here to work but should get assistance also, but not to fix a building that is not theirs. CW's are not and will never be U.S. citizens unless they go through the normal process and pay for it. Do that and they will get all the benefits of being a U.S. Citizen. Enough said.