Wednesday, December 02, 2009

CNMI anger over US immigration takeover

CNMI anger over US immigration takeover

Last Updated: Wed, 2 Dec 2009 15:16:00 +1100

Many businesses on the Northern Mariana Islands remain angry at the lack of consultation by Washington on the federalization of the Pacific territory's immigration system.

The federal government took over the CNMI's immigration system on Saturday.

The only real evidence of the takeover is at the airport, where state immigration agents have replaced locals.

However, the business community and Governor Benigno Fitial remain concerned about the impact on the employment of foreign workers, foreign investment and tourism.

And Jim Arenovski, the president of the Saipan Chamber of Commerce, says there should have been more consultation.

"Quite frankly we were given the final regulations for our foreign workers, which is probably the most sensitive topic that we chat about, 30 days before implementation," he said.

"And so the last day for comments was actually the 26th or the 27th of November, so how do you make comments on a set of regulations that were supposed to be implemented immediately?"

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