A member of the CNMI House of Representatives has introduced a resolution that supports the CW program extension bill introduced by U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP).
The resolution, introduced by Rep. Angel A. Demapan (R-Saipan) in Friday’s House session, is intended to be a joint measure that Demapan hopes would also be adopted ny the CNMI Senate,
Sablan introduced H.R. 4869 at the U.S. House on the same day that Murkowski introduced S. 2325 at the U.S. Senate.
Demapan’s unnumbered resolution seeks to have the CNMI Legislature express its support of measures that would extend the expiration date of the CNMI-Only Transitional Worker program, or CW program.
Both S. 2325 and H.R. 4869 propose a 10-year extension of the CW program, and bump up the CW annual cap for fiscal year 2019 to 13,000 instead of the 4,999, as set by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services last Nov. 2017.
While the cap limit is increased, 500 slots are set to be cut from the program each year starting fiscal year 2020. The measure also proposes several changes in securing a CW permit, including the creation of a CW-3 permit for employees who have been working legally in the CNMI since fiscal year 2014, provided that the applicant exits the CNMI for 30 consecutive days during the six-month renewal period. CW-3 permits are allowed to stay in the CNMI for three years at a time.
The unnumbered resolution, which cited U.S. Government Accountability Office reports on the CNMI’s progress with the CW program and the implications after it expires, said it is in full support of the CW extension as proposed by Murkowski.
The joint resolution is set to receive action during the House session on Jan. 31, 2018.