15 Jul 2008

US federal visitors mum on Fitial's planned suit

10:06 am on 15 July 2008

US federal officials visititng the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas stayed mum yesterday on the government's plan to sue the U.S. government over the new immigration law.

They say they look forward to having a cooperative relationship with local leaders while the "federalization " regulations are being drafted.

Igor Timofeyev, from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and Steven Sander, congressional liaison at the U.S. Office of Insular Affairs, say they are aware of the lawsuit Gov. Benigno R. Fitial has announced he will file against the U.S. government.

But they both declined to comment about it.

Mr Timofeyev says the purpose of the fact finding mission is get local perspective on what federal agencies should consider as they write the regulations implementing the law.

He says it is the beginning of a dialogue between the federal government and the Commonwealth.