There's been a lot of talk about umbrella permits, and lots of flak in the newspapers and on blogs. Opinions vary.
I want to weigh in on the subject. I want to be intelligent and perceptive about it. But it is impossible to do so because the legal basis for the "news" and the full terms of the Umbrella Permits are still a work-in-progress.
There is a CNMI "protocol" written by Howard Willens. I do not think this protocol has the force and effect of law; it is more like a guide or roadmap to help everyone understand how the CNMI administration is proceeding as to the transition to federal immigration.
The protocol, available at the CNMI Department of Labor's site does not mention the term "umbrella permit." Each of the immigration entry classifications is described, and a catch-all "other categories" classification is also included. None of these match up with the description of the "umbrella permit" as given so far verbally by Deanne Siemer.
And there is the whole question about Labor issuing permits that have any effect as entry permits.
I am studying it all. I am also awaiting the regs or whatever it is Attorney General Ed Buckingham is working on.
And I will have opinions, as well as analysis.
But I'm not going to give an opinion on the hot air that has been blowing all over Saipan. [EDIT: By this, I mostly mean Deanne and Maya's rah-rah talk. Wendy is just fanning it back as a means of getting some relief.) The hot air means nothing.
Let's wait for the fine print. Then we'll have something to talk about.