WASHINGTON, D.C.—Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP) issued the following statement regarding the meeting of Marianas Gov. Ralph Torres with President Donald Trump on Tuesday last week.
“Governor Torres called me last night to report on the meeting he had with President Trump. I congratulated the governor for being able to raise the issue of parole for Chinese tourists in the Marianas to the highest level and for the positive response he received from the President.
“Chinese tourists are extremely important to the Marianas economy. They now account for 35 percent of all visitors. Their number is growing. And the parole system is the simplest way for the Chinese to gain entry to our islands.
“I have been concerned about the continuation of this special tourism parole that was established in the early days of the Obama administration by administrative action. President Trump’s executive order of Jan. 25 specifically directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to review uses of parole that may not be authorized by law. So, the congressional office has been providing information to Homeland Security about the continued value to the Marianas of the tourist parole system. And the Governor’s Office prepared a white paper on the subject, which, I understand, has been submitted to the White House.
“Again, I congratulate the governor for the work he is doing, and I will continue to work with him to maintain our access to critical tourism markets.” (PR)