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Dec 23, 2007

Quarters Master Road

Is everything leading now to the road to federalization as the CNMI will be featured on a quarter? Does this mean that this is a sign of what thousands of nonresident workers have been hoping for them?

I read some sites that the Legislature and some groups are seeking designs for this quarter? Can't wait to see the quarter and drop it for my laundry...kidding...

The Reveler

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why do so many nonresident workers support Federalization when it calls for an end to the guest worker program in 2013?

rev said...

uhmm...people that support them especially are those that have been here for over five years...restructuring the guest worker's program will probably aligned to the federal guest worker's program.

The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

I'm no lawyer and no expert on this, but the US doesn't have a guest worker program, Rev.

George Bush wanted to implement one, but the Congress wasn't having it. The US Congress doesn't want to give "illegal" aliens any sort of legal recognition, down to things like a driver's license.

In answer to the question posed by the first commenter, I think there is language in the bill that would allow the continuation of the CNMI Guest Worker program until 2013. At that time there will be some sort of review and a decision will be made to either scrap the guest worker program or continue it for a few more years.

The long-term Federal goal is to apply the same Federal laws to the CNMI as California, Florida, and the rest of the states.

The exception being that the CNMI would be eligible for certain non-immigrant non-working visas to protect the Tourism Industry, but the goal is to scrap the system of low paying alien labor. In the meantime, the goal is too slowly wean us off of cheap foreign labor and increase the private employment of those with blue passports. That means that most of the contract workers will be going home over the next five years. Right?

How is that better than the current Labor Law (that takes affect next week)?

James said...

The Transitional Guest Worker Program contemplated by the Federal legislation could be extended indefinitely, in five-year increments, as long as the U.S. Secretary of Labor finds the economy here is still in need of alien labor to supplement the resident workforce. You are right about weaning us off the use of alien labor, however, as there are stringent standards for determining whether we "need" alien labor, including the unemployment level of resident workers and alien workers who are already here; results of studies showing a continued need (or not) of alien workers; any available data on whether resident workers are unlikely to accept jobs of the type offered (analogous to strawberry pickers in the U.S.); whether the use of alien workers will affect the wages/working conditions of resident workers; prior use of alien workers in the industry that claims to need continued alien workers; and any good faith efforts to locate, recruit or train qualified resident workers (including U.S. mainlanders) to fill the jobs.

The U.S. actually does have a guest worker program in certain industries. For example, it allows temporary or seasonal agricultural workers. It is limited to certain industries, and intended to be temporary. On the other hand, H-1 workers (highly skilled) can get a visa good for five years, and then change their status (if they are qualified) to immigrant and get a green card (i.e., permanent resident status).

There are actually more exceptions to application of the INA to the CNMI in the Bill than just the Transitional Guest Worker Program: there's the CNMI only visa waiver program, exemption from the numeric caps the rest of the country has for H worker visas, grandfathering of existing longterm investors, allowing the Feds to issue new visa categories if the Gov identifies new investors that don't qualify for existing visa categories, and so forth.

And any alien worker who is here legally on the date of enactment will be authorized to work under the Transitional Guest Worker Program, and will be allowed to transfer freely from one employer to another (if the employer doesn't pay them, for example, they can "vote with their feet" and go to another employer who does), as long as it is within industries the Feds have identified as in need of supplemental alien labor. They may also qualify for any of the H1, H2, H3 or other visa categories, and receive any of the benefits that come with that status.

KAP said...

And all of this is hypothetical.

The meat will be in the regs they write, not the language of the law.

On the flip side of your post: we obviously need a Commission to study the design, including at least one member from Tinian and Rota, a Carolinian, a woman, maybe a Sunni or Kurd. It would probably 'only' cost a hundred grand or so.

The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

What about a ninja? Won't the commission need a ninja?

rev said...

Being said by James, should the nonresident workers be hoping for a nonfederalized immigration system if their jobs do not fall in a federally determined industries? so would it be bye bye for them? Are they aware even about these changes?

oh well...

The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

You one of the best things about the new Labor Law is that it forced every alien worker to go through Saipan orientation. In a presentation in their native language, they would learn their rights, the laws, and so on. That should have been included in the Federal bill.

James said...

It's not too late. As one of the posters said, the regulations have yet to be drafted. The orientation session (which was first proposed by the Ombudsman about four years ago) is something that should definitely be included in the TGWP.

rev said...

Merry Xmas everyone!!!!

The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

Merry Christmas, guys!

Anonymous said...

Angelo,

There is a guest worker program in the US of A. Texas has one of the most successful implementations of it. Thousands of Mexicans legally cross the border into El Paso each day and return home at the end of the day. I know, I worked in Mexico 50 km south of the border. And no, it wasn't Taco Bell.

saipanboonieman said...

Merry Christmas guys!

Bruce A. Bateman said...

Merry Christmas to all!

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