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    Sunday, July 21, 2019-2:35:44P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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House joint resolution calls for H-2B ban exemption

THE House of Representatives will adopt, in its next session this week, a joint resolution calling for the exemption of the CNMI from the new federal rule that excludes the Philippines from the H-2B visa program for a year.

Rep. Luis John DLG Castro introduced on Friday House Joint Resolution 21-1 requesting Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and U.S. Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan to convey to the U.S. the CNMI’s position.

The resolution states that because of the new H-2B rule “the Commonwealth stands to expect severe repercussion to our construction industry as most of our construction and mason workers are of Filipino origin, and with no new workers arriving, and U.S. H.R. 339 [Public Law 115-53] prohibiting construction workers from applying for new [CW] permits, further development on properties being constructed and those being rebuilt from ongoing disaster relief will be tremendously affected or possibly halted due to the lack of skilled workers to complete the work,.”

The resolution added, “We as a people cannot stand idly with this decision and must take action.”

Two weeks ago, Castro, Speaker Blas Jonathan Attao and other House members met with their Guam counterparts who have also expressed their opposition to the new federal H-2B rule.

For his part, Governor Torres told reporters that he will discuss the issue with federal officials in the nation’s capital this week when he attends the National Governors Association winter meeting.