30 Jun 2008

Guest workers in Northern Marianas fearful over impact of new immigration laws

3:11 pm on 30 June 2008

A lobby group for guest workers in the Northern Marianas says they are nervous about their future work status under the new immigration law.

The Federal Government is expected to take control of the Commonwealth's guest worker program and eventually phase it out under the labour provisions of the new federal immigration law.

But the Northern Marianas Governor is taking measures to either repeal the statute, or possibly sue the U.S. Government over the matter.

The group Dekada has more than 3000 members and its aim is to improve the status of guest workers in CNMI.

President, Bonifacio Sagana, says many have been working in the CNMI for decades and are trying to remain optimistic that things will work out in their favour.

"We're still hoping the US Government will give something good for the long term resident guest workers in CNMI. We're not really sure but we hope they have something for us to improve our status because we've been working here for a long time."

Bonifacio Sagana, president of Dekada, the lobby group for guest workers in CNMI.