This is in response to my brother’s letter and your May 16, 2012, article regarding CNMI permanent residents. From the press secretary’s comments on your May 16 article, I can see how irresponsible the CNMI government is and couldn't care less about these CNMI LPRs.
I just cannot believe them talking about Public Law 110-229 just to defend themselves and to keep themselves innocent from what’s happening. We’re not asking them to change the law. We’re asking them to help these CNMI LPRs that they gave status to, back in 1985, from the laws they signed with the federal government. Don’t hit us with pointless excuses.
These CNMI LPRs are people who have been on the island for decades, holding their own businesses, paying tax, and contributing so much to the CNMI community. And disregard them? Saying things like, "This matter was never brought to the attention of the administration"? Hello! Isn't the government supposed to be making sure all their people are treated correctly? And don’t tell me government officials are not aware of anything unless someone feed them with the info!
I currently work for a company that helps various "nonresidents" process visas and permits, so I have opportunities to correspond with Mr. David Gulick as well as other USCIS offices in the mainland quite a lot. I actually was the one who asked Mr. Gulick upon his last session at the Multi-Purpose Center regarding the CNMI LPRs, only to find out that they may have to be parolees for the rest of their lives, biannualy renewing their parole, their $380 EAD, and $360 advance parole whenever they need to leave this island. Which was shocking. I myself is a CW (contract worker), even though I spent my younger years on Saipan, attending Mount Carmel School with my brother, simply because I left the island when our mother had a brain tumor and had to be taken back to Japan where she passed away after 16 years of disabled life. But still, it was shocking to know, having two CNMI LPRs in my own family-a disabled father who had just passed last Saturday and my one and only dearest brother.
As for me, the biggest problem is the fact that USCIS still don’t understand the significance of these CNMI LPRs and their full right to be granted permanent status, after all that I did last November, corresponding directly with Mr. Gulick, when the CNMI LPRs were banned from working in the CNMI unless they achieve the EAD card. In addition to that, as my brother spoke about, I think that the CNMI government should be working on this problem way ahead of us, to be responsible for the status they had given to their people (and don’t tell me CNMI LPRs aren’t their people). If the government is so undependable that they can’t stand up even for their own people, I’m ready to stand up for these LPRs.
Gualo Rai, Saipan