Long-Term Guest Workers In CNMI Worried About Leaving Kids Behind

Chinese worker has been in Commonwealth for 16 years, has not life in China

By Cherrie Anne E. Villahermosa

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, June 17, 2016) – “Who will take care of our children when we go? We cannot bring them to China — they are U.S. citizens and China will not accept them,” Chinese CW workers affected by the cap told Variety.

Lou Jing Xia acted as the group’s interpreter. She’s been here for more than 16 years as an office manager.

“We have no place to go,” said Yu Mei Bao, a CW worker who has been on Saipan for 23 years now. “We don’t have a house in China, and my children don’t speak Chinese. They both grew up here. This has been their home for the past 17 years. They cannot imagine leaving Saipan for good.”

Chen Jian Fang, who is married to Filipino guest worker Ariel Bautista, said they have two minor children, 10 and 8 years old. She said her CW permit is expiring in August while her husband’s is expiring in July.

She said their children are worried and cried when they learned that their parents may have to leave the island.

“Our kids don’t want to leave. They are scared. They don’t know China and although they like the Philippines, they prefer to stay here. This is where we work. We don’t have work in China or in the Philippines,” she said.

Yang Huihong, another CW worker, said she has been on island for 14 years and her problem is if she leaves, her eldest child, who is 15 years old, will also be out of status. The child is Yang’s CW-2 dependent. Her second child, an 11-year-old daughter, and youngest son, who is 1-and-a-half years old, were both born here.

“If I am out of status my oldest son will be affected and my two other children too — what will happen to them? They are all studying here.”

Chen Hong Yin has a 9-year-old daughter born here and her CW permit is expiring in August.

Yue Chun Fang, a tour guide for 20 years now, has a 16-year-old daughter. Her CW permit will be expiring in August.

She said life in China is hard, especially if you don’t have permanent work.

Xu Ping said all they are asking is to be allowed to work on Saipan and raise their U.S. citizen children here. She has two — an 11-year-old son and an 8-year-old daughter. She has been on island for 16 years.

Zhao Fukang has been on Saipan for 24 years and runs an air-conditioning repair shop. Her daughter who is 9 years old is begging the federal government not to send her father away from Saipan.

“I don’t want my dad to leave,” she said. “I love Saipan, this is my home and I don’t want to be away from my dad. Please President Obama, please Governor Torres, don’t break us apart.”

Marianas Variety
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