US House passes HR 83

Bill includes provisions extending E-2C investors, 2 other CNMI provisions

CNMI investors holding E-2C visas can now heave a sigh of relief after the U.S. House of Representatives today passed H.R. 83, an insular areas bill that was used as the vehicle to fund most of the federal government for the remainder of fiscal year 2015.

Included in the measure is language authored by Delagate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP), extending for five years certain immigration policies crucial to the Northern Mariana Islands economy.

The policies bar claims of asylum from the Northern Marianas, which is critical to the islands tourist industry; protect a small number of foreign investors, who were allowed to enter under Northern Marianas immigration law prior to 2009; and exempt the Northern Marianas and Guam from the cap on foreign workers, who may enter for temporary jobs, such as construction connected with the U.S. military build-up in the islands and resort development.

H.R. 83 passed in a narrow vote of 219 to 206. The Senate, which remained in session after the House vote, must now act on the bill. The White House issued a statement earlier today saying the President supports enactment.

Mark Rabago | Associate Editor
Mark Rabago is the Associate Editor of Saipan Tribune. Contact him at

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