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Apr 1, 2009

180 Days Approved....

Good news or bad news, still it's newsworthy....

Below is a copy of the press release from Rep. Kilili's office in DC regarding the implementation of federalized immigration and labor in the CNMI:
NMI Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan, Homeland Security Assistant Secretary Richard Barth, and Madeleine Z. Bordallo, Chairwoman of the House Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans, and Wildlife met today in Bordallo’s office on Capitol Hill. Barth delivered the notification from Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano that she had granted a 180-day delay in the commencement of federal immigration control in the Northern Marianas. Barth said the Department had listened to many people on the issue of the delay and that the decision was in many ways collaborative. “It’s the right thing to for you… It’s the right thing to do for us,” Barth told the two Members of Congress.
Kilili and Bordallo receive notification
Kilili sets out goals for regulations DHS must now write

Washington, D.C. – Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has decided to delay commencement of federal immigration in the Northern Marianas by 180 days. Assistant Secretary Richard Barth delivered Napolitano’s decision to Capitol Hill today, presenting a copy of the notification to Chairwoman Madeleine Bordallo and NMI Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan.
The decision came just a few days after the powerful Congressional Hispanic Caucus, of which Sablan is a member, weighed in on the issue, writing to Napolitano and supporting Sablan’s request for the 180-day delay.
“I am glad to finally have the Secretary’s decision,” said Sablan. “We now know with certainty that the transition to federal immigration will begin on November 28, 2009.”
U.S. Public Law 110-229, which extends federal immigration control to the Northern Marianas, set June 1, 2009 as the date for the transition to begin. But the law also gave the Secretary the power to delay the date by 180 days, if needed.
“As I have said before, this is not delay for the sake of delay,” Sablan said. “The reason to push back the date is so that the Department of Homeland Security has enough time to do it right.
“For that reason I have written a new letter to Secretary Napolitano, thanking her for her decision and pledging to work in Congress to make sure there is sufficient money for Homeland Security to stand up its border operations in the Marianas.
“I have also set out a number of proposals regarding the regulations that now need to be written.”
Sablan gave the 9-page letter to Barth at their meeting at Bordallo’s office. Bordallo chairs the Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife.
Sablan’s letter identifies 5 different groups of people, who now are legal residents of the Northern Marianas, who may be hurt, if regulations are not carefully written. Sablan said he is particularly concerned about keeping families together. But he also emphasized the requirements of the law, including “as much flexibility as possible in maintaining existing business and other revenue sources, and developing new economic opportunities.”
One concern that applies to several of the groups is whether people will be able to leave the Northern Marianas—for medical emergencies or other reasons—and then be able to get back in. Sablan wants regulations to be written that will allow any legal resident to leave and re-enter without the need for a new US visa.
Sablan is also concerned that families that have both US citizen and non-US citizen members may not be able to afford the cost of getting US visas for the non-US citizen family members. Visas applications are expensive and they require that families earn at least 125% of the federal poverty level.
He has proposed that Secretary Napolitano use her authority to make it more affordable for families to get US visas for spouses, parents, or children.
“I am hopeful that now that the new Obama Administration is settling in we will be able to get down to the nitty-gritty of writing these regulations,” Sablan said. “It’s been almost a year since the law was enacted. It’s time that we start clearing away all the uncertainty that exists without clear regulations.”


the teacher said...

We now can be sure that our economy will spiral downward during 2009.

The number of NMI residents living in poverty is unprecedented on US soil since the great depression
and those numbers will intensify, it is a mathematical certainty.

Uncertainty for this year will worsen and our stagnant investors will freeze solid.

From CDA to the retirement fund, everything is bankrupt and any money paid to either is lost.

The hotels will still be able to entertain Russians and Chinese for 6 more months though, so it is an ideal time for their employees to STRIKE. More local kids working in the hotel industry coupled with less workers here (making the value of work worth more) should guarantee improvement for their long underpaid workers.

The Congress has not made a determination on the status of workers yet, which is disappointing.

The Actor said...

Congress needs to amend Public Law 110-229 to give the Secretary of Homeland Security the further authority to postpone the Transition Program Effective Date (TPED) to either October 1, 2010 or October 1, 2011, at her sole discretion.

This would give DHS the time to draft a workable substitute for the CNMI Non-Resident Workers Act and N.M.I. Pub. L. 15-108, that will take into account the needs of all people involved.

This includes Foreign National Workers, their U.S. citizen children, the under-employed indigenous residents of the CNMI, and legitimate businesses.

Having the TPED start at the beginning of a fiscal year would allow DHS to program enough money into their budget, allow time to ensure the continued presence of our tourists from China and Russia, and even give Congress the opportunity to enact Lawful Permanent Residence status legislation (with a pathway to citizenship), if recommended by DHS.

We should all write Kilili to amend the law “to give the Secretary of Homeland Security the further authority to postpone the TPED to either October 1, 2010 or October 1, 2011, at her sole discretion.”

Anonymous said...

It is April Fools Day!!!!!

Anonymous said...

The bitch Bordallo did it again biba Madeleine! I heard she also workhard for the grandfather provision to be removed.

Anonymous said...

So we have 6 extra months before the pickled finger of fate is stuck our collective ass. Let's make the most of it.

Anonymous said...

Your governor is benigno fitial! April fools!

Ms. D. said...

April Fools at Ms. D.'s House, 2009.

On spouse and older child: “As part of federalization, DHS is reviewing all naturalizations for the past five years.”

On younger child: “Did you hear they're lowering the driving age to 15?”

Better luck next year!

g00$e said...

Geez Teach'uh... the economy's been in a spiral for a long time, and it's going to be tough getting Filipinos to strike. It would be economic suicide.

Tina's efforts may be from the heart, but is she only seeing one side of the issue? What will 'saving' the poor non-rezzies cost the locals? This is their land, like it or not. Haven't they also been victimized by the foreign dominated economic model forced upon them over the past 20 years? Who speaks for them? Certainly not their leaders- including Tina.

Non-residents' economic problems stem from conditions in their home countries, and the solutions can only be effectively applied in those places, by them. Heartrending as some of their stories might be, the CNMI locals are plenty challenged with their own economic and social problems that they will never effectively address if forced to continue hosting a foreign ethnic majority that dominates all aspects of their society.

The six month extension is cruel for all involved.

Anonymous said...

It's not as if the feds were exactly ready to implement this hastily-imposed legislation.

You've got to be cruel to be kind, in the right measure. Cruel to be kind, it's a very good sign. Cruel to be kind, means that I love you.

the teacher said...

Goose - I would agree that locals have more at stake, more to benifit from, and will be hurt more by a delay of the application of federalization laws to the CNMI. I would also agree the CGWs will not strike here in the near forseeable future.

But mark my words, when local kids hold more of the hotel positions, they will strike for higher pay and better working conditions. Since the local hotel workers will be voters, our self serving politicians will then sympathize with the plight of the under paid worker.

Anonymous said...


the scribe said...

To Madam Secretary Napolitano,

May we now continue the status quo of servitude and abuse to contract guest workers who have lived in the US for 20 years?

How much did Fitial and the hotel (HANMI) pay in lobbying fees this time? They paid 11 million the last time and got a 9.5 million labor fine and this issue of status for CGWs is still not resolved.

The department under your direction has shamed the United States for failing tocomplete this emergency issue and finally resolve this matter.


Anonymous said...

Please clarify? -Guest wokers families will be split up once immigration comes into affect. If a contract worker has a child that is US citizen, and the guest worker gets sent back to say (PI.) the child can also follow the parent and live there. Or IS IT a US citizen child won't be allowed to live there with their parents? If I were a parent, of course I would bring my child home with me and splitting up would be out of the case. Or could it be that the parents are trying to leverage their child to better their circumstances?

Anonymous said...

Most parents would bring their children with them back to the Philippines, China, Thailand, Bangladesh, or wherever the parents' country of origin is.

But they don’t have to. They could leave the kids here if they think life in the CNMI would be so much better for their futures. Most youth are better off with their parents, because few people would love them, understand them, and nurture them the way the natural parents can. Parental advice is most important during adolescence, when some parents might be tempted to let them stay with a guardian (perhaps an uncle, aunt, or even older sibling) while they finish up high school in the CNMI and prepare to go to college on the mainland.

As a last resort they can just leave the kids here and have DYS take care of them, which will likely result in wardships chosen by the courts.

As far as the U.S. citizen children being allowed to accompany their parents to their homes, all countries from which CNMI foreign national workers have deployed recognize citizenship by blood (descent).

So if one of a child’s parents is Filipino, for instance, they can register the child with the consulate and obtain a Filipino passport for them, so there will be no problem of the child not being able to get back there, or paying annual “immigration” fees or “foreign student” tuition in their ancestral homeland. This can take a long time, especially for China and Bangladesh, so it is best to get started early on getting passports for those kids.

They do not lose their U.S. citizenship by getting a Chinese, Philippine, Thai, Bangladeshi, or other passport! If you don’t believe me, ask any lawyer who is familiar with U.S. immigration and nationality law. Or check it out at the USCIS Application Support Center at the Tan Siu Lin Plaza Building in Garapan.

Anonymous said...

Well, that's not the whole story. China, for example, may exact a very hefty fee from parents who bring a U.S.-born child back to the Middle Kingdom. I have heard of parents being charged up to $25,000 in addition to having to renounce their U.S. citizenship, or the child would be denied public education. If there is already a child back home, the family could face serious consequences for bringing a second back home, due to the draconian "one-child" policy. Luckily, some provinces are easing up on the one-child policy, particularly for families that can afford to have more children, or those in rural areas that need more children to farm the land.

Armchair Lawyer said...

Even if you “renounce U.S. citizenship” for such purposes, as far as the United States is concerned, you are still an American citizen.

That is the important point.

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