There is no need to rush the issuance of new CW-1 regulations, according to Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP), since the lack of the regulations currently bear no disadvantages to the CNMI.
Responding to a Saipan Tribune inquiry, Sablan noted that, while his office maintains constant contact with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for the release of the regulations, there is no need to rush the agency to issue new regulations that would guide employers in applying for work permits for their foreign workers, called CW permits.
“…[USCIS] is in the middle of multiple policy issues at the moment and must use its resources on its most pressing problems. As long as employers in the Marianas are not placed at a disadvantage because of the lack of new regulations—and no employer has told me this—there is no reason to be impatient with USCIS on the issuance of the CW regulations,” he said.
According to Sablan, the only new requirement being asked of employers is to first obtain a Temporary Labor Certification, or TLC, from the U.S. Department of Labor. In order to get a TLC, an employer must first secure a Prevailing Wage Determination and prove that the local workforce cannot provide the skills the employer needs.
Sablan emphasized that getting the TLC helps secure employment for U.S. citizens while making sure wages are similar across the board.
“…[The TLC] will confirm that employment of the CW worker will not take a job from a qualified U.S. worker nor bring down the wages of U.S. workers who are similarly employed — two of my major goals in writing the Workforce Act,” he said.
“The congressional office is in regular contact with USCIS to check on release of regulations specifically implementing the Workforce Act,” he added.
The NMI U.S. Workforce Act of 2018 passed the U.S. Congress last June 28, 2018. U.S. President Donald Trump signed it into law July 24, 2018.
USCIS has yet to release new regulations on how it intends to implement the new law.