26 Jun 2009

CNMI leaders ask Homeland Security to address mistreatment of greencard holders in Guam

9:36 am on 26 June 2009

The office of the Northern Mariannas Governor has asked US Homeland Security officials to look into alleged mistreatment of CNMI citizens by immigration officials in Guam.

Through the CNMI representative in the US Congress, Governor Benigno Fitial has asked the head of the US Department of Homeland Security to look into incidences of harsh treatment of CNMI travelers by Guam-based federal immigration officials.

Several CNMI resident greencard holders claim to have been "singled out" after arriving at Guam's airport and subjected to hours of needless detention and verbal abuse.

"The Governor's press secretary Charles Reyes (pro: Ray-jiss) says they hope the federal government will address the problem since immigration is a federal matter."

Government of Guam does not control immigration in Guam which is under Homeland Security. Here in the CNMI we have no control over federal immigration policy. I mean, they will be taking over and what we're really concerned about here is we want to make sure that when we transition into federal immigration control under the Department of Homeland Security that we won't have situations like this, that the personnel will be well trained and courteous so as not to jeopardise our fragile and vulnerable tourism industry.