22 Sep 2008

Law suit filed by CNMI aimed at clarifying self governance

10:26 am on 22 September 2008

CNMI's commerce department is fully behind the Commonwealth's governor's move to file a legal suit against federal authorities.

Governor Benigno Fitial is taking authorities to court over the pending takeover of the CNMI's immigration system.

His case claims the legislation threatens to cripple the local economy and breaches the Commonwealth's Covenant with the United States.

The department's acting secretary, Michael Ada, says many people against it have misconceptions about the legal suit.

He says that they accept the pending immigration takeover but clarity through the law is what's needed over the implications for self governance.

"If you talk with the governor he'll tell you. The real premise is to identify or to get clarity from the courts on the implications this has on our right to self governance, especially in terms of labour. Y'know the overriding concern is does the federal government have authority to do or micromanage our labour situation. Because remember we're a very different economy to those on the mainland."

Michael Ada says suing is nothing new as other states have taken federal authorities to court all the time.

But he says because its the first time for the CNMI there has been some opposition.