Thursday, September 17, 2009

On CNMI Immigration and Federalization of It

Ken Phillips is blogging again at SOSaipan. Good thing. From him, we get this lovely observation:

"This whole transition to federal control has had a somewhat surreal quality, like a community theater production of Waiting for Godot under the palms."

And in today's Marianas Variety newspaper, we get Diego Benevente. His take is that 1) the federalization law will be beneficial "in the long run;" 2) but the time to prepare for it is too short.

Several thoughts come clashing into my head at once on reading this:
* we'll have had 1 and 1/2 years to prepare for it by 11/28/2009. If we can't do the job in that amount of time, more time won't help.
* when I say we, I mean we--both the CNMI and the U.S. The U.S. government is our government, just as the CNMI government is our government.
* The CNMI has done little to prepare for federalization of our immigration except complain and try to stop it.
* Diego Benevente and other CNMI politicians are in a position to criticize the U.S. government for not getting things done? The guys who took years to pass a budget? The guys who never corrected the CNMI's immigration issues in decades?

Diego Benevente complains about the uncertainty caused by the change to U.S. immigration. There is a simple solution to help address this concern. The CNMI Legislature can pass a law that grants the maximum status of two years to aliens who are here. This would protect our current labor force without violating the CNRA cap on new admissions; it would provide stabiilty and a means for planning for businesses and people; it would lessen anxiety.

It might even go a long way toward redressing some of the grievances our alien workers have against us.

Would the CNMI Legislature do something this simple? Something within their means? Or will they only be concerned about their image in the newspapers? Never mind the people who have lived here for many years and who may now be out of status due to circumstances. Never mind that we still have some control and the means to take precautions. Better to rant about the predictions of a coming storm than put up typhoon shutters and lay in stores of water and candles. Better to complain about the U.S. not doing what it needs to do; better to seek delay of what is "beneficial" to the CNMI!


Anonymous said...

Spot on, Jane!

Thanks for the points.

How on earth can we get people to listen?

Saipan Writer said...

We can't. Those who want to think ahead are already doing so.

Anonymous said...

wat kind of leaders is that?untill now nothings mom is working there for 17 years as a house keeper,but still she wasnt turn to u.s. that she had a 11 yrs. old daughter and naturaly born there,forcely send to the philippines because of my mom? mom wasnt renewed to her job last april 26 2009,and now she is only waiting for the day of goin home to the phil.?she only got till oct.23 extension by the labor...its so sad thats nothing happening for what my mom did,sacrificing,she gave her whole life in working there but just one snap it will be gone?why does that federalization is always postponed?huh?!many people is dying because of that,specially filipinos!hope do something as soon as u can!hope to recive a reply in my email:

Anonymous said...

Took me time to read the whole article, the article is great but the comments bring more brainstorm ideas, thanks.

- Johnson