28 Aug 2009

Federal takeover of Northern Marianas immigration almost certain to go ahead - official

1:51 pm on 28 August 2009

An American Government official says it's very unlikely the federal takeover of immigration in the Northern Marianas can be stopped, given it is due to happen in 3 months.

A staffer on the US Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Allen Stayman, has also told CNMI media that delaying federalization is not going to reduce the uncertainty the territory faces.

He also says there hasn't been any discussion in the US Congress on granting improved immigration status to long-term workers in the CNMI, other than a report to be done by the Department of the Interior with recommendations and options.

The Interior report is not due until June next year, and Mr Stayman says only then will Congress start to formally consider the options.

Asked what the options might be Mr Stayman says, everything in the range from 'deport everybody' to 'give everybody green cards' and anything in between.