20 Dec 2011

Mandatory verification of foreigners' legal status in CNMI pushed

2:04 pm on 20 December 2011

A new bill in the Northern Marianas seeks to ban employers from hiring new employees unless their immigration status has been checked.

The bill would make it unlawful for any employer to hire anyone other than a US worker or a foreigner who holds a current and valid federal work authorisation - as checked against an online database.

Our correspondent, Mark Rabago, says the system used on the US mainland, E-Verify, may not include everything the CNMI needs.

"Including CW-1, or contract worker-one, classification, that has recently just been added by USCIS. So we're not sure if that kind of category that is only available in the CNMI is included in the E-Verify system."

Mark Rabago.

Anyone employing someone without valid federal work authorisation would be subject to forfeiture of a business license for up to five years, and a civil fine of US$1,000 to US$5,000.