18 Jul 2003

CNMI able to continue setting its own minimum wage and immigration policy

3:54 pm on 18 July 2003

The United States has assured the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands that it will hold off taking over the territory's minimum wage and immigration affairs.

Governor Juan Babauta, who has resisted the takeover said his government will implement policies to tighten CNMI's immigration laws and reform the minimum wage.

CNMI can determine its minimum wage and immigration laws under its Covenant Agreement with the US which is unique among American territories.

Currently CNMI's minimum wage is 3 US dollars and five cents an hour while the Federal level is 5 dollars and 25 cents.

Peter Callaghan from the Governor's Office says the government's policies will address US concerns and encourage more locals into employment.


IN:......the governor proposes a gradual increase over a period three years to the minimum wage...he feels this will not adversely affect commerce in the CNMI and provide doy Ff ....

OUT:...letting too many people in.

DUR:...21 secs

Peter Callaghan from the CNMI government.