Monday, July 30, 2007

An American hero needs your help

Last Friday, my friend and political ally, Janie Sheppard, sent me a Daily Kos article, "An American hero needs your help," by diarist dengre.

We both think the American hero, Wendy Doromal, deserves our help. According to the article, “She is an extraordinary woman who has been fighting to extend basic human rights to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) for more than 25 years. Jack Abramoff, Tom DeLay and The Pirates of Saipan have spent thousands of hours and piles of cash to stop her. She’s been threatened, slandered, shot at, belittled and ignored.”

The article is well worth reading. If you already know about the organized abuse of guest workers on the CNMI, a US Territory in the Western Pacific some 40 miles North of Guam, but want to know what kind of help Wendy needs, “On August 15th, the House Resources Committee Subcommittee on Insular Affairs will hold a hearing on the CNMI.

"So far the voices of the Workers are not on the schedule. We need to change that. Congress needs to hear their stories.”

Contact the Subcommittee on Insular Affairs and urge that workers be added to the list of witnesses at the August 15th hearing.

Contact information:
1337 Longworth House Office Building
(202) 225-0691 Fax: (202) 225-0521
Staff Director – Tony Babauta
Counsel – Brian Modeste
Clerk – Allison Cowan

Committee Email: (Entire Committee)

(photo: guest workers on the CNMI - Global Exchange)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this Gail.

It's pretty easy to send an email to the Natural Resources Committee. You could include one or more of the points made by Dengre in his Daily Kos post, namely:

1. Legislation has been introduced in the Senate, Senate Bill 1634 and in the House, H.R. 3079.

2. Both Bills are similar and both share common flaws. Perhaps the most glaring is that these invited workers in the CNMI—who are there legally and have been there for years and years—do not have any pathway to US Citizenship.

3. This Legislation needs to become the vehicle for reform. Adding the following changes would greatly improve the legislation:

A. Create a pathway to Citizenship for Guest Workers who have been on the CNMI for more than five years—and a Green Card for all workers with children who are US Citizens.

B. Outline a clear appeals process for any worker denied Immigration Status and/or other rights by the local CNMI Government through new or existing Federal systems of appeals.

C. Mandate that all CNMI entry visa programs—both work and tourist—are run by the Federal Government. (To allow the local CNMI Government to run a tourist visa program is to allow human trafficking.)

D. Mandate random, spot check interviews of guest workers and tourists as they arrive and leave the CNMI to ensure that they were (and are not) victims of abuse.

Adding the above amendments would make HR 3079 final legislation that is real reform.