16 Sep 2008

CNMI Governor gives assurance over lawsuit against federal authorities

7:35 pm on 16 September 2008

The Northern Marianas Governor has assured people that no public funds will be used in his lawsuit against federal authorities.

In an effort to block the pending federal takeover of the CNMI's immigration system Governor Benigno Fitial took legal action last week.

He says legislation behind the federal takeover allows Congress to overturn their labour laws and take away their labour revenues and reduce the number of foreign workers to zero and will ruin their economy.

Governor Fitial says it also breaches their terms of the CNMI's covenant with the US, and the matter can only be sorted in a federal court.

"I have concluded that filing this complaint is necessary to protect our covenant and our jobs. I believe the court process will not take long to complete and that the court will answer the legal question fairly and clearly. And at the end, we and the federal government will know where we stand."

Governor of the CNMI, Benigno Fitial.

But local lawmakers have taken issue with the suit, including some who are raising serious questions about the Governor's use of unallocated government money to fund it.