30 Dec 2009

Northern Marianas Ombudsman accounting isolates more than 19,000 aliens

4:48 pm on 30 December 2009

Over 19 thousand alien workers and those with Immediate Relative status have registered under a two week long accounting process run by the Ombudsman in the Northern Marianas.

The accounting process is needed under the federal immigration changes which require the U.S. Department of the Interior to report on the total number of aliens within the Commonwealth.

Ombudsman Pamela Brown says the federalization law also requires the Department to make recommendations on how to resolve the long-term status of aliens who were in the CNMI at the end of last month.

A lawyer for an NGO, Stephen Woodruff, had earlier cautioned the alien workers about taking part, saying they could be making themselves targets for deportation.

Despite the warning local reports say many alien workers were happy to register in the hope they would be given improved immigration status.