19 May 2010

CNMI's governor asks US Interior Secretary to withdraw report on foreign workers

10:32 am on 19 May 2010

The Northern Marianas governor has asked the US Interior Secretary to withdraw a report recommending improved status for long-term foreign workers.

Benigno Fitial's letter to Ken Salazar was attached to his written testimony at a U.S. House Subcommittee on the implementation of a law that placed CNMI immigration under federal control.

The governor told Mr Salazar that he and the CNMI Legislature have five "serious problems" with the Interior report.

He said one of those being the lack of "any effort to seek the views of the Commonwealth governor as required by law."

But the Assistant Interior Secretary for Insular Affairs Tony Babauta said there had been consultations and hearings on the issues.

While the governor and the CNMI Legislature oppose the report, thousands of people held a motorcade in the CNMI on Sunday expressing their strong support for the report.