9 Apr 2005

Northern Marianas to recognise hundreds of former stateless individuals

8:17 am on 9 April 2005

The governor of the Northern Marianas is today expected to preside over a ceremony granting US citizenship to about 300 formerly "stateless individuals".

The Saipan Tribune newspaper reports that the US State Department decided last February not to appeal against a Court of Appeals ruling.

The Court of Appeals had ruled in favour of acknowledging the US citizenship of those born to foreign parents in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands from January 9th, 1978, to November 3rd, 1986.

These people had been known as stateless persons and some politicians in the CNMI led a fight to keep them in the country whilst their fate was decided.