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Important For All US Citizens: Saipan

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posted on Apr, 4 2006 @ 05:39 AM
Something very alarming came to my attention a few months ago while reading Al Franken's latest book, The Truth (With Jokes). The particular chapter which shocked me the most was no laughing matter.

Saipan is an island located off the coast of the phillipines in a group of islands called the northern mariana islands. These islands are controlled by the U.S., and their natives are U.S. citizens. Saipan natives may own U.S. land, but other citizens may not own land in Saipan. Though ruled by the U.S., Saipan has different labor and immigration laws, allowing them to import workers from other parts of Asia, with the lure of a (never granted) U.S. citizenship.

Workers are mostly brought in for the clothing and sex trade. Many factories enforce slave conditions and forbid leaving the premises even after work hours. Sex workers are often brought to Saipan under the guise of a waitressing job. The coast of Saipan is used as tourism for mostly Japanese and American officials, as the land itself is beautiful.

There are even more brutal accounts of hundreds of unsolved murders and forced abortion for factory workers.

Tom Delay was one of the people trying to protect the garment industry in Saipan. It seems as though he (and whoever else was involved) did a very good job of keeping it quiet. It was reported on 20/20 in the nineties, but very little else has been reported about this.

And also, the garment manufacturers are allowed to say that the clothes were "Made in U.S.A."
Companies with factories in Saipan include Abercrombie & Fitch, JC Penney, Liz Claiborne, Jacob, and Wal-Mart.

posted on Apr, 4 2006 @ 06:04 AM
US Territories like Guam, Saipan and the Commonwealth of Northern Marianas Islands (CNMI) are technically US Protectorates, which gives them citizenship, however, and this is the interesting part, they also have their own sovereignty still. They are known as Unincorporated Territories. They have the freedoms of the Constitution (Freedom of Speech, Religion, etc) but are not under the direct rule of the United States Government.

An incorporated territory of the United States is a specific area under the jurisdiction of the United States, over which the United States Congress has determined that the United States Constitution is to be applied to the territory's inhabitants in its entirety (e. g. citizenship, trial by jury), in the same manner as it applies to the citizens of the U.S. states. In contrast, an unincorporated territory is an area under U.S. jurisdiction, to which only certain "natural" protections (e. g. freedom of speech, due process) of the US Constitution, as well as any specific parts Congress has added, apply.

The term "incorporated" in this sense does not refer to the act of creating a civil government entity (e.g. a city or a town).

Incorporation as it applies to territories is regarded as a permanent condition. Once incorporated, an incorporated territory can no longer be de-incorporated; that is, it can never be excluded from the jurisdiction of the United States Constitution.

posted on Apr, 4 2006 @ 06:07 AM
I'm so glad that someone actually knows about this. Everyone I've told for months has been shocked. Al Franken talks about Saipan sometimes on his Air America show, but I have yet to see anyone else on a soapbox about this.

posted on Apr, 4 2006 @ 06:16 AM
The whole thing is that as long as they are unincorporated, we can't enforce our labor laws, even though they have citizenship. They're basically sovereign countries as far as their individual laws go, wth our freedoms, and constitutional protections. It's a rather interesting and unique situation.

[edit on 4/4/2006 by Zaphod58]

posted on Apr, 4 2006 @ 06:26 AM
It really bothers me that their tags can say Made In U.S.A., it's so deceptive, as if they were made under U.S. labour laws. I used to shop at some of these places, and checked my tags from them. Mine were all other asian countries, maybe they reserve the U.S. tags for american shipments. The other countries usually have worse pay rates though, and not much better conditions.

posted on Apr, 4 2006 @ 06:29 AM


posted on Apr, 4 2006 @ 06:29 AM
The pay scale on Saipan isn't very high either, but then the cost of living is very low too. It's really a matter of perspective. To my wife living in the Philippines $3/hour is good pay. To us that's almost slave wages.

posted on Apr, 4 2006 @ 06:35 AM
Yeah, I think it is about $3.15 USD in Saipan, which is a huge raise for a lot of chinese workers who make about $1 USD at home.

posted on Apr, 4 2006 @ 06:49 AM
Yet again this topic comes up and folk here are loathed to put the two words, 'sex' and 'slave', together.

Isn't that a little more important aspect of the story, than designer lables, concidering their sex slave trade can only thrive on foreign customers 'trading' there?

I'd be more worried about the "American" Americans going there for young girls, than them buying land in America.

posted on Apr, 4 2006 @ 07:01 AM
The whole thing is that Congress screwed up in the 1970s and now is unable to fix their mistake. They passed an exemption to US Labor Laws for Saipan, but it has to be voluntarily given up, or revoked by Congress, and Saipan has said they won't give it up, and the times it's come up to vote, the Republicans blocked it. So until the exemption is revoked it's legal for businesses to trick migrant workers to Saipan, and not pay wages, or give them their full benefits unless the workers make a case of it.

Immigrant workers are required to pay up to $5000USD to get a work permit for Saipan. One way they can do it is to get a loan from the person hiring them, and use part of their wages to pay it back. This gives the person hiring them basically control over them and how they make the money. Many workers aren't able to ever pay the loans back, but they're also limited in the actions they can take. They CAN try to make a case of it, and get their wages paid, but since Saipan isn't covered by US Labor Laws, they don't get the protections that the US worker gets.

We have to get Congress to get up and do something about this and revoke their exemption, and give these workers some rights, and protections. Right now Saipan's minimum wage is $3.05 compared to the $5.15 on the US Mainland.

[edit on 4/4/2006 by Zaphod58]

posted on Apr, 4 2006 @ 07:07 AM
I think that the scariest part is that the whole thing is that it's pretty much never discussed in mainstream media. I know it's not new news, but if more Americans knew about this, maybe they would be able to stop it.

The reason why the sex trade exists there is because of the business invovled with the factories, not the other way around. It's not really a place a tourist would go for sex like Thailand.

posted on Apr, 4 2006 @ 07:10 AM
Another problem associated with Saipan is the corruption of their government, with officials giving do-little jobs to friends and family. Almost all of Saipan's natives are employed by the government, with the grunt labour left to immigrants.

posted on Apr, 4 2006 @ 07:10 AM
The majority of visitors to Saipan are Japanese. It was a Japanese Island for awhile in WWII and MANY Japanese families died there. They jumped off a mountain, or into the sea off a cliff because they were told the US would rape and kill them anyway. There are dozens of shrines there now.

I suggest writing letters to the editor of your local newspapers, call your local media, do whatever you can to spread the word and let's MAKE this a big issue.

posted on Apr, 4 2006 @ 07:14 AM
As far as I've heard, Delay was the biggest protector of the garment industry in Saipan. Is it possible that these manufacturers could lose some power with Delay losing his?

posted on Apr, 4 2006 @ 07:17 AM
It's going to depend. If he had enough people owing him favors then no. Unless we can make it a big enough issue. That's the key, is making it a big enough issue that they HAVE to do something about it.

posted on Apr, 4 2006 @ 01:47 PM
Having lived on Saipan for three years I know what your talking about, I lived in San Vincente (small village on the east side of the island) and got to see allot of "crazy stuff" happen. First off the immigrants are 70% chinese, the rest are philipino and other southern asian people. The companies that work on these islands are GAP, JC Penny, SEARS, and a few others. Whats amusing is WE are not allowed to own land but these corporations DO own land on the island or at least to my knowledge. Money plays a key role in ALL that happens on the island, if you have the money you can do whatever the heck you want so long as it does not "harm" politicians on the island. These people have lived off govt. paychecks for years, why? because the US govt. says they owe them money since they blew away all native vegitation on the island in WW2. Corruption knows no bounds on this island, it is a corporations dream come true, they people are unquestioning, hopelessly loyal, and are racist to all whom the govt. demonizes.
Now the islanders are Chammaro, and also Carolianian and one other. The Chammaro's are the most corrupt of the lot, whenever a corporation comes in needing workers they do their best to make sure they get it, then get a slice off the top. On Saipan there is NO regulations AT ALL for workers, they can be treated however the corporation wants, OSHA and others come around and are given a ringaround by the corporation with help from the local politicians to keep them from finding out. Only two people on the island, one lawyer and one ex-sweat shop worker have come forth but I cant remember their names. They were silenced immediatly, now if you think this is impossible consider this:
The "media" on the island is 100% corporate owned
So there is 0 truth to be told about whats going on, unless you factor in those two women who came forth but I have a fealing no one in the US, or only a handfull of people in the US know about them.
Anyway there is a long line of problems on the island, and frankly the place is a toilet for tax dollar, the islanders dont pay anything but get tens of thousands from the US govt.

Anyway I do not believe in "territories" or "protectorates" I think if your going to be considered a US citizen that means the "nation" you live in becomes part of the nation you are a citizen of and pay up like everyone else and no pampering.

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