Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ex-speaker Rasa says federalization task force useless

Wednesday, 12 November 2008 00:00 By Junhan B. Todeno - Variety News Staff

INSTEAD of appointing “federalization liaison members,” legislators should support the lawsuit filed by Gov. Benigno R. Fitial against the implementation of U.S. P.L. 11-229, which will extend federal immigration law to the islands in June 200.

The spokesman and adviser of the CNMI Descents for Self-Government and Indigenous Rights, former Speaker Oscar Rasa, said legislators should also request the newly elected congressional delegate to introduce legislation that will address the impact of federalization on the local economy.

Rasa, in an interview yesterday, criticized the creation of the task force by the House of Representatives and the Senate.

The task force will conduct public hearings, make official inquiries on the federalization law, and keep the Legislature informed of any development on the drafting of the regulations.

Rasa said the task force is a “redundancy.”

“This is nothing but political posturing and grandstanding,” he added.

He said the Legislature should have conducted a hearing before the enactment of U.S. P.L. 110-229.

‘Why create a task force when federalization has already been passed?” he asked.

Legislators, he added, should now address the job security of local Immigration personnel who will lose their job once federalization is implemented.

According to the resolution creating the task force, the legislators said they want “to be an informed participant, in collaboration with concerned public and private entities, in the development of [U.S. Public Law] 110-229 regulations as they pertain to the CNMI.”

Gov. Benigno R. Fitial said negotiation is futile since the federal takeover of local immigration is now law.

According to Rasa, the governor’s lawsuit is directed against the “immigration, security and labor provisions of U.S. P.L. 110-229.

Fitial wants to show how much will the CNMI lose as a result of the implementation of the law, Rasa said. He said his group supports the lawsuit as it will uphold local self-government and prevent the indigenous population from being marginalized.

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