Kilili says Marianas not immune to impacts of human trafficking



Delegate Gregorio Kilili Sablan (Ind-MP) has teamed up with Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Michigan) on a legislation that aims to strengthen detection of human trafficking incidents.

Sablan said in his e-kilili newsletter over the weekend that he and Walberg introduced the Enhancing Detection of Human Trafficking Act, H.R. 3957, on Wednesday.

He said the Marianas is not immune to the impacts of human trafficking.

“Construction companies working [on] our islands have lured foreign workers with false promises about wages and working conditions, only to withhold pay and confiscate passports,” he said.

Sablan said human trafficking concerns were also behind the decision to deny H-2B visas for workers from the Philippines, although that ban is now lifted.

The delegate said, although some of these problems have been addressed, Sablan said that federal agencies must remain vigilant and be given the tools they need to fight human trafficking.

He said their bill will ensure U.S. Department of Labor employees are taught how to recognize human trafficking and refer these cases to federal law enforcement.

Walberg said human trafficking is a terrible scourge and that they need to use every tool at their disposal to stop it from happening.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at
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