Guam – Homeland Security officials recently told congressional staffers it could be quite a while before a final rule is ever published on the joint Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver program.
Hill sources say a recent meeting between DHS officials and congressional staffers produced some discouraging news. DHS published an interim final rule on the joint Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver program over a year ago.
The program’s final outlines will determine whether Chinese and Russian tourists will be covered under visa-waiver authority.
DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano has allowed these visitors to be ‘paroled’ into the cnmi—but not Guam–on a case-by-case basis since last year. But now, sources in the latest meeting with DHS officials say the administration told Congressional staffers it will be ‘months or longer’ before there’s a final regulation.
The issue, involving security and possibly even political concerns, has bounced back and forth between DHS and the State Department, drawing the frustration of Guam officials from Governor Felix Camacho to Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo…who also recently met with DHS to press for action.