10 Sep 2011

Relief at CNMI immigration ruling

11:22 am on 10 September 2011

There's widespread relief in the Northern Marianas after the Department of Homeland Security released its final rules governing foreign workers in the territory.

It creates a Commonwealth-only worker status that allows foreign workers to remain in the CNMI until the end of the transition period at the end of 2014.

Our correspondent says the Fitial administration, the business sector, and even nonresident workers are thankful a ruling is finally out.

The governor Benigno Fitial says the changes Homeland Security have made to their rules will make the transition to the federal immigration system an easier process for both employers and employees.

The Saipan Chamber of Commerce president, Douglas Brennan, says while the delay has caused a great deal of anxiety for the business community, he is thankful the worker rule is finally out.

United Workers Movement-NMI president Rabby Syed says he'll ask Homeland Security to consider extending the grace period for foreign workers to find employers, before they could be considered out of status to until early 2012.