There will be an Immigration Information Presentation and Open Forum today, Nov. 19, from 11am to 2pm, at the lobby of the Marianas Business Plaza (the former Nauru Building). Attorney Ted Laguatan, an immigration lawyer and legal counsel of the U.S. Pinoys for Good Governance from California, will be making a presentation via Skype. Admission is free.
U.S. Pinoys for Good Governance also emphasized that it is not soliciting cash or selling tickets to raise funds for Laguatan’s proposed visit to the CNMI. That plan to bring Laguatan to Saipan is on hold for now, USP4GG said, so they are not involved with any fundraising efforts.
Some Filipinos who are organizing a fundraising show are telling people to buy tickets for the show to help raise money for foreign workers who will be needing legal assistance when they go out of status after Nov. 27.
A Garapan resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said in an interview that she was in a beauty parlor when a beautician offered her a ticket for “Showtime 2011: A spectacular show for a cause” on Nov. 26 which features “Saipan Divas.”
When asked what the fundraising was for, the beautician said it was to allow Laguatan to fly to Saipan and provide legal assistance to those who will be out of status after Nov. 27.
“We would need at least $5,000,” the beautician told the Garapan resident, adding that the money will also be used to bring Laguatan here.
The resident, who bought the $5 ticket, wanted to validate the information and asked USP4GG CNMI Chapter if the information was true, which they said was not.
In fact, the resident found out that Laguatan will be the presenter at the forum only via Skype.
“I feel victimized,” she said. “Instead of helping, they are demoralizing all the more these Filipino workers”
When the resident asked who is organizing the show, the beautician named several foreign worker leaders, including United Workers Movement president Rabby Syed and Dekada Movement president Boni Sagana.
Syed and Sagana in separate interviews said the show is an initiative of several foreign workers who attend the “Occupy USCIS” peaceful vigil.
Syed said the United Workers Movement believes that the show organizers intend to help foreign workers, which is why they believe “it’s a good cause” and support it.
Sagana, for his part, said he does not know who comprise the organizers of the show and have no idea how they will account for the proceeds of the show.