Rep. Angel A. Demapan (R-Saipan) is hoping U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services would consider the current situation of the CNMI when it decides on the fate of foreign workers who are under the humanitarian parole program or hold an employment authorization document.
Demapan earlier introduced House Joint Resolution 20-13 in a bid to extend the 240-day rule for the more than 2,000 foreign workers that are under the humanitarian parole program or hold EADs.
H.J.R. 20-13 hopes that affected individuals under C.F.R. 274a.12(b)(20) may be allowed to continue working under their previous EADs while the renewals of their documents are being processed.
Demapan said a lot of people were affected by typhoons Mangkhut and Yutu, including foreign workers. “The major impacts from typhoons Mangkhut and Yutu have put a severe strain on the finances of families throughout the Commonwealth, including our guest workers.”
Demapan is hopeful that USCIS would hear the plea since many foreign workers have lost their homes and other properties.
“Now, more than ever, our plea for consideration is of utmost importance. Our people are in a state of recovery and the last thing we need now is to unnecessarily separate families when an administrative solution is possible,” he said.
Demapan thanked the Senate for also adopting H.J.R. 20-13.
“In line with Gov. Ralph DLG Torres’ request, we also ask the U.S. to give the humanitarian-parolee workers some consideration so they may be allowed to continue their employment pending the adjudication and approval of their renewed EADs.”
He added that the CNMI did not expect the devastation of the two typhoons, which is why the local government is appealing for consideration.
“We also know that a lot of them have young kids, and they need to eat and get their other daily necessities so we don’t want to see them caught in this predicament. This is just an issue of the process which we hope can be changed for humanitarian reasons.”
Super Typhoon Yutu leveled the islands of Saipan and Tinian last month, while Typhoon Mangkhut swept through the CNMI’s southernmost island of Rota on Sept. 10.