A Canadian friend told me before with regard to the issue that the non-resident workers remit at least $1 million a year to their families back home, that if the local government would allow the families of these nonresident workers come to the CNMI, these remittances would be mitigated and money would revolve within the economy of the Commonwealth. Now, the Chamber is afraid that federalizing the CNMI and allowing these nonresidents petition their family members as potential immediate relatives (IRs) would hurt the CNMI. Read on news from the paper:
The leadership of the Saipan Chamber of Commerce expressed fear that, if granted nonimmigrant visas, thousands of long-term nonresident workers and their families could be “an immense burden” to the CNMI.What are they so afraid of? These people would stay at least for a while. Some would as long as good paying jobs are available for them. These nonresidents (some that I had conversed with) know for sure that it's a huge risk to be relocated.
In testimony presented Thursday to the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Chamber president Juan T. Guerrero reiterated the group's opposition to the “grandfather clause” in S. 1634, allowing workers who have lived in the Commonwealth for more than five years the right to “lawful nonimmigrant” status.
“Such action allows these individuals the right to remain in the Commonwealth (or, for that matter, relocate to the mainland United States) for purposes of living and working. This action would allow the right to immigrate family members to the Commonwealth under “immediate relative” status. .We have estimated that approximately 8,000 current workers in the Commonwealth would qualify for such status. There are two possible outcome scenarios under this grandfather clause, and neither is good,” said Guerrero.
He said allowing almost 8,000 individuals “to remain-and to immigrate immediate relatives to join them, for the long-term-are profoundly negative for the Commonwealth.”
“These tens of thousands of lawful nonimmigrants would be given the same preference for local jobs that this Senate has repeatedly claimed to be attempting to protect for United States citizens. These lawful nonimmigrants and their families would prove an immense burden on the local infrastructure in a way, and to a degree, that was never contemplated by-nor allowed-under the Commonwealth's existing guest worker program,” he said.
The other concern is the likelihood of these workers to leave the CNMI right away to travel and work in the U.S. mainland.