Kaminsky is on a South Seas sojurn with his wife, who has a temporary gig with Palau’s Supreme Court. (The island nation has been independent for just 15 years.)
So perhaps it’s no surprise that Kaminsky explores the legal strictures facing Chinese Uighurs who recently arrived fresh from Guantanamo.
While most of the media latched on to the contrast between Gitmo and the island “paradise,” Kaminsky coolly notes the Uighurs will confront Palau’s “nasty chauvinistic streak’:
Try buying a house here. Just kidding! As a foreigner, you’re constitutionally banned from owning land. Instead, why not open a business? Just make sure it’s not a travel agency, scuba diving shop, grocery store, or any other type of retailer or wholesaler, since these are the exclusive domain of Palauans. … For Palauans, the minimum wage is $2.50 an hour. For foreigners, it’s $1 less — and often disregarded. Work contracts are also one-sided: When a foreigner quits his job before the end of what is typically a two-year term, he is forbidden to work again in Palau for five years.
It’s the sort of myth-puncturing Kaminsky excelled in at CP; earlier this year, Kaminsky hauled in a Society of Professional Journalist’s Page One Award for his South Minneapolis Slumlord investigation. The guy’s got perfect pitch for the downtrodden, though I wonder if he’s experienced any chauvinistic blowback.