26 Oct 2011

Immigration lawyer reassures foreign workers in CNMI

2:31 pm on 26 October 2011

A prominent immigration lawyer says non-resident workers in the Northern Marianas shouldn't be concerned about the imminent introduction of new rules governing foreign workers.

The CNMI will change to federalised immigration at the end of next month and there are fears that workers without immigration status issued by the US government may be deported.

The Northern Marianas branch of the United Workers Movement is seeking a blanket amnesty for non resident workers until their immigration status is decided.

But a former lawyer for the US Immigration and Naturalisation Services, Loida Nicolas Lewis, says to have this granted by the US Congress is unrealistic because the Republican-weighted Congress won't approve it.

However Ms Nicolas Lewis says it isn't necessary, as every non resident worker will have their day in court.

"The United States is very fair. We are as strong a democracy as any. We're not perfect. But that's what I want to assure workers in Marianas Islands, not to be afraid. You are under the mantle of the constitution of the United States."

Loida Nicolas Lewis says Filipinos are stressed about the upcoming change of immigration rules

Filipinos have a significant presence in the labour force in CNMI.