NMI Senate expresses support for Murkowski-Kilili bill

THE local Senate on Friday adopted two resolutions endorsing the passage of the CW bills introduced by U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski and U.S. Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan.

Lisa Murkowski

All nine members voted to adopt Rep. Angel Demapan’s House Joint Resolution 20-8 and Senate President Arnold Palacios’s Senate Resolution 20-21.

House Joint Resolution 20-8 supports the passage of S. 2325 or the Northern Mariana Islands U.S. Workforce Act, introduced by Murkowski in the U.S. Senate, while Senate Resolution 20-21 also supports the passage of S. 2325 and H.R. 4689, the identical bill introduced by Kilili in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Both resolutions will be presented to the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources which will conduct a public hearing on S. 2325 Feb. 6. Murkowski, R-Alaska, chairs the committee.

The legislation proposes to extend the federal CW program for 10 years, starting in Dec. 2019. It will also raise the CW cap from 9,998 to 13,000, but will also reduce the number of permits by 500 each year beginning in FY 2020. Before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services reduced the CW permits for FY 2018 by 3,000, the cap was 12,998.

On Saturday, Gov. Ralph Torres left for Washington, D.C. to appear before the U.S. Senate committee. With him were Rep. Angel Demapan, CNMI Labor Secretary Vicky Benavente and members of the Northern Marianas Business Alliance Corporation. Senate President Palacios was not feeling well and was not able to join the group.

The chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Demapan said he is hoping that the U.S. Congress will act on the CW bill before April 2018 so that USCIS will not implement another steep reduction in the number of CW-1 permits.

Source: Marianas Variety :

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