When you get stuck along Beach Road, better take the Middle Road. This is a website for those who choose to tread Saipan's off the beaten path. * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * +

Aug 10, 2009

Tina Sablan to Run for Senate

It's official. Facebook friends announced it. Finally, Rep. Tina Sablan sent out a mass email about it that she is climbing up the upper chamber. She is running for the Senate for these reasons (extracted from her letter):
1. First, I would continue to advocate for greater transparency in the Senate as I have done these past 18 months in the House, and would continue to openly communicate my positions on the issues and actions taken in the Legislature as I have done as a member of the House.

2. Second, the Senate plays an important role in many ways as a check on the actions of the lower House, which is and has been the primary source of legislation of all kinds; I would take this role as seriously as I have taken every vote I have cast as a member of the House.

3. (And) third, I believe that as a Senator I would be in an excellent position to help improve the process by which confirmations of appointments to critical government boards and commissions are made. Advice and consent for board and commission appointments are functions unique to the Senate for the most part, and unfortunately these functions have not been carried out as diligently as they should have been in prior years, with often negative consequences. As Senator I would be committed to carefully scrutinizing the backgrounds and qualifications of all gubernatorial nominations, and exploring ways to improve the confirmation process formally through legislation.

Right move? You tell us....


Anonymous said...

Right move? You tell us....

It's her only move.

She has no chance of being reelected as a rep from the same district so her only hope to retain political power is to go for a multi-precinct office.

Still, without the Filipino vote(and they don't have a vote), she has only a small chance of becoming a Senator.

Anonymous said...

That depends. Who else is running? She's still a few years too early to capture the Filipino vote, though time is on her side. One of these years . . . .

I agree, Tina Sablan essentially was pushed out of the House, given that she barely squeaked into office with a smaller vote margin even than Fitial's 2005 victory over Heinz, though larger in percentage terms.

No way would her constituents re-elect her. So she really didn't have any choice, if she wanted to remain an elected official, unless she wanted to run for mayor against Angelo Villagomez. She is turning into a true Stanley Torres-style politician!

Anonymous said...

Are you two high? Tina will get the youth vote, the women's vote, the Mainlanders' vote, the progressive vote, and the votes of her sizable family. She'll win this handily.

cactus said...

The women's vote? There are two other women running for the Senate.

The youth vote and mainlanders' vote? Only to the extent that these are assumed to align with the "progressive" vote -- which, insofar as "progressive" is defined as "pro-federal" (not a correct definition, but a common one in these blogs), is not necessarily a safe assumption.

The family vote? Well, maybe, but given that Tina has been vocal in denouncing old-style family-based politics, I would not be too surprised if a sizable chunk of her family took her at her word. (Issue-based politics -- you asked for it, you got it.)

Anyway, she will keep it interesting.

the teacher said...

Even those who disagree with Representative Sablan must respect an elected official that openly informs the public through email of all Congressional hearings, debates, and discussions prior to the meetings and follows up with the results, how she voted, how others voted, and what the rational was behind their support. Her constituents can be proud of the representation they received. She didn’t pass much legislation because less transparent lawmakers colluded against several of her worthy proposals but even they must respect the tenacity with which she has fought the case for open government. Our future here is with the young educated local youth and I can’t think of a better example of that than Representative Sablan.

Anonymous said...

So if she wins the senate (very unlikely) then what is next? She running for Governor?

Anonymous said...

She has my vote. Too bad she is still too young for Governor. She is smart, sensible, honest, ethical, frugal and consistent. If you ever need convincing on why you should vote for her, just head up to the hill and sit through the next house session. It will open your eyes to what goes on and what could potentially go on if there were more people like her up there. We need individuals that will read the bills, understand what is being said and debate on the merits of the bill. Not numbers people that care not what the bill says and just vote based on party affiliation of some other sold out motive without ever reading the bill or understanding it.

It is a huge side benefit that she also keeps us citizens well informed about what is going on at the legislature. They may pull the last minute tactics for calling sessions and throwing in bills but she will still do her best to let us know what exactly is going on.

And if you ever have a question or concern she is the easiest of them to get a hold of and she will actually talk to you and explain things and not dodge your call or meeting.

Anonymous said...

To all of the noni commentors above that are tryign to break down the vote demographically, you are making it more difficult than it is. Those people that believe in transparent and effective government will give Tina a vote for Senate and hope she keeps up the good work. Those that want old school politics that involve a whats-in-it for me mentality may not.

As for the racial or ethnic spread, there should not be anything. Tina represents all the people in the CNMI not one race. The end of the Guest worker program is more pro-local workforce and pro-local economy than anything else could ever be.

Assisting the current long term workers gain status is a humanitarian thing and does not negatively affect our local economy or society. The people that would gain citizenship are already and have already been ingrained in this community. Granting them status will not alter anything on those fronts and will stabilize the workforce at the same time.

Anonymous said...

biba tina!

Anonymous said...

If Tina would not make it to the senate, the old saying is true this island only wants corrupt, dishonest and dumb politicians.

Anonymous said...

I have more faith in this islands electorate. Up till now they have only had the same choices. This year we are seeing more choices. Last election we saw that when we have a choice we will always choose the new person with character and integrity over the old school poli who has done nothing more than just enrich hem/herself.

Change is here. We just need more choices on the ballot. Slowly but surely we are getting there.

Anonymous said...

Nobody likes a complainer. Get something done, and I'll consider voting for her.

Anonymous said...

I like it when people let me know what is going on. Good or bad. Tina does just that through her emails she sends me and through her answering my calls.

You say get something done. I think she has. The fact that some people measure success of a representative based on how many bills they pass is still saddening.

Have you ever sat through a session? Have you read any of the nearly 300 bills that have been introduced the 16th Legislature? How many are unconstitutional, costly, problematic, redundant, and outright insane?

Take a look at Tina's forum online and read her "thoughts on the sessions". It is a play by play of what has occurred at each and ever session and in depth analysis of each bill and how representatives voted and what was said. It will amaze you. You will also see what she has been doing and perhaps you will vote for her.

You can find a full listing of her thoughts at:


Tina has introduced and co-sponsored a few pieces of well thought out legislation that dealt with legislative expense accounts and accountability (HB16-266), protecting the environment (HB16-267 & 16-200), stabilizing CUC (HB16-79), and stabilizing the workforce (HB16-86) as well as few she assisted in drafting. What is most important is the quality of the legislation not the sheer amount.

Sadly many of these bills will not be acted on because the other representatives do not want to upset the status quo or because of personal interest protections. I urge the community to call your representatives and ask them why and encourage them to.

I personally believe we should put a moratorium on new legislation and start reviewing what is on the books and cleaning it up.

She has questioned every bill presented and worked to amend every bill that needed to be altered. She has never sold a vote on a bad bill for support for her bills at the expense of the community. She has always been forthright when asked to explain any and all of her past votes and has never dodge any questions. She has spent a total of less than $1,000 of her nearly $300,000 operational funds in the last 18 months. She has made no political or familial hirings or dealings.

Don't mistaken activity for progress. Take a look at the bills that have been introduced by your representatives and weigh them based on the content and quality and then decide if the representatives that introduced them are just staying busy or actually making progress. Call your representatives and ask them why they voted on certain legislation. Ask Tina.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Glen! I appreciate all the insight regarding Tina's performance in the House. If she's gonna go through the same thing when she gets the Senate seat, then that's a waste of my vote. She should spend less time acting like a reporter in front of the computer and work on how she can gain support for whatever it is she wants to introduce. There's no excuse for a lack of performance as a public servant. I don't want to hear that, "it's so-and-so's fault that my bill wasn't passed, because they want to stick to the status quo." Do something about it!!! What a waste of such a brilliant mind. She will not succeed as a politician so I think she should go back to work for DEQ, where her efforts actually meant something. She thinks she has the island wide support that will grant her a Senate seal? Please.

Anonymous said...

Your welcome, noni. This is not Glen but you must be pretty jealous of him to assume that this is. I don't think Tina has ever said "it is so and and sos fault" for anything. I personally think she has done a great job. If you don't, than by all means put your vote where you think it will do the most good (or the least harm). I would love to hear where you think that would be (Slow, Ralph, Cinta, etc) and why you feel that they will or have succeed[ed] as a politician.

You bring up lack of performance. I think she has performed excellently as my representative. Again if you rate the success based on the number of bills introduced then maybe you don't feel the same way. It is not hard to hop over to Joe Camacho's site camachocnmi.com and click to see all the bills that have been introduced and read them and decide if they are what we need in the CNMI.

You list generalities as to why you would not give your vote to Tina. Who is getting your vote and why? I need to choose two for Senate. I am very open to hearing who you think are the two that deserve to be your Senators.

I also can't wait for all the debates.

Anonymous said...

It's just too bad that Frica isn't seeking reelection. Although she caved into politics on several occasions over the last 3.5 years, she is overall one of the best and most productive Senator.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised you're not Glen. I would have guessed that you'd be him with all the brown nosing you've shown. Jealous? I don't want a girl who bajged her high school teacher. Too many problems for me to handle. I'm still undecided with my Senate vote, but I'm not convinced that Tina deserves it.

Anonymous said...

Lol at noni 4:26pm

Undecided as to who gets your vote, but decided as to who doesn't?

When you finally get around to deciding who the best politician in your mind is running for Senate, pay this site a visit and let us all know who and why.

I am personally convinced Tina gets one of my Senate Seat votes. If that makes me a brown noser than so be it. I don't see how though, since I receive nothing as a benefit to calling it like I see it. I have reviewed her past votes on the floor, read her comments on the sessions, spoke to her personally about her vision of the future of the CNMI and the only thing I walk away feeling dissappointed with is the fact that she is still too young to be Governor.

Anonymous said...

Noni 4:26pm,

Hahaha...Not only are you jealous of Glenn but you are also jealous of Rep Sablan's ex-boyfriends too.

Stop trying to smear Tina it won't work. If you have any problem with her then specify what exactly it is and don't resort to nonsensical smear tactics.

It appears that you are pretty intimidated by her running for Senate. Who is the candidate you are supporting that you are afraid she will beat? Instead of trying to chop her down with petty gossip and jealous rants why not try lifting your candidate up by listing his/her qualities.

Anonymous said...

The girl is a walking porno fantasy. The Catholic school student who banged her Jewish teacher. Brilliant!!!

Anonymous said...

Noni 4:54pm,

:-( Poor baby.

Just can't crawl outta the mud puddle you are wading in.

You seem pretty upset about who has been and is with Tina. Sad.

bigsoxfan said...

Lame. She has walked the walk, since she was sworn in.
All the same, if she had worn a transparent outfit for her months in the purgatory of the house, I might be more impressed, but enough is enough.
How many can say; they fufilled their promises made in the rush to reach office? There were no illusionary statements made to the effect that she would change the workings of the house. Fact is; she is attractive, smart, unavailable for huggy/kissy and bribery, but she listens and acts on what she hears.
I wish I could see a candidate here in San Diego with the ability to behave in the grocery store with same qualities she displays in her official duties.

Anonymous said...


Well said.

Best of luck in your run for Senate Tina Sablan!

Jay said...

New to Saipan, I'd heard so much good about her from people here, but I took the time to find out for myself. I've read her website and her bills and her testimony before Congress. Let me say this, I've worked in state government, the Congress, and have done dozens of campaigns for over 10 years, Tina Sablan IS the real deal. Her open government ideas may not be popular here, but she'd be a rockstar and media darling in most state capitols or the House (she's not 35, so I can't say Senate).

I look forward to her spirited campaign.

Ed said...

I agree. I have never come across an individual like her. She is passionate about what she does, whether it be at DEQ or the House or just community projects. She pours her all into her work. She is open minded and listens to anyone that cares to sit and talk with her. She investigates everything as thoroughly as she can before making any hasty decisions. She makes very few promises and those she makes she keeps. Her level of integrity is unmatched in the legislature. She does not compromise her principles for any reason. I have had differences of opinion with her but she has always remained civil. I believe that she is what the CNMI needs right now. A few more of them would be even better. Trustworthy, intelligent, passionate and brave individuals that can work with the community to come up with plans to turn this island around. She can not do it alone but together we all can create a better CNMI.

WhoCanYouTrust said...

At the end of the day, as a Taxpayer, who would you entrust your money with? Tina, who you can guarantee that every cent will be accounted for at the end of the day or another Politician who may use your money as it was their own and have "0" accounting as to where it went at the end of the day.

During these economic times, there is no doubt that I would leave my money in the hands of Tina.

Anonymous said...

What does her former relationships have to do with her performance? The same bastards who attack her private and personal relationships in her past are the same hypocrites who have half-brothers and half-sisters in the provinces of the PI, and the same ones who try to dip their dipstick in every Juana, Ana, and Suzie.

Stick to the issues please and be civil in your discourse.

Anonymous said...

The CNMI has no chance of improvement when crude and vulgar insults fly out of the mouths of our people. Tina will be a success with the old boys in the Senate.

Anonymous said...

And why do you say Glen? Have you ever seen the hundreds of people with an orange image on their profile that said "Run Tina Run"? Could it be possible that someone else might be defending her?

Amazing how all the OBN is afraid Tina might upset the balance of corruption.

Fed Lover said...

How does having an illegitimate half-brother (not anything of one's own doing) make inquiries into the personal predelictions of those who would seek to represent us “hypocritical”?! That's a non sequitur.

The biggest weakness of Tina Sablan is the serious character flaws of some of those closest to her and upon whom she secretly and untransparently relies in her decision-making process. Some of them (or maybe her) are extraordinarily vindictive, and curiously hostile to Catholicism. Tina is a slightly more sophisticated version of Stanley Torres in her political gamesmanship, lawsuits, rallies, radio shows, etc.

Tina's strengths are many. She is not corrupt, not acting out of monetary self interest, and does not compromise deeply held values for the sake of political expediency. She is idealistic, enthusiastic, and definitely motivated to bring change to the Commonwealth. She is also issue-focused, something we need around here.

I look forward to learning what she has to say.

I predict she will receive more votes than Pete Reyes.

Anonymous said...



The Saipan Blogger said...


I like that you have a gubernatorial poll, but I wish you hadn't put a "no vote" option. I'd like to know who people will vote for if they have to vote.

Anonymous said...

honey, in the real world people abstain or boycott an election...

Anonymous said...

All Asian minorities will vote for Tina. Majority of Caucasians will vote for Tina. Young generation will vote for Tina.

She will be the top vote-getter. I'll bet 3,000 gallons of Ridlyme on it.

g00$e said...

That the dialog above even exists is proof positive that Tina has already made tremendous changes in the political and social fabric on Saipan.

Her polarizing effect is absolute, and it's interesting that her supporters are universally 'progressive' (per Cactus' redefinition) while her detractors are just as universally unfocused and incoherent. The latter appear to long for her failure for all the same reasons so many want Obama to fail. In my daily discourse I'm always surprised to see how many mid-aged people, male and female, feel genuinely threatened by her. Like her detractors here none are able to precisely define what it is about her they fear so much, but one lady may have provided some indication this morning when she commented that Tina should be punished for publicly disrespecting Guv'nah Fitial.

I was undecided as to whether Tina was the 'Real Deal' or not until I attended one of her OGA court sessions, and was astounded to discover that a CNMI Representative was actually representing ME in a fight with some mean, nasty bastards that I was not personally willing to get into.

I still disagree with her stand on non-resident worker issues, but Representative Sablan certainly has my vote.

Anonymous said...

noni 5:44-"Still, without the Filipino vote(and they don't have a vote),"
there is a group called CREAM, i bet they would support her. last i heard there were about 1K+ filipino voters last election. who do you think they will vote for - tina of course!

noni 11:08-"Nobody likes a complainer. Get something done, and I'll consider voting for her."

noni 3:17-"She should spend less time acting like a reporter in front of the computer and work on how she can gain support for whatever it is she wants to introduce."

to both of you nonis, don't you think that it is also your elected officials' responsibility to let the public be aware of the issues and how these concerns are being dealt with? you call it complaining and acting like a reporter, i call it info dissemination. we get updates and insights in her "complaining and reporting". not everybody can go to the hill to witness the absurdities that are going on up their. the people needs to know if their vote was wasted or not. from her updates people reacts and they are motivated to help resolve issues in forums and public hearings.

it is no help to compare and cite situations in other parts of the world. this is CNMI, our circumstances are different so we need to think of how to deal with everyday issues here for the good of all. change has to start somewhere, somehow, and the time is now!

i hope there would be more like her in the hill so as to secure the future of these islands.

Anonymous said...

i can easily go onto her website forum and read up on what exactly transpired at each and every session held by the 16th legislature. i can read up on what bills were introduced, acted on, what the votes were, what comments were made, etc. i can comment on the information. i can call my representatives and discuss the matters that they brought up. i can be part of this democracy and i can be be more informed about what happens on the hill when i am at work trying to earn a living. she has also always informed us about upcoming sessions and other legislative events. i am glad because i have been able to influence my representatives based on the agenda that she sent me and the information that she emailed out. if not for her i may not have known and would not have been able to take part in our government as easily.

can i say the same about any other legislature in our history? no.

the information that tina disseminates is crucial to a better future cnmi. the more we know the more we care. we all need to start caring more about the cnmi.

go to her online forum and read up on what the representatives have done over the past 18 months:


Anonymous said...

The CNMI will only prosper if a Filipino Governor will be elected.

Anonymous said...

uhmm...the reason why the Philippines remains developing...? hmmm...

better put "intelligent, educated, and not corrupt" on that note above...

Anonymous said...

noni 5:12 - are you being sarcastic?

Timmy V former LT said...

I would vote for Tina, but I will be going away for a few years on "vacation."

Anonymous said...

please don't use names here that you really are not. Gov. Fitial? enough that you mock them, but pls have some respect to yourself and to these public servants.

SMR said...

Anonymous commenter (deleted) posing as Gov. Fitial:

Even I will vote for Tina. Too bad I couldn't buy her integrity.

cactus said...

"none are able to precisely define what it is about her they fear so much"

I cannot speak for others, but I will define precisely what it is about her that I fear. It is her uncritical attachment to the federal government, her support for federal legislative powers at the expense of the very legislature she is a part of, and her underlying, animating assumption of an unqualified "American" identity for the CNMI.

Anonymous said...


Perhaps you should give her website a read sometime or any of her many letters on the subject of Federalization. Many documents are posted on her website:


Your fears are unfounded. She does not have an uncritcal attachment for the federal government and she has stated her concerns and apprehensions regarding the federal government on many occasions.

Her reasoning behind her current stance on federal takeover of immigration can be read first-hand here:


Here is a quote from her Commonwealth Manifesto written years ago that pretty much sum up her feelings on the federal government and local immigration:

"If we believe that our immigration and labor policies badly need an
overhaul so that we might develop an economy that is not dependent on cheap imported
labor but rather on qualified, hard-working, and honest residents who earn every dollar
they make, whether in the private sector or the government, then we must demand those
reforms. We must prove that we can do it ourselves, and that we don’t need the federal
government to do it for us or to tell us how to do it."

And here you can read her comments on Immigration and Labor, just scroll down to the comments section:


here is an excerpt:

"I decided to support the federal government’s proposal to extend federal immigration law to the CNMI for a number of reasons and after long and serious thought about our current situation....

It is not that I have blindly embraced the federal bill, or trust the federal government so much more than my own local government, or that I believe that our own local government is completely hopeless. But I do believe that immigration and labor reform is necessary to finally bring social and economic justice for all the people of the CNMI, including long-term nonresidents who have helped build our islands and have become part of our community."

Tina is pretty open and out there and will not dodge your direct questions. Rather than assuming things about her why not read what she has put down in black and white or give her a ring and direct your questions or concerns at her.

That is what many fear. They fear the transparency.

And let us not forget that when we go to the polls in November we are participating in a very "American" activity. We are voting for our elected officials that will represent us. Let us all go out and do just that.

Anonymous said...

I think this should be adjusted:

"That is what many fear. They fear the transparency."

I think a more correct assessment would be:

That is what a few of the corrupt politicians and their allies fear. They fear the transparency.

cactus said...

I was very impressed by the Commonwealth Manifesto when Tina first issued it. I believed that someone had at last come along who was capable and willing to fight the two-front war that needs to be fought around here -- internally for reform, and externally to safeguard our right to reform on our own terms.

But all too soon she gave up on that external front. She has continued to talk about "freely embracing" the federal legislation, but has continued to support it even as it has become clear that the US does not intend to give us any choice to freely embrace it or not.

She would probably rather achieve her social and economic goals by convincing the local population to support them, but those goals have become so attractive and important to her that she is willing to forego the popular consent (and the time, energy and frustration it takes to build it) and get the goals achieved immediately any way possible. That is where she loses me, who believe that reform must be achieved locally, or not achieved at all.

Anonymous said...


you said: "but has continued to support it even as it has become clear that the US does not intend to give us any choice to freely embrace it or not."

we were given a choice. read the covenant. a document that we at the time put to a vote amongst our people and voted in favor of. contained within the covenant is the united states being our sovereign and our approval to follow certain federal laws. a few of which were allowed a delay but clearly indicated that at the time of the united states congress' choosing would be made applicable to the cnmi. it clearly states that we gave up a chance to be in full control of immigration and wages when we adopted the covenant.

it appears your beef should not be with tina's acceptance that the federal government is allowed under our covenant to take control of immigration and make federal immigration laws relevant to the cnmi. your beef is with the covenant itself. you feel for some reason that the cnmi is an independent island nation. it is not. we are part of the united states as agreed to in the covenant. if you don't agree with that than fight it and get the covenant overturned. push for nmi independence and local sovereignty.

we have been abiding by many federal laws. we all can read the covenant and see clearly that we at some point were going to fall under federal immigration control (we agreed to that). whether you like it or not popular consent for federal takeover of immigration was given by the 75% that voted in favor of the covenant. if you want to rally a movement against that then do so. but don't pretend that the clause doesn't exist and that the cnmi's rights are being infringed.

Anonymous said...

what do you think of the provision in the covenant that explicitly gives the federal government the right (at a time of their choosing) to unilaterally (without our further consent) apply federal wage and immigration laws to the cnmi?

here it is:

"Section 503. The following laws of the United States, presently inapplicable to the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, will not apply to the Northern Mariana Islands except in the manner and to the extent made applicable to them by the Congress by law after termination of the Trusteeship Agreement:

(a) except as otherwise provided in Section 506, the immigration and naturalization laws of the United States;"

if you do not agree with this then move to burn the covenant. move to secede. move for nmi independence.

you want the benefits that come to you as a united citizen with the us flag flying over these islands but you do not want to uphold the fact that we thus will have to abide by certain federal laws and regs.

g00$e said...

Great response Cactus, though I fear yours is a minority view, based as it is on your faith that the CNMI guv'mint will someday be capable of providing sustained, viable and equitably distributed services to its citizens, independant of any federal assistance (or intrusion). Still an admirable vision though.

My concerns regarding Tina lay with her attempting to play both sides of the immigration/labor issue. Yes, it's in the best interest of local people (whether they like it or not) to end the Guest Worker program, but her efforts to solve the immigration side of the issue by making the guests family members will be devastating to local culture, society and economics. It would also preclude folks like yourself from ever realizing your vision of a viable, independant local government.

cactus said...

Anonymous 9:44 and 9:51:

You make a clear and strong argument, but aren't you getting a little ahead of events? The question of whether the Covenant permits the current federal takeover legislation is being litigated even as we speak. Does the section of the Covenant you quote (about the "immigration and naturalization laws of the United States") authorize all of that Act, or some of it, or none of it? And, more fundamentally, how does that section relate to the self-government guarantee of Section 103? Does one prevail over the other, or must they be reconciled with each other, and if so, how? These issues are all being disputed.

I appreciate your devotion to the Covenant. In fact, I share it. I also regard your Covenant-based defense of federalization as the only tenable one out there. While I disagree with it, it certainly makes a lot more sense than the atavistic invocations of the flag, the soil, and "human dignity" that usually turn up in this space. (Well, you do get in a "flag" dig toward the end there, but I'll let it slide.) But you write as if all the disputed issues about the meaning of the Covenant have been conclusively resolved in favor of the federal position, when in fact they remain hotly and legitimately disputed.

So I am not going to go out, Garrison-like, and burn the Covenant. There is no need for that, at least until it undisputably clear that the Covenant is the problem. As matters now stand, I still regard it as the solution.

Anonymous said...

The best thing about Tina is the best thing about Stanley: we gotta have someone in there presenting a different perspective, even if it is a minority view. So it is the right move-- to keep representing concerns even if they are unpopular! That is as Chamolinian as our Covenant.

Anonymous said...


I don't understand. How will granting status to long term guest workers devastate local culture (what is local culture? what makes an individual local?), society and the economy.

You are talking about individuals that have lived out here legally in the CNMI for more than 5 consecutive years. Many who have stayed out here for 10, or 20+ years. They have lived among all the cultures that are present out here. They have worked with us. They have taught numerous generations. They have grown up with us. They have attended our celebrations, funerals and family/political gatherings. They have contributed to all aspects of our society and culture. They have been instrumental in the development of our economy (what of it there is).

Whether you grant them status or just keep the guest worker program as it is and tell the feds to go to hell you get the same result - a large (more massive than NMDs) number of foreigners who have and will continue to influence (positively or negatively depending on your perspective) the culture, society and economy of these islands.

If you truly feel the way you do, than why limit your focus on local protectionism and prevention of the destruction of "local culture, society and the economy" to preventing guest workers that have lived here for 5, 10, 15 20+ years from continuing to do so. Move to have any/all non-NMD removed from these islands or severely limit the extent that any "outsider" (non-NMD regardless of citizenship) can have on influencing our culture, society and economy, including the influence by US citizens who are non-NMD, foreign investors, wives, adopted children and others that are not NMD. All these non-NMDs should also be given short term permits (if any at all) to stay in the CNMI.

Why state that allowing guest workers who have lived here for 5+ years will devastate the culture, society and economy of the locals if they were to continue to live out here. What of the mainland US citizens, The Canadian doctors, the spouses that are not NMD, the adopted children? What of the detestation that they are reeking on our local culture?

Will preventing long term guest workers that have lived out here for 5, 10, 20+ years from getting improved status negate the effect that they have already had on the local culture, society and economy? How so?

If your argument is that these foreigners or non-NMDs if given an opportunity to live among the locals for extended periods of time at their own choosing will devastate the local culture, society and economy than won't any non-NMD devastate it just as much? Haven't we already devastated it anyhow by allowing guest workers to live out here for more than 20+ years straight?

What exactly are you protecting and is it even possible?

We really need to look long and hard at ourselves and our islands.

Tina called for ending the current CNMI guest worker program for many reason and you can read about them on her website. She is also in favor of granting improved status to people who have legally lived out here on US soil among us locals (them being local now too) for 5, 10, 20+ years (you can also read in-depth as to why). I don't understand how that could be upsetting to anyone other than a greedy business person who fears being able to control his/her workers with the threat of deportation.

Some say it is a political threat that they fear. Politically speaking, however, granting status will not lead to voting rights immediately for the long term guest workers. It could take up to 5 or more years before that ever if at all became possible. At the moment long-term guest worker children are 18 years or older and many are nearing that voting age as well. They will and have influenced elections already with or with out status given to their parents. We also allow ANYONE that is a US citizen (non-NMD) the right to vote after having only lived here for 90 days. That politically has also affected the "locals".

Again, what exactly are you protecting?

Anonymous said...


On the contrary, I believe rather than getting ahead of things, it is you and others that share your viewpoint that are coming along too late in the game and trying to change the rules.

You mention the Governor's 903 litigation and say that we will need to await a legal decision on whether or not US Congress can take over immigration locally. The truth is the governor's lawsuit is not even attempting to argue that at all. He affirms in his briefings the US Congress' right to take control of immigration when they so choose by applying federal law to the CNMI. What he is attempting to argue is that the US Congress is overstepping the boundaries set in the Covenant by affecting our controls of labor. It is a stretch but he thinks that guest-workers from foreign countries fall under the labor jurisdiction rather than immigration sections and therefor the US congress can not take away our control over bringing in and utilizing Guest Workers from foreign areas.

The Covenant is pretty clear about the applicability of Federal Laws at the time of the passage of the Covenant as well as the future applicability of immigration at a time when US Congress deems necessary and applies it by law to the CNMI. The Covenant is also clear about future laws passed by US Congress and what must be done to make them applicable to the CNMI.

Self-government is still in tact even though we abide by Federal EPA laws, OSHA laws, etc. It will still be intact when we are abiding by Federal immigration laws too.

Why are you not up in arms about the application of all federal laws and how that limits our self government rights?

Anonymous said...

To all the knowlegeable nonis above and out there:

May I ask you all this question - if, for some reason, the US do not federalize immigrations in the CNMI, is it possible for the US Congress to grant citizenship to the non-immigrants (especially to the longtime guests here)?

Is it right to think the answer to be YES, afterall they did give citizenship to some stateless individuals a few years back, right?

Please, somebody respond.

cactus said...

I was about to say, "Sure they can; they can grant citizenship to anyone they want to." But then I remembered that Congress has the constitutional power to establish a "uniform rule of naturalization," so maybe a special naturalization for a particular group would not be considered "uniform." So I'll throw that out there for further discussion.

As for the "stateless" kids, their citizenship was not granted by Congress. It was the result of a court decision, which interepreted the Covenant as having made them citizens at birth.

I would also refer my other Anonymous friend above to that same decision, as an example of the fact that, sometimes, what everyone is sure is the clear, correct and obvious meaning of the Covenant turns out not to be.

Anonymous said...


Citizenship has been granted on many occasions for a myriad of reasons often times not in a uniform fashion.

The TT Citizens that were residing here in the NMI were granted citizenship without going through any type of naturalization process what-so-ever. They received a fax from Reagan on morning. That was about 12000 individuals.

The guest workers in the Virgin Islands were granted citizenship in 1982 for the same reasons that our local guest workers are requesting improved status. They estimated nearly 8,000 would qualify. In the end there were actually only 3,000 that were in the VI legally for a period of more than 5 years.

Our stateless getting citizenship via court order.

There have also been a bevy of amnesty programs that granted citizenship to illegal foreigners over the years creating millions of US Citizens:

- The Immigration and Reform Control Act (IRCA) Amnesty of 1986 - the "one-time only" blanket amnesty for some 2.8 million illegal aliens.

- Section 245(i) The Amnesty of 1994 - a temporary rolling amnesty for 578,000 illegal aliens.

- Section 245(i) The Extension Amnesty of 1997 - an extension of the rolling amnesty created in 1994.

- The Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) Amnesty of 1997 - an amnesty for nearly one million illegal aliens from Central America.

- The Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act Amnesty (HRIFA) of 1998 - an amnesty for 125,000 illegal aliens from Haiti.

- The Late Amnesty of 2000 - an amnesty for approximately 400,000 illegal aliens who claimed they should have been amnestied under the 1986 IRCA amnesty.

- The LIFE Act Amnesty of 2000 - a reinstatement of the rolling Section 245(i) amnesty to an estimated 900,000 illegal aliens.


Keep in mind than any and all of these foreigners turned US citizens mentioned above can live int he NMI for a period of 90 days and register to vote and influence us politically. They can live here for as long as they so choose and influence us culturally and socially.

The Covenant explicitly allows this. The Covenant has not provision or protection from any US Citizen influencing life in the CNMI. Cactus and Goose say things like the guest workers if given citizenship will destroy the CNMI because they are not local (not NMD) as if to say the Covenant protects the locals from non-NMD takeover. This is a fallacy. The Covenant has no protection what-so-ever from a takeover of culture, society, economy, etc by non-NMD US Citizens. If granted status our local guest workers who have already influenced life in the CNMI would be US CITIZENS and we can not honestly argue against them as Citizens of the US. IF that is your beef, you must burn the Covenant.

Anonymous said...

"uniform rule of naturalization" - which made possible what happened to the Virgin Islands in 1982 where aliens were allowed to adjust status?

Anonymous said...

Noni 8:23am,

Was that a question? or a statement?

As stated in the comment above yours, various situations have occurred throughout history where people of all different types of background have been uniquely granted US citizenship.

Anonymous said...


You may be interested in reviewing and researching a bit more on the VI situation. Here is a link to excepts from a book called "Defining Status"



---- link----

The last paragraph of page 279 describes a situation very similar to our own. Further reading from that point on will open your eyes to the eerie similarities between us here in the CNMI and the VI.

You spoke as if the Native Virgin Islanders had no problem with the granting of US citizenship. That is incorrect and a fallacy. They were so against it that they had actually passed local laws forbidding aliens and their offspring from attending public schools. They were very threatened by the immigrant Guest Workers. They passed local laws similar to ours here in the CNMI giving local preference to local residence in certain occupations and industries. They were so against the alien guest workers that they also went to so far as to restrict access not only to public schools but also housing, welfare and health benefits.

Please don't try and make it appear that the native Virgin Islanders were openly embracing the granting of citizenship to the long term guest workers that were residing in the VI for more than 5 years. That is a incorrect and the VI laws and the documents that display the outright resentment towards the majority population of guest workers is documented thoroughly.

Numerous federal court cases were filed in court combatting the local VI laws that were dicriminatory towards the guest workers. All of the court cases ended with the local VI laws being struck down.

Many Federal studies were done in the VI. The plight of the aliens in the VI were expressed during each study and every visit. Just like here in the CNMI.

They had local VI native nationalism that resulted in violence at times. The local government went on rallies to round up all illegal aliens and deport them as retaliation.

After much local infighting and a history that clearly resembles ours the local VI government finally passed an initiative that was endorsed by their governor and introduced by their Congressman in the US congress.

Right now our own Congressman has gone on record to state that he feels that status should be granted to long-term workers. We have local elected officials that feel the same way - Heinz, Tina, Ed, Vic, Arnold, Ray, etc. Is it so far fetched that with this local support and the corroberating reports and the influence from long term guest workers here in the CNMI that the US Congress will act on granting long term guest workers improved status? I think they will and I think they should.

cactus said...

I don't know what you think I said about the events in Virgin Islands, but if you look back, you will see that I did not say anything about them, nor do I even pretend to know much about them. It sounds interesting, though, and I will read up on it.

But even based on the history as you have just related it, I notice at least one significant difference between their situation and ours: "The local VI government finally passed an initiative that was endorsed by their governor and introduced by their Congressman in the US congress."

That strikes me as pretty important, and something that could potentially validate the whole process. Do you agree, or do you think that was just window dressing? In your view, in other words, would the US have been right to act as it did in the Virgin Islands, even if there been no such initiative?

Fed Lover said...

With respect to the "uniform rule of naturalization," there are also private bills.

These are fact specific and usually applicable to just a handful of people. But perhaps they could be applicable to the "stateless" born here between January 1, 1974 and November 4, 1986?

Just a thought.

Turning to the question of Cactus, while perhaps not a formal prerequisite, the consent of the governed is taken into effect in the Insular Affairs subcommittee. So what Kilili wants will carry great weight.

Like Tina, is he going for the "future" citizens' loyalty?

Anonymous said...

I confused this dialog with another when i addressed your stande on the VI.

But that is what I was getting at. The US was acting prior to the Initiative in the VI. They had already began sweeping reforms. They had already conducted studies. They had already determined that the guest workers after spending many years in the VI were entitled to improved status. Even though members of the community may have opposed it in the end all it took was pressure from the US Congress, Guest workers and an initiative by the VI Congressman to get it done. Was the initiative needed? I think not. The writing was already on the wall.

A good piece to read in addition to the book i pointed out is Prof. Villazor's Statement to the CODEL that she just sent to them when they visited. I think it is great to see the article in today's Tribune recognizing her. She is by the way a daughter of two foreign guest workers who lived out here from '79 to '94. What an awesome perspective she has. I will try to get a copy and post a link here.

Anonymous said...

Fed Lover (GB),

"Like Tina, is he going for the "future" citizens' loyalty?"

I can attest to the fact that Tina is not going for anyones loyalty. She has been a champion of all human rights. If she gains loyalty from what she does naturally than that is but a by-product and not an aim.

She, if you have ever followed, has never once asked for a single vote or requested anyone's loyalty in exchange for anything she does.

It appears from your statement that you find that difficult to believe and you believe that when someone does something there should be string attached. Perhaps you can adopt a different perspective in the future and cut the loyalty strings that are bound from your arms to your puppet masters.

Read up on Tina's stance on her website: www.tinasablan.com/forum or simply give her a call or shoot her an email. You will find that she is not fishing for loyalty and never has and is merely acting based on her conscience and acting in what she believes to be the public's best interest.

Fed Lover (HA) said...

Doing the right thing has consequences. The fact that collateral results follow does not that mean it is a sole motivation or even a primary motivation, and my post above did not suggest otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Fed Lover (GB),

My point exactly. Now if you re-read your question you could have phrased it in a way that captured your sentiment more accurately. However you must realize you did suggest otherwise or we would not have just had this conversation.

kalahi said...

Fed Lover,

In this world there are still people like Tina who sticks to what her heart and conscience dictate, believe it or not.

Yes, doing the right thing has consequences, that being: getting the right results for the right people and place.

We can only hope that there is such a thing as uniform good. But Tina who is dictated by conscience and is acting from her heart can accomplish much for the majority.

"future" citizens' loyalty: don't forget she has always advocated for voting for the right people and not by familial connections. IF she is successful in getting all these nonimmigrants some sort of improved status and later on be qualified to vote, she would still expect these same people to vote for the right people and for the right reasons.

the teacher said...

If you are concerned with local culture, you would want US Immigration to wipe away, or sweep, the foreign national business operators here that seldom hire locals and have never made heavy investment in our commonwealth.

As for Tina, she will win this election like Secretariat.

Fed Lover (HA) said...

Teacher, that is part of the plan.

Patience, Grasshopper.

cactus said...

Teacher said:
"If you are concerned with local culture, you would want US Immigration to wipe away, or sweep, the foreign national business operators here that seldom hire locals and have never made heavy investment in our commonwealth."

I agree with 97% of this statement. The 3% that I disagree with is the word "US," for which I would substitute "CNMI."

the teacher said...

Cactus - CNMI immigration has had years to reduce the foreign operators and sleazy alien businesses here and instead, they are giving 2 year business licenses ahead of federalization.

They have never made any attempt to reduce or limit car repairs, car washes, tire repair, boat operators, massage parlors, pawn shops, Kiamichi convenient stores, real estate brokers, taxis, and others. These businesses should ALL BE OPERATED BY US CITIZENS.

How can we justify a foreign national operating a store here without paying a reasonable investment amount and subsequently bring brothers, sisters, children, and other relatives to operate a myriad of other related businesses while locals are unemployed or under employed.

This is the primary reason for federalization.

cactus said...

My comment was as to what I would want to have happen, not what has happened. Certainly we have not handled this sort of thing very well.

But to agree that we have a problem is not necessarily to agree as to the solution. If the feds ever get their act together, I'm sure they can straighten out the whole "tire shop" situation in six months -- but then we will be stuck with them (the feds, I mean)for the next fifty years or more. We will have chased the mice out the front door by letting the tiger in the back. If I had to choose one or the other, I'd take the tire shops.

Anonymous said...

Not just tire shops. Human trafficking, minor girls as strippers, illegal recruitment, money laundering, organized crime, etc, etc, etc

the teacher said...

Yes, noni, I gave an abreviated list and we will be better off, and our children will live in a better place when they are gone.

cactus said...

On stuff like that, it would be nice to have some federal help with investigation, enforcement, resources, etc., if they are willing to give it without just marching in and taking over. If they're not, though, I would choose the social evils, on the principle that it is always better to have a problem that it is within your own power to solve than one that is not.

cactus said...

... and THAT is better not just for our children, but their children, and theirs, etc.

the teacher said...

Cactus - I agree with that philosophy and the federal government has not taken a prominent role here since the bill became law, but some of these issues of concern would never be addressed (by us) in this lifetime.

We need improved funding here for federalization and at least we have a Rep. now.

Congress Watcher said...

Our Congressman is a Del., not a Rep.

Anonymous said...

Noni above - Yes, I stand corrected but even federal officals introduce him as Delagate, Representative, and Congressman.

Anonymous said...

Fitial sets a record in corruption as the governor of the CNMI. Fitial will lose because he is the devil.

Let It BE! said...

Many people validly disagree with Fitial's efforts to save (or minimize damage to) our economy, and push the feds to live up to their promises in the Covenant. The former Administration (and Tina Sablan) were more accommodationist, essentially offering them a blank check. But when it comes to corruption, Nekai took the prize. Other than Rydlyme -- which was referred to the FBI by the former AG -- the Fitial administration has been the cleanest in decades.

Let it BE!

Anonymous said...

Let it be, obviously you are either retarded, blind, or your job is on the line when Fitial gets the boot. I'm guessing all three.

Anonymous said...

hear here to the above comment.

down with fitial

down with all our political crooks

lucky canuck eh? said...

The future leaders of the CNMI would do well to take a look at what the indigenous peoples of British Columbia and New Zeland are doing to lift themselves out of poverty and family/tribal politics. Truly inspiring....

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