The governor has called on Pete A. to retract his support for federalization of the CNMI immigration. I say--Pete A.--right on.
My very first blog post was about the minimum wage and federalization. I tackled both issues, which are related, like two sides of the same coin.
Since I wrote that blog post, we've gotten a small minimum wage increase of $.50 per hour, so our workers now earn $3.55. Next year, the U.S. law provides that there will be another $.50 increase here, unless forces against it manage to interrupt the law's application (always a possibility). Meanwhile the U.S. got a bigger minimum wage increase, so the gap between job pay here and in the U.S. continues to widen. I'm not happy with the minimum wage increase--I think it was too small and spread out over too much time. And it was designed to give ammunition to those who will say how raising the wages has caused businesses to fold, hurting the economy, without any appreciable increase in benefits. Well, consumer spending can hardly go up with such a small-scale increase. I think this wage increase was designed to fail, not succeed. As I said, I'm not happy.
Federalization of our immigration was on track, too, but seems to be getting derailed. I am very proud of Pete A. for sticking to his guns about what the people here really want. I WANT FEDERALIZATION NOW.
The CNMI has lost its ability to take care of immigration. We have a huge backlog of cases awaiting hearings or decisions. We're seeing human trafficking-foreign women tricked into accepting jobs where they are locked up except when they're dancing nude and serving ladies drinks. We have aliens murdered in the CNMI and a DPS that is over-taxed and unable to solve the murders.
We need help.
I'm tired of hearing U.S. citizen spouses threaten their alien spouse with divorce and automatic deportation as a means of family control and domination. Our laws don't call for any requirement of people getting married to provide for permanent residence for their spouses.
I'm disgusted that we have an alien here who applied for refugee protection and who is still waiting for a decision more than a year after having a hearing. You know--justice delayed is justice denied.
I find it frustrating that we have difficulty addressing human trafficking because of the problems with the fit between U.S. law and CNMI's immigration role.
We don't need control of immigration to be "self-governing." We elect our leaders. Our congressmen make our local laws. We can participate in a federal system, where the federal government handles issues of national concern like foreign relations and immigration and the local government handles issues of local concern like crime and public services. There's nothing demeaning about such a federal system.
The CNMI doesn't have enough money. Our CUC is in a sorry state. Our public schools are understaffed and under-funded. We don't have enough money for doctors and blood and all that we need for health care. Our police officers are underpaid and overworked. Our roads need fixing. We can't even take care of the stray dog population or copper wire thefts. Why do we want to keep pouring our CNMI dollars into an immigration system that only benefits a few businessmen and exploits other human beings? Why do we want to embrace a system that has forced our U.S. citizen population to head to the mainland in droves so they can get decent jobs rather than compete here against unlimited numbers of aliens willing to take the pittance offered as a salary?
We need federalization of our immigration. We need it now. Actually, we needed it yesterday, last month, last year, last century. But we still need it--NOW.