The U.S. Department of Labor is standing firm that the CNMI’s foreign workforce, called CW-1 workers, are not eligible for federal Public Unemployment Assistance, or PUA.
According to Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan’s e-newsletter, e-kilili, that was issued today, the U.S. Labor Department maintains that PUA is a “federal public benefit” as defined in 8 U.S.C. § 1611(c). It argues that since CW-1 workers are not considered “qualified aliens” under 8 U.S.C. § 1641, they would therefore not qualify for PUA.
“This is a bad decision. It creates a hardship for the unemployed workers; and it means the loss of millions of dollars to the Marianas economy and lost government tax revenues,” said Sablan in the newsletter.
More details later.