September 3, 2015
In his letter to Delegate Sablan he stated:
“I thank you for your work diligence, cooperation, during this difficult time for our people. We have made much progress and with your assistance and counsel I believe we have developed an environment of cooperation between local, regional and federal partners”
“In this spirit of partnership I want to convey to you some areas of need during this recovery stage. First, I know you are keenly aware of the ongoing situation of CW visa holders being ineligible for FEMA individual assistance funding. I am genuinely concerned over the lack of assistance being provided by our federal partners to the many families who are being denied the need they help solely because of their immigration status."
“While not widely known to much of the FEMA or USCIS policy makers, the CW program is an important part of our community and CW visa holders were not spared the damaging effects of Typhoon Soudelor. I formally request your assistance in reaching out to USCIS to authorize CW visa holders in the CNMI to receive the help they need to rebuild their lives.It is encouraging that Governor Inos recognizes that the CWs and their families are an important part of the island community.
It will be interesting to see Sablan's response, and better yet what action he takes for the legal, long-term foreign workers and their families who are de facto citizens.
What could he do? He could introduce an emergency bill that would grant green cards and a pathway to citizenship to every legal, longterm foreign worker who has lived and worked in the CNMI for 5 or more year.
Over and over for two decades, members of the House and Senate and their staffers have told me that when it comes to insular affairs the committees go along with the recommendations of their nonvoting delegates. Let's see if he has the courage to do what is right.