Northern Marianas wants new approach to foreign workers

10:08 am on 14 June 2016
The governor of the Northern Marianas, Ralph Torres.

The governor of the Northern Marianas, Ralph Torres. Photo: CNMI Republican Facebook

The Governor of the Northern Marianas, Ralph Torres, is calling on the United States Government to give longtime foreign workers in the territory improved status.

The governor said guest workers played a crucial role in the development of the islands.

Washington recently cut the numbers of long term foreigner workers to 12,999 and Mr Torres says this means many who have called the CNMI home for decades, some with children who are US citizens, would be forced to leave within 10 days.

Mr Torres said this raised serious humanitarian concerns.

The Northern Marianas' delegate to the US Congress, Gregorio Kilili Sablan, said he would introduce a bill to try and bring improved status to longtime guest workers in the territory.

Both men have said they want a 10-year extension to the current contract worker program, and a new ceiling of 18,000 long term foreign workers.

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