12 May 2010

CNMI lawmaker labels US immigration proposals slap in the face

1:28 pm on 12 May 2010

A Northern Marianas lawmaker says US federal proposals improving immigration status for foreign workers are a slap in the face.

The House of Representatives has rejected a Department of Interior report proposing long-term status for foreign workers who've been legally residing in the CNMI for at least five years.

A House member, Fredrick Deleon Guerrero, says the federal government failed to consult enough on the issue and foreign workers already have a way to get citizenship or green cards.

"If they decided to pursue that path then fine, but not in this all-sweeping one-shot deal. And it's unfair to those who have gone through the system. It's a slap in the face to those. It's a slap in the face to us as well."

Under the proposals about 15,000 long-term foreign workers in the CNMI would have the option of permanent residency, U.S. citizenship or a status similar to that granted to citizens of the Freely Associated States.