26 Jun 2008

CNMI action against US planned over economic fears

1:38 pm on 26 June 2008

Suing the U.S. government over the CNMI's new immigration law is one option being considered by the governor to avert an economic crisis.

Governor Benigno Fitial has hired a team of U.S.-based lawyers to review a draft complaint challenging the recently enacted immigration law for the Northern Marianas.

Mr Fitial says the damaging effects of the immigration law are starting to show, with construction projects already struggling for labourers because of the cap on foreign workers.

Our correspondent Mark Rabago says there is growing concern about the immigration law's impacts on an economy that's already fragile.

"They argue that federalisation basically strips the CNMI of its economic base. The CNMI relies heavily on non-resident labor and proponents of the governor and those against federalisation, argue that when federalisation happens, cos we're very much in a transition period right now we're given like 5 years to transition, the CNMI essentially loses all its 20, 000 non resident workers and when this happens the economy will collapse."

Mark Rabago.