14 Apr 2009

CNMI awaits immigration rule amendments

7:24 am on 14 April 2009

The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus is applauding President Barack Obama's push for immigration legislation, including a plan to make legal status possible for an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants.

The move is echoed by the Northern Marianas' delegate to the US Congress, Gregorio Sablan, as the territory is to get US federal immigration rules.

Currently some legal residents of the CNMI who do not have a valid US visa will not be able to re-enter the CNMI if they must leave for a medical emergency or other reason.

There are more than 300 permanent residents in the CNMI who have lived there for more than 27 years.

Mr Sablan warns that unless something is done about the way the federalised immigration system is applied, the CNMI could be separating families in two years.