Marianas Variety

Last updateTue, 22 Oct 2019 12am







    Sunday, October 20, 2019-8:12:48A.M.






Font Size


EAD holders ‘deprived’ of Disaster Unemployment Assistance, says advocate

SOME of the individuals who availed themselves of the humanitarian parole program and have an Employment Authorization Document were not able to get financial assistance from the Disaster Unemployment Assistance of the CNMI Department of Labor, guest-worker advocate Boni Sagana said.

DUA was offered to workers who were displaced by Typhoon Yutu on Saipan.

Sagana said the DUA benefit rights and responsibilities handbook “clearly states” that while DUA is only available to U.S. citizens or U.S. non-citizen nationals, aliens who were paroled into the U.S. for at least one year are qualified.

“It is disappointing that these EAD holders, who have U.S. citizen children were deprived of the financial assistance that would have helped them recover from the typhoon,” Sagana said.

He added that these individuals have asked him to relay their concerns to the CNMI’s elected officials.

One EAD holder told Variety that she “completed and submitted all the DUA requirements including the certification issued by our employer” to the CNMI Department of Labor.

She said the DOL personnel were aware of her status. “They interviewed me [on Nov. 26, 2018] and accepted by application,” she added.

On April 2, 2019, she received a notice of determination stating, “You are not a United States citizen, non-citizen national, or a qualified alien. Federal public benefits can only be provided to U.S. citizens, non-citizen nationals, and qualified aliens pursuant to federal law.”

“They made us wait for a response only to reject our application,” the EAD holder said.

Sagana said based on his information, there are about 1,500 EAD holders in the CNMI.

He noted that these EAD holders will have to deal with another problem once their EADs expire after the 180-day extension granted by U.S. Citizens and Immigration Services on Dec. 27, 2018.