Babauta Tells Foreign Workers In CNMI Expiration of Umbrella Permits Won’t Result in Their Exodus

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Guam – The November 2011 expiration of umbrella permits issued to nonresident workers will not result in their exodus from the CNMI, according to U.S. Interior Assistant Secretary Tony Babauta.

During a break in yesterday’s Office of Insular Affairs-sponsored forum on economic and labor development on Saipan, Babauta answered media questions and assured foreign workers and their local employers that OIA will do everything to help the CNMI economy. He said part of that is the continued presence of a large guest worker population

CNMI businesses and nonresident workers have been asking the federal government to issue the regulations on foreign investor and foreign worker visa program since the federalization of local immigration in November 2009.

Babauta said the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is still working on these two sets of regulations.

He added that the federal government is paying attention to the issues that foreign workers have raised, which includes a petition requesting President Obama to grant them parole-in-place status with authorization to seek employment and to allow them to qualify for employment-based visa applications until such time a more permanent status is provided to them.