Friday, 06 February 2009 00:00 By Emmanuel T. Erediano - Variety News Staff
The House of Representatives adopted yesterday a resolution urging the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to delay the implementation of federalization for 180 days.
But Rep. Victor B. Hocog, Ind.-Rota, said the CNMI needs more than 180 days to prepare for the economic losses that federalization will bring to the islands.
He said the CNMI should ask for an indefinite delay.
“ I will be more than happy to see that happen,” he said because it will give the CNMI more time to cushion the drastic economic downturn that will be ushered by stricter immigration rules.
Homeland Security, he said, should consider the economic downfall of the CNMI.
House Resolution 16-23 however, was adopted without Hocog’s proposed amendment.
The federalization law, which will take effect on June 1, allows only for a 180-day delay in its implementation.
According to the resolution, “the absence of any published rules and regulations regarding the transition program are creating a great deal of uncertainty and fear among citizenry, employees and employers as to how it will affect the work force, tourism and economy of the CNMI.”
The resolution stated that there is sufficient time to allow for critically significant and substantial public comments and consideration prior to June 1, 2009.
The transition, the resolution added, should be smooth and seamless as possible.
Congressional Delegate Gregorio C. Sablan, Ind.-MP, has made a similar request to Homeland Security.
Gov. Benigno R. Fitial, for his part, has a pending lawsuit against federalization.