23 Mar 2010

CNMI's governor signs into omnibus immigration bill

8:56 am on 23 March 2010

The Governor of the Northern Marianas has signed into law the omnibus immigration bill that asserts CNMI control over non-resident workers.

The new law also removes all references to immigration and deportation from the Commonwealth Code to conform to the federalization law that came into effect last November.

The Fitial administration-proposed measure passed the House and Senate during back-to-back sessions on Friday afternoon, despite the resistance of Republican House members.

House Bill 17-25 is the first bill in the 17th Legislature to be signed into CNMI law.

Governor Fitial says they have always been concerned that the federalization law would be interpreted as affecting many of their internal labor controls, which has been interpreted as such recently.

However, he says that opinion is incorrect.

The governor also asked the CNMI Department of Labor to reorganize itself to focus on local employment.

He also called on nonresidents to abide by the terms of their umbrella permit and all other provisions of the Commonwealth law.