Delegate Gregorio Kilili Sablan (Ind-MP) said the CNMI people have come to a new and larger understanding of what to expect from its government and from the people they elect and appoint to public office, during his Wednesday morning public investiture speech. He is serving his third term in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The ceremonial swearing in held at Marianas High School gymnasium comes 27 days after he and 440 other members of the 113th U.S. House of Representatives took their oath in Washington, D.C.
Sablan believes that there was a “shift” during the latest CNMI election in November 2012.
“People realized that government cannot only be about each individual or certain groups of individuals, getting what they can for themselves or for their friends or families. Instead we voted for some higher principle, for some sense of what is right and what is wrong for the good of all of us for the Commonwealth. We said, 'enough is enough' to the politics of personal and special interest advancement,” he said.
U.S. District Court of the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona swore Sablan into office at the ceremonial oath-taking.
In attendance were Gov. Benigno R. Fitial, Lt. Gov. Eloy Inos, CNMI Legislature members, visiting U.S. Department of the Interior and other federal officials and other dignitaries from the CNMI and outside.
Sablan's ceremonial swearing in on Saipan also comes hours after President Barack Obama, in a speech in Las Vegas, threw his full support behind a comprehensive overhaul of U.S. immigration laws, saying "now’s the time" to replace a system he called "out of date and badly broken.” The Obama administration and members of Congress support granting pathway to citizenship to more than 11 million undocumented immigrants already in the United States.
Sablan said work has begun in ensuring that the CNMI is included in a U.S. immigration reform bill.
Thousands of long-term, legal alien workers in the CNMI have remained without improved immigration status.
Sablan is the first and so far only CNMI nonvoting delegate to U.S. Congress as a result of the first delegate election under the same 2008 law that placed CNMI immigration under federal control.
More details to follow.