CNMI Governor Leads Delegation To 902 Talks With Washington, DC

Extension of foreign worker program tops agenda with U.S.

By Dennis B. Chan 

SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, June 3, 2016) – Gov. Ralph DLG Torres has assembled the members to represent the CNMI in talks with the federal government on pressing issues of labor and immigration and U.S. military projects.

Torres, who will be meeting with the President Obama’s special representative Esther Kia’aina and her team on June 6 in Washington, D.C., sent a letter to Kia’iana on May 30, 2016, to provide the names of the team, an 11-team panel that includes department heads, Torres staff, and attorneys, among others.

Heavy on the mind of Torres is the expiring contract worker program in 2019 whose shrinking cap has been breached this year, forcing contract workers who did not meet a May 5, 2016, deadline to leave the Commonwealth.

“This whole 902 process has been very much a working relationship with Congressman Kilili [Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan]. We’ve been meeting every day since Monday. I want the business community to know, as well their families and CW workers, that we have the same language with the Congressman Kilili. We are all fighting for the same thing entering our conference next week Monday.”

“We speak in one language,” he said, referring to Sablan’s plans to introduce a bill to amend the contract worker program next week, while Torres is in Washington, D.C.

Torres will be the CNMI’s special representative opposite Kia’aina.

Listed as “principles” on the team are Edith Deleon Guerrero, the secretary of the CNMI Department of Labor, and Marianne C. Teregeyo, the Secretary of the Department of Public Lands.

In “support” are Tinian Mayor Joey San Nicolas; Rota Mayor Efraim Atalig; Rep. Angel Demapan (R-Saipan); Sen. Arnold Palacios (R-Saipan); Torres’ chief of staff Matt Deleon Guerrero; Torres legal counsel Wesley M. Bogdan; Tan Holdings corporation vice president Alex A. Sablan; Rose Cuison Villazor, professor of law, UC Davis; and Matthew Adams, partner at the law firm Dentons LLC.

Saipan Tribune
Copyright © 2016. Saipan Tribune. All Rights Reserved

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