"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!