Thursday, February 19, 2009

333. Umm--hypocrite? Federalization

Here's what the CNMI says in its latest filing in Governor Fitial's federalization lawsuit:

Finally, many of these lawfully admitted workers have resided in the CNMI fo ryears, and have U.S. citizen children or spouses entitled to stay in the CNMI. The CNMI has the right to protect the integrity of its social fabric and protect these individuals, who have committed no crimes, from removal as "illegal entrants."

And here's what he said when he opposed giving them permanent status through the federalization bill he now challenges:

In a significant departure from current immigration policy, H.R. 3079 declares which non-U.S. citizens will be given permanent legal status and permitted to stay in the CNMI or move to any part of the United States. H.R.3079 expressly grants a form of amnesty to nearly 8000 alien workers in the Commonwealth by granting them this nonimmigrant status, comparable to that enjoyed by Micronesians from the freely associated states. The bill's drafters chose to ignore that such an enhanced status was not permitted or contemplated when these workers elected voluntarily to come to the CNMI many years ago to enjoy the economic opportunities available in the CNMI.

The drafters of H.R. 3079 seemingly have no concern about the impact of this provision on the integrity and vitality of the indigenous Carolinian and Chamorro peoples in the Commonwealth. Permanent legal residence status permits such individuals to bring children and other relatives into the community where the status-holder elects to live. Consequently, the impact on the local CNMI community might be far greater than anticipated if most of these new permanent legal residents elected to stay in the Commonwealth and bring in children and other relatives not presently allowed to reside in the CNMI. However well-intentioned this proposal appeared to its drafters, its consequences already have seriously affected the quality of life in the CNMI. The proposal has generated unrealistic expectations among the guest worker population in the Commonwealth, stimulated boycotts of businesses because their owners have opposed this provision, and contributed to increased divisiveness between guest workers and the indigenous peoples of the Commonwealth. We recommend that the provision be eliminated from H.R.3079.

Originally, the CNMI was given control over immigration because it was thought that the CNMI would want to keep the number of alien workers lower than would be allowed by US immigration, as a means of protecting the small, indigenous populations' cultures and social fabric.

But the CNMI decided a better way was to bring in lots of foreign workers and just keep them powerless.

So, we want alien workers, but we don't want them to have rights to permanent residency, and we especially don't want them to have any political power. But trust the CNMI to be the one to protect them?

Exactly what kind of protection does the Governor have in mind?


wendy said...

The governor has this in mind -win the lawsuit and screw the foreign workers. Keep them disenfranchised as indentured servants with no rights.
Keep them as disposable commodities. He does not want them to vote or serve on juries. Actually, the CNMI guest worker program violates the UN Declaration of Human Rights.

We can use these words to our advantage. My recent meetings in DC indicate status is on the table.

cactus said...

Rather than focus on accusing him of hypocrisy for saying something (supposedly) inconsistent in the past, would it not be more productive to push the governor to live up to what he is saying now?

Saipan Writer said...

Cactus, that would only make sense if there was some reason to have faith in the Governor.

I have no reason. None at all.

His vision of "protecting" our foreign workers is not a vision I share. The subtext of what the Governor says is that he only wants to "protect" them so they can stay here and keep working at low wages, without political voice. That's his idea of building our economy.

I want them to have rights, to have better treatment and conditions, and to have a path to permanent status.

And I want our local workforce to have better wages so they do the work, too, and reap the benefits of their labor, not get undercut in efforts for wages and benefits by cheap foreign workers, not feel the pressure to relocate to the mainland for better wages.

Lil' Hammerhead said...

Wendy is exactly right. This isn't the first time they've stepped on their tongues either. They're so bent on keeping cheap labor in place.. they'll do or say anything they think they have to in order to see that happen. Their words are absolutely worthless.. at it's core it is evil.

There's no "supposed" about it Cactus.. it is an absolute change of "position" from his and other's prior statements. What he's saying now holds no water.. remember when we promised the US Congress back in the 90s that we'd immediately increase the minimum wage.. federal intervention was rebuked and our same wage stayed in place for another 10 years.. until of course the feds finally intervened. Their words hold NO water. As soon as they get what they want.. they'll continue to do what they've always done.. which is to maintain the system of cheap labor, and a resident population that is disenfranchised from the private sector.

They don't care about these people because they are members of our community, good people, this has become their home, etc.. they don't. They just want cheap workers.

If a statement is needed.. why doesn't our Governor push the Legislature to enact a local resolution asking the feds to grant special status to long-term non-residents? You know.. since it sounds like they erred the first time. Let's start there. Do you think he would do that? Nope. Do you think it would pass in the legislature? Nope.. that tells you alot about what the true purpose of these individuals words mean.. and they sure don't give a sh@t about these people.

HAFA said...

Alien workers serving CNMI with no rights created by local Government. And they want it continuously as well as FFF. Only CNRA is a solution to solve this problem. CNMI worring about losing foreign workers under CNRA but not making a resolution to keep them here permanently. Lawsuit is brought against U.S, So CNMI and FFF can do what they did last two decades. Low minimum wages forced local people to move to U.S and till now CNMI government did nothing to keep their people on their own homeland and to ensuer that they love their birht place and stay to grow CNMI economy. A few number of local people (supported by international orgarized crime group) are taking part to extort not only foregn workers but also local workers.

Anonymous said...

Governor Fitial is a hypocrite for several reasons. One being that he opposed the CRNA of 2008 by filing the lawsuit and then turns around and acknowledges its authority by his asking Napolitano to grant the 180 day delay.

If he thinks that law is not a good law, why then is he asking Napolitano to use her lawful authority given under CRNA to grant the 180 day delay?

Only a hypocrite does this and Fitial is a hypocrite.

Saipan Writer said...

Last Anon,

Thanks for the opinion.

I might think Fitial is just a pragmatist, though, for seeking the delay allowed under the law, rather than a hypocrite, regarding that particular example.

ron said...

The Governor doing anything to help poor workers or poor locals is either a hoax, ruse, or ploy to achieve some benefit for himself and his crooked cronies.

The Gov has fought against reform here and his tactics are well documented. Had his "CNMI only plan" been success thwarting federalization, the administration would have pulled the carpet out from under the workers and they would have been held in the same old status quo position..

Just Me said...

Even worse. If his plan worked they would be sending them home every 2 years for at least 6 months regardless of any other factors.

Course there always was one big factor... and under-the-table payment to exclude certain people from the mandatory exit provision of Cinta's Labor Law.

Ah the cash cow that was Immigration is soon to be gone. Wonder if we will ever know how much money Politicians and Immigration officials made while we managed it. Did I say "managed" LOL.