Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Holes in the umbrella

Okay, Over 80 percent of guest workers to get umbrella permit, according to the Marianas Variety.

How about 'almost 20 percent of guest workers won't get umbrella permits', instead? That's a lot of slippage.

Some of those presently in the system may have already departed the Commonwealth, Deanne Siemer is supposed to have explained to the reporter. Well, that certainly makes me feel better. They're in control.

Somebody is. Siemer is described as "Labor’s part-time hearing officer" in this story; it's usually "volunteer legal adviser". Why is this part-time volunteer so often the 'spokesperson'? (It's not the newspapers' fault. Has anyone seen her business card to clear this up?)

It bothers me that the percentage is that high. Are one-in-five guest workers here illegally? Are they going to try to hang on illegally for a few more years? Maybe that many people have given up on trying to find work and just want to go home. And, yes, I'm sure some have already left.

Urban legend visas

Or maybe they're the people Jaime R. Vergara was talking about in his opinion piece Stragglers under the Commonwealth umbrella. It's a must-read for anyone in denial about the very large group of exploited workers.

Yes, they're "incredibly gullible", he says, "a docile population of foreigners exploited by their own kind, oblivious of any political rights, and reliant on fortune tellers and fast-buck schemes..."

They're about to pay for their mistakes, or pay later if they go back underground for awhile. A lucky few might find an advocate and take their exploiters down with them. The people who gamed the system will move on, looking for another scam. The people who created the system will try to rewrite history: 'Not Our Fault.'

I've still been hearing about 'tourist' and 'sponsor' schemes this year. It hasn't stopped. Vergara says "I saw copies of identical pleadings for a waiver addressed to no less than Labor’s celebrated volunteer asking that the waiver be granted to an overstaying tourist and a jobless consort so that they may be allowed time to seek other partners, apply for an Immediate Relative status, and qualify for the umbrella permit!"

According to Vergara, "Shanty dwellings with their ubiquitous satellite dishes house many aliens who expect the feds to start handing out urban legend visas come December." Sad, but I have to agree with him.

I was pulling up to YCO Hardware this morning and saw a flyer for a Black Friday Sale on Nov. 27. Wow, I thought, they really don't like the feds. Oops, the day after Thanksgiving is supposed to be the start of the Christmas shopping season. My bad, I hadn't seen anybody use it out here

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