April 1, 2016
Nonresident workers in the CNMI are regulated by USCIS, not the CNMI Department of Labor. They already pay excessive fees for their U.S. permits.
This appears to be another scheme to make money off the backs of the legal, nonresident workers who make up about 90% of the CNMI's private labor force. The collected funds are to be used "to enforce rules and regulations pertaining to non-immigrant workers."
I doubt that this bill is even constitutional. Shame on every lawmaker who voted for this bill.
The Marianas Variety quoted comments I made in 2010 when the legislature proposed this scheme and the same remarks apply today:
In March 2010, human rights advocate and former Rota educator Wendy Doromal criticized CNMI Public Law 17-1 for its provision that required foreigners to register with DOL.
She said it was a blatant attempt by the CNMI government to maintain control over “the disenfranchised underclass.”
“They want to continue to fill their coffers on the backs of the foreign contract workers, their families and other foreign nationals,” she said referring to the CNMI government.
She noted that since Nov. 28, 2009, the federal government has had authority over CNMI immigration and the foreign national workforce, not the commonwealth government or its Department of Labor.
She said there was no other local or state government in the U.S. that required foreign nationals to have an identification card, adding that those powers fall under federal law.