Monday, September 21, 2009

NEWS UPDATE:Homeland Security phasing in U.S. immigration in CNMI Nov. 28

NEWS UPDATE:Homeland Security phasing in U.S. immigration in CNMI Nov. 28

Pacific Daily News • September 22, 2009

The Northern Marianas will no longer be able to ask for further delay in the implementation of U.S. immigration law in the commonwealth.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is prepared to implement the border security components of P.L. 110-229 in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands by Nov. 28.

Guam Delegate Madeleine Z. Bordallo, chairwoman of the House Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife, and CNMI Delegate Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan today met with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to discuss the implementation of the law that removes local authority over immigration in the CNMI.

Bordallo and Sablan met with Napolitano to continue to press for allowing mainland Chinese and Russian tourists a visa waiver to enter the commonwealth and Guam.

Napolitano assured Bordallo that she understood the economic impact that the exclusion of China and Russia from the Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver Program would have on the CNMI, which relies heavily on visitors from these markets, according to a press release from Bordallo's office.

Additionally, Napolitano stated, according to Bordallo's press release, "that Homeland Security is working in an expedited manner on a pathway forward, in advance of the Nov. 28 implementation date, to address the Guam-CNMI visitor industry issues."

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