It Is Always the Right Time to Do the Right Thing

June 4, 2016

“If not us, then who? If not now, then when?” 

- John Lewis, Freedom Rider and U.S. Congressman

A recent Saipan Tribune article states that Delegate Kilili Sablan will introduce legislation to enact a ten year extension to the severely flawed CW program. The bill will call for a increase in the cap of CW to 18,000. Perpetuating a broken system will not solve the immigration problems. However, granting the legal, long-term nonresidents a pathway to U.S. citizenship would help to ensure a skilled and stable workforce.

Each time the U.S. extends this program it becomes more like the old CNMI immigration system, which regarded nonresident workers as disposable, replaceable labor units and allowed for abuses to flourish.

The only reasons advocates backed the federal takeover were to:
  • End abuses  - Not accomplished. In fact, employers still maintain power over the foreign workers by threatening them with non-renewal if they complain of late wages, unpaid overtime or other abuses. Amazingly, the Federal Government made things worse by closing the Ombudsman Office, which served as the sole place where nonresident workers could seek assistance. 
  • Phase in the U.S. immigration system - Not accomplished. We already saw one extension and another looms as Delegate Sablan and other 'leaders' are calling for a ten year extension.
  • Provide status for legal, longterm nonresidents - Not accomplished. Xenophobic politicians in Guam and the CNMI ensured that the status provision was removed from the CNRA and replaced with a provision calling for the DOI to make recommendations to Congress within 3 years of passage of the law. That 2010 DOI report recommending a pathway to citizenship was ignored. 
Sablan was quoted as saying:
“Why don’t I just go ahead and push for status like I did before? I want to but the composition of Congress has changed,” Sablan said, noting Republican ranks that have ousted its own Republicans like former Rep. Eric Cantor in primary election, and how they “kicked out” former House speaker John Boehner. “…That’s power,” Sablan said.
It is always the right time to do the right thing. We cannot wait for the composition of Congress to be aligned with our views. In fact, when there was a Democratic House and Senate early in Obama's first term no corrective action was taken. Was that not the 'right' time?

Did Susan B. Anthony wait for the 'right time' to demand women's right to vote? Did the Vietnam War protestors wait for the 'right President' to be in the White House to demand an end to the war? Did the civil rights leaders wait for the 'right composition' of Congress to favor them before they demanded equal rights?

No, because NOW is always the right time for justice to be served.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well Wendy, what do you expect from backward minds of CNMI politicians, leaders and advocates? THEY thought that band-aid solution will work this time but the FEDS did not buy it. FEDS are fed up too. CNMI & FEDS need to do official consultations in the coming months and final report to the outgoing President this December? CAP will stay at 12,999 no matter what pleadings the Governor does. Time to learn some lessons here. I feel sorry for the non-resident workers and their families who needed to leave CNMI sooner or later. God be with us all!

Anonymous said...

TO ALL NON RESIDENT WORKERS:

PRAYERS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN THE POWERFUL TOOL EVEN IN NOAH'S TIME AND SO TODAY. PRAY AND BELIEVE IN YOUR HEART THAT IMPROVED STATUS WILL BE GRANTED TO LONG TERM GUEST WORKERS. DO THIS IN THE POWERFUL NAME OF JESUS.TRY IT WHETHER YOU ARE A BELIEVER OR NOT. THESE PEOPLE INVOLVED IN 902 TALKS AND EVEN THE U.S. LAWMAKERS PRAY AND GO TO CHURCH ONE WAY OR THE OTHER. SO PRAY AND BELIEVE BECAUSE THERE IS POWER IN THE NAME OF JESUS! GOD BLESS US ALL!!!

Glen hunter said...

Thank you so much Wendy!