19 Jan 2017

CNMI foreign worker shortage report presented to Congress

7:23 am on 19 January 2017

A report has been presented to the US Congress outlining steps to tackle the foreign worker shortage in the Northern Marianas.

Proposals include extending the transitional worker program, raising the programme cap to 18,000 workers, and providing a permanent immigration status for long term guest workers.

The report is a result of consultations by US special representative Esther Kia'aina and Northern Marianas Governor Ralph Torres.

A bill to increase the worker cap was defeated late last year.

But correspondent Mark Rabago said there was hope the bill could win the support of the new Congress and President.

"Everybody knows that Trump is anti-immigration so it is our hope that the relationship between Governor Torres and Trump, because Torres endorsed Trump and the delegation voted for Trump during the convention that they could hammer out a deal," he said.

The report also proposes to improve communications between the US and the CNMI on military activities in the Commonwealth.

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