Gov. Ralph DLG. Torres issued a statement yesterday to belie rumors that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency is in the process of ending the CNMI Discretionary Parole Program, saying this rumor is “politically motivated.”
“Talk has been circulating regarding the status of the CNMI Discretionary Parole Program and it’s nothing more than politically motivated scare tactics aimed at impacting our tourism economy,” Torres said.
His office describes the program as “vital” to the CNMI economy.
“I am saddened that there are those in the community that would spread a rumor that this vital program,” Torres said. “It’s even worse when political candidates use this issue and express concern about the status when all it takes is making a phone call with the CBP headquarters or [Department of Homeland Security] headquarters to verify.”
“This past week, my staff and I have been in contact with not only the CBP headquarters in Washington, D.C., but also the Department of Interior, Department of Homeland Security, and the White House.
“To a person, I was informed that not only is this a rumor, but the status of the program is not even being discussed.” Torres said.
“Since the beginning of the Trump administration, I have been working with the CBP to identify ways to improve the process while ensuring that the laws are being followed, so the CNMI economy can continue to grow with a diversified tourism market. I am committed to doing whatever it takes to keep this valuable program intact.
“I fully recognize that political season is upon us, but I am hopeful that all candidates for office refrain from political scare tactics as it only hurts the people of the CNMI that they are trying to represent.” (PR)