Guam – There is a strong possibility that transitional Commonwealth-only worker program in the CNMI will be extended beyond Dec. 31, 2014, according to Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan.
Speaking before the Rotary Club of Saipan meeting yesterday, Sablan said he now has reason to believe that U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez’s anticipated decision would be to extend the transition period for another five years.
He said a U.S. Senate bill that he drafted will be marked up on Thursday. It seeks to extend the federal immigration transition period only up to 2019.
That revised version of the bipartisan S. 1237 would also extend the E2-C program for long-term foreign investors up to 2019, and ensure that the CNMI’s exemption from accepting asylum applications will last until the end of the transition period.
Without an extension of the transitional CW program, the CNMI loses immediate access to some 10,000 skilled and professional foreign workers after Dec. 31, 2014, a time when the CNMI is far from having some 10,000 U.S. workers to fill up these jobs.