Many CW Workers Not Eligible For FEMA

September 2, 2015

It is amazing that the United States Government can send millions in aid to the Philippines, Haiti, Thailand and other foreign governments to help foreign residents suffering from natural disasters, but cannot provide FEMA assistance to the LEGAL, LONGTERM foreign workers of the CNMI unless they have a U.S. citizen child.

FEMA officials referred the de facto citizens to private aid organizations.

If FEMA cannot help every foreign worker who makes up the majority of the private sector workforce, what United States agency will?

From the Marianas Variety:
“If they apply under the [U.S. citizen] child’s name, and Social Security number, they are covered. That child can be used as the head of household,” DeBlasio Sr. added. 
According to FEMA, it had confirmed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services that CW workers “are not qualified aliens.” But if the CW worker has a minor child born in the CNMI, then their household is eligible for FEMA assistance. 
Citizens of FSM, Palau, and the Marshalls are also not eligible as they are neither U.S. citizens nor permanent residents. However, if they have children born in the CNMI, and therefore are U.S. citizens, then their household becomes eligible for FEMA assistance. 
“Not everyone who is living in CNMI and who was affected by the disaster will be eligible for FEMA assistance because there are laws that require FEMA’s compliance,” FEMA external affairs officer Veronica Verde said. 
She said FEMA is guided by the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act of 1988 or Stafford Act and the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996. She said a person’s eligibility for FEMA assistance is contingent upon a number of factors “including, quite importantly, the applicant’s immigration status.”
Should we assume that FEMA officials, Stephen DeBlasio Sr. and Veronica Verede have contacted agencies within the U.S. to inform them that foreigners make up the majority of the CNMI's population and some other U.S. funding is needed for them?



6 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Philippine consulate set up a relief drive for "Pinoys" on Saipan never mentioning helping everyone else. There were a few thousand Filipinos at the American Red Cross seeking much needed help and they were given that help. And what massive aid arrived from the Philippine Government to help ?

Anonymous said...

I am confused if the statements made in the article are based on the wishes of the blogger or if the blogger is uniformed on how it all works? Obama wanted more accountability as to how foreign aid was dispersed (Sept. 2010) and wanted foreign countries to become more self sufficient so that foreign aid from the U.S could be reduced. With our deficit, we can no longer be the "handout king" for the rest of the world. Why not let the emerging economic powerhouses (BRIC's) step up to the plate for a change?
FEMA funding comes from the Presidents Disaster Relief Fund (paid for by taxes)and is designated for mitigation relief of disasters affecting Americans and the States, Territories, Commonwealths, et al.
As a respectful rebuttal to the blogger, yes - we should be compassionate of all those who are suffering, but we should follow the law. If you are concerned about providing for "foreign contract workers" who are residing in an area under our responsibility (i.e., the CNMI), then do so utilizing NGO's such as the Red Cross, public donations, the Salvation Army, or even the International Monetary Fund. Taxpayer funded aid is for taxpayers and U.S. citizens. End of story. If anything, I fault the CNMI, and or the USCIS for not stipulating that the employers SHOULD BE RESPONSIBLE for the contract workers under their employ (even during disasters). The reason I make the above argument is that I have personally witnessed disaster fraud on Guam back when Typhoon Omar ripped the island apart. You would be suprised at how many people look for an underserved handout and take advantage of the situation when something like this happens. And as a final statement to the blogger (with all due respect), if you argue FEMA should take care of foreign contract workers, you are in effect discriminating as well by focusing on a specific group. Where does it stop? What about Chinese business people? What about Russian business people? Should FEMA bail them out as well? What about the tourists who got stranded? Why not give them a free flight home courtesy of FEMA? Afterall, all of this happened on soil under our flag......
I apologize, but I cannot refrain from quoting something from the movie "platoon". It went something like this, "oh I see, what we have here is a crusader" Wendy, I can admire your passion, but please try to understand my opinion. It does no good to drain our country down to the point where we can no longer do anything (fiscally bankrupt) just because we feel it's our moral responsibility. The world has changed. We no longer can carry others who are capable of carrying themselves. I agree with the other poster. Shouldn't we see foreign relief flights coming into the CNMI to assist their citizens as well? And don't forget, when you arrive, don't discriminate and only hand out relief to your "peeps". Give some of it to the locals as well........(sarcasm)

Anonymous said...

Why don't you applaud Gov. Inos for asking Cong. Kilili for helping CW's, or he's still a bad person bcuz of Tan Holdings.

Wendy Doromal said...

To 11:37 AM

I understand laws. I ALSO understand that the US provides millions of dollars to foreigners through foreign governments when they experience disasters. If the US Government can provide aid to foreigners who are not on US soil, who have not spent years as exemplary citizens contributing to US communities, who have not built the economies of states or territories where the US flag flies, then the US Government can CERTAINLY provide aid for the foreigners who toil on US soil. As acknowledged in the post, FEMA may not be the agency (Until laws are changed), but there are certainly other ways to provide US funds and relief to suffering foreign workers and their families.

Anonymous said...

I pay my U.S. taxes and have for the last 40 years. But, I did not recieve and FEMA assistance because I simply make more money yearly than the cutoff. I had house damage, fallen tree removal, and suffered an injury that cost me thousands of $$ in the end. But I am the tax payer. CW's do not pay U.S. Federal taxes. I can only hope that the FEMA audit teams catch the ones filing all the bogas claims and use the money for other things. I can only hope deportation is not the only punishment they get, even though it would be and easy life, accommodations and meals free. I know so many pinoys that are bragging about how much they got and what they bought with it, not what was intended. It is not that one apple spoils the barrel, it is that all but one apple is spoiled already.

Anonymous said...

8:34 NO ONE in the CNMI pays federal taxes. They just reap the federal dollars. The citizens on the mainland pay for the CNMI's federal programs.