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Mar 14, 2009

IR's Plea....

I came across this article online about the CNMI IR's pleading to the federal government "not to extend" federalization to the island. Here's the excerpt of that report:
[If possible, I wish the federalization won't be extended; I have loved Saipan so much that if I return to the Philippines I would have to live a different life that's why I urge you to help us.]

Rene Reyes, president of the Coalition of United Workers NMI, said most of the over 1,500 letters they received as of Sunday were written by Filipinos or their relatives.

Reyes, 42, and who has been on Saipan for almost 21 years, said they didn’t expect to receive many letters.

“We received a very positive response from the community. We never thought we’ll receive this many letters in one day," Reyes told GMANews.TV.

Pedro S. Alonzo, 53, went to Saipan on Feb. 16, 1989 as an overseas Filipino worker (OFW).

“The whole 20 years I work, I have contributed already so I am asking don’t extend (the federalization for) 180 days because my permit is expiring on June 2 of this year and I still want to continue working on Saipan because I love this place already and I like to continue supporting my children in the Philippines," he said in his handwritten letter.
These people may once hoped for federalization due to the "grandfathering" possibility yet now....

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

The extension by 180 days of the implementation of PL 110-229 does not change anything. There is a two year transsitional period where all those who have work visas issued by the CNMI government can remain in the CNMI.

Those, like Pedro, will, unless he obtains a work permit that extends past June 2nd, will have to leave.

There is no grandfathering of those who work and live in the CNMI so it is difficult to see how the June 1 implementation can help Pedro. It may, in fact, just force him to depart.

Ms. D. said...

A 180-day delay of the beginning of the “transition period” (F-Day) to November 28, 2009 will help all 0FWs who would otherwise be forced to go home sooner under the stricter federal “CNMI Transitional Guest Worker Program.” In fact, we should all support a further delay of F-Day until DHS can develop adequate security measures to allow entry of Chinese and Russian tourists under the new Visa Waiver Program.

Anonymous said...

THIS IS SO FUNNY!!!

THESE ARE THE VERY SAME FLIPS WHO URGED FEDERALIZATION WHILE WE THE LOCALS PROTESTED..SOME OF THESE SAME FLIPS WERE EVEN LAUGHING AT US WHEN WE WERE MOTORCADING.

FEDERALIZATION, YOU ASKED FOR IT YOU GOT IT!

COME TO THINK OF IT, NOW I AM HAPPY THAT FEDERALAZITION IS HERE TO FINALLY GET RID OF THESE FLIPS! SO WHAT IF YOU WORKED HERE FOR 20 FUCKEN YEARS! YOU GOT PAID, YOU STUPID FLIP! WE DON'T OWE YOU SHIT!

WOLVERINE!!!

mehearemsay said...

Noni above, careful Dune.. that Flip's karma done gonna run over your dogma. Take that to your next BBQ. Words such as above should be written in the sand at Micro Beach ...preferably at low tide.

Ms. D. said...

Ignore such invincibly ignorant racism and incivility. If anything, they make it more likely Congress will take pity on the OFWs.

But don't any OFWs post fake racist comments for that purpose, either. (!)

;}

That would be worse than the false Labor complaints to prolong one's stay here. The handful of true racists are bad enough without a posse of imitators.

Anonymous said...

Ms. D:

We don't know if the Transitional Worker Program will be stricter because there are no regs out yet.

Also, a 180-day delay won't help, because DHS doesn't need to develop new regs to allow Chinese and Russian tourists to participate in the VWP. The Russian and Chinese governments need to upgrade their systems and protocols to comply with the existing DHS regulations. Then, and only then, will their nationals be allowed entry under the Guam/CNMI VWP.

Anonymous said...

that article is such BS. The IR petition is less than $1400. Some of the fees are able to be waived. Plus she has until her status expires to file for it and even if she is late, she can still file for it.

They talk about an improved status. It's hilarious. IR can file for a green card. There is no better status than that. It costs money, big deal. Put in the application and ask for a fee waiver and see what happens. They look at each case on an individual basis.

Chamberonomics 93...a letter to Madame Secretary said...

To Secretary Napolitano,

It was disturbing to read in the Saipan newspapers that Governor Fitial requested a 180 extension to federalization and it was indeed disturbing to read that he claims to be on first name status with you, Madame Secretary. The judge will soon rule on the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas case against the United States concerning federalization of labor and immigration application and the sovereignty of the CNMI. I have one question for Homeland Security.

If NMI Governor Fitial's Fed Fighters and the notorious "Saipan chamber" prevail in court, will the CNMI still be allowed to, enslave workers, not pay them, force some of them into the sex trade industry, continue to receive US aid, continue to be tax-free, continue to fund Jack Abramoff’s replacements while our schools are underfunded, allow illegal US entry, continue keeping guest workers disanfranchised and unrepresented, continue to be a haven for organized crime and criminals from Asia, continue to disenfranchise foreign guest workers without providing future status, continue to legislate bias and racist policies, continue to restrict freedoms of speech, press, and assembly of both American citizens and guest workers alike?

These are neither sarcastic nor hypothetical questions, but real human rights issues along with US security concerns highlighted and heightened by this case against America. I ask for your immediate attention to this matter.

Very respectfully,

Ron Hodges
Saipan

Cc: President Obama
Washington Post
Guam PDN
Saipan Tribune
Marianas Variety
unheardnomore.blogspot.com
dailykos.com

Anonymous said...

Please share Obama's response with us, Ron. We are waiting breathlessly.

Anonymous said...

ANOTHER DING DONG! THE HODGES BOY!

I THOUGHT SAIPAN GOT RID OF THE LOSER!

g00$e said...

Racism runs both ways here, and (this has to be said) there is such a thing as a F*cking Flip.

Caucasians don't know this because F*cking Flips automatically morph into subservient Guest Workers and bar girls in their presence. It's an auto-response thing, in their DNA.

And it doesn't matter to most high born locals, because to them everybody outside their family/clan/village is a F*cking Flip anyway.

But any local commoner who's worked along side Filipinos knows about being on the receiving end of racism, especially if they're unfortunate enough to work under a Filipino manager. No one has ever spoken for them. Where are their support groups? Who's marched for them? Where is their Dekada? Why must the OFW's problems be solved that their expense?

This is the locals' land. The foreign workers have dominated their language, culture, society and certainly their economy for too long. Finally they have somebody to come out on their side- the Feds.

The OFW's might have it tough back home, but but that's their problem. They have to solve it for themselves.

g00$e said...

And Hodges and the rest don't understand... foreign workers and sub-living wages perpetuate each other. The economy becomes of the business owner masters and the OFW slaves. Soon enough the common locals are marginalized to the point where they are actually foreigners in their own economy.

They are now faced with a major opportunity. Let's hope they're able to overcome centuries of foreign dominance and make the best of it. They can start by electing a governor who doesn't share the present Guv's penchant for giving away local land to foreign 'investors', thereby reducing the status of the locals to that of the New OFW's (on-shore workers).

the teacher said...

Goose - You said "And Hodges and the rest don't understand... foreign workers and sub-living wages perpetuate each other. The economy becomes of the business owner masters and the OFW slaves. Soon enough the common locals are marginalized to the point where they are actually foreigners in their own economy".

I think I understand that concept quite well. The most effected people by the greed of the garment industry was local islanders, and their kids. I have always been for improving the status of CGWs so that they could avail their skills in the US at large because post garment era Saipan does not have the lower skilled labor jobs for them. I believe I have written about the plight of our local kids and why I would like Homeland Security to sweep ALL the illegal foreign operators away...so 5 and 10 years from now my current students will be owning and operating businesses in our tourist district about 100 times.

g00$e said...

I agree up to a point. The departure of the garment industry hasn't changed things much for locals because they're still outnumbered by 4 or 5 to 1 in the private sector.

Also, I think priming local youth for tourist oriented futures may be aiming a bit low, as very few in the tourist/hospitality sector make it out of the menial wage level even in the best of times.

What to replace tourism with? I don't know but fisheries management (free of WESPAC and their ilk) and Monument related eco tourism (yeah I know, it's still tourism but without the land loss issues) may have some potential.

Web services may have some potential as well, as bandwidth has grown recently, but reliable, affordable power may be an issue for the foreseeable future.

Ms. D. said...

Anonymous said...

We don't know if the Transitional Worker Program will be stricter because there are no regs out yet.

Yes we do, because the statute limits jobs to “legitimate businesses,” a requirement not currently imposed, and has cost-neutrality provisions whereby labor permits must pay for the USCIS employee overhead. So there is no doubt that things will indeed be tightened up, which, as g00$e notes, will be for the long-term benefit of indigenous workers.

As for power, Governor Fitial's geothermal projects will take care of that.

Also, his “land give-aways” to job-creating hotels will not be in derogation of local homesteads. Those are held back, currently, by banks' unwillingness to make loans secured by property while Article XII limits market value.

Once that economic constraint is lifted, the new homesteads will be in multi-story buildings.

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

Karaoke has wrought more damage to the local culture than any other import.

g00$e said...

The CNMI Guv'mint's entering into commercial thermal energy production is a scary thought.

The homestead program COULD be very beneficial to locals, but like so many other Guv'mint run programs it suffers from management issues. Civil infrastructure like power and water is often lacking in homestead areas, and recipient qualifications could probably be screened better. Also, I know of a very upper-crust local family who somehow got prime location homestead land, even though they're well known Big Money people.

'Karaoke' means a lot of things here, but in terms of destroying the tropical tranquility that existed prior to their arrival, Karaoke Machines are an absolute scourge. They should be outlawed.

the anarchist said...

You may be right Angelo. The pawn shops and poker parlors don't add to the islands either.

I hope all 3 are wiped away.

Our strip club operators think they will get US investor visas...but I do not think they will:)

the anarchist said...

Housing must be addressed. Ms. D is correct about the housing situation but I don't think the power plan is viable in the near forseeable future. Ending Article 12 may not cause an immediate run like some think it will. We have many other protectionist laws to deal with that make banks apprehensive about loaning money here.

the wise man said...

America is helping the CNMI by not allowing visa waivers. If they also enforce US investor laws, then we will see a huge reduction in crime, drugs/ice, prositution, human rights violations, and labor complaints.

Ms. D. said...

Pathway to Citizenship

If our CNMI foreign national worker (FNW) population wants to get Lawful Permanent Residence (LPR) status (“green cards”) and a “Pathway to Citizenship” so they can join the local exodus from the Commonwealth to the mainland, they should abolish their focus on an entitlement mentality and “me, me” whining. Indeed, they shouldn’t even emphasize stand-alone-CNMI legislation, except, perhaps, as a vehicle to an end.

Instead, they should join and align themselves with the effort to achieve immigration reform on a nationwide basis. There will be a meeting on this subject between President Obama and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) on Wednesday morning, March 18, 2009 (very late Wednesday night, Chamorro Standard Time).

http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/obama-hispanic-dems-to-huddle-on-immigration-reform-2009-03-17.html

Fortunately, our Delegate Greg Kilili Sablan has gotten himself membership on the CHC and should be attending this meeting. This is where the FNWs need to focus their efforts. If Congress can enact a “comprehensive reform bill that could provide a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented workers,” then perforce it should include the hardworking CNMI FNWs who have been here legally, and maybe even the illegal aliens in our midst, too. (!) Let them all go to the mainland!

It is nice to dream about some sort of special status change only for CNMI FNWs, especially with the DHS report to Congress due May 8, 2010 about the status of aliens in the CNMI, but the best chance of success in any such change is for it to be attached to the nationwide immigration bill — if that bill ever makes headway.

Fortunately Kilili is on the case, and his Senior Legislative Counsel Arin Greenwood. I expect they’ll be issuing a press release on this topic soon.

“Federalization: You asked for it; you got it.” © 2008, Ms. D.

mehearemsay said...

Thermal power production on Saipan? Is this some kind of joke?

Ms. D. said...

No. Check out your sources.

Ms. D. said...

I'm sure you all knew that my post above actually refers to Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status.

;}

mehearemsay said...

Ms. D. I did check sources. Thermal energy production on Saipan is a joke. Northern islands has potential. The only thermal hot water (around 102 degrees F)was found on the hill above Gualo Rai. Just happens to be on land owned by none other than Ben Fitial. He has to be paid before he will permit exploratory deep drilling for higher temperatures capable of generating steam. There is lots of hot air on Ben's hill. :)

Anonymous said...

To create geothermal energy, the temperature differential needn't be high enough to make steam, so your sources are at least partially wrong. But mine could be, too. I heard the land belongs to Heinz.

g00$e said...

All energy comes from the sun. Why waste time, effort and enormous amounts of money attempting to derive energy from a secondary source?

On a similary note- all wealth comes from nature, so why are we so zealously depleting our bankroll?

Anonymous said...

This comment below should not have been sent to HS.

"“The whole 20 years I work, I have contributed already so I am asking don’t extend (the federalization for) 180 days because my permit is expiring on June 2 of this year and I still want to continue working on Saipan because I love this place already and I like to continue supporting my children in the Philippines," he said in his handwritten letter."

...because Homeland Security is not looking to feed the Philippines. This comment is a statement to provide Saipan with people trying to take money from our small economy to feed millions in PI...which is impossible.

The CNMI can't afford to keep people so attached to foreign lands. Improved status would help the worker and I am all for it, but if the intent is to support relatives, we can't and I am not.

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