Marianas Variety

Last updateSat, 20 Jul 2019 12am

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    Thursday, July 18, 2019-9:36:38A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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HANMI official: HR 559 good for local hotels

HOTEL Association of Northern Mariana Islands chairwoman Gloria Cavanagh believes the approval of H.R. 559 will have a positive impact on local hotels.

She said about one-third of the 1,038 categorical parolees and employment authorization document holders who will benefit from the enactment of H.R. 559 are employed in hotels and other tourism-related businesses.

Gloria Cavanagh

She said it is difficult to replace these employees.

Cavanagh commended U.S. Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan for introducing the bill and ensuring its passage in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Kilili did an “awesome job,” she added.

She said HANMI is also grateful to Gov. Ralph DLG Torres for urging the U.S. Senate and the White House to approve the bill.

“I am optimistic that President [Donald Trump] will sign [the bill] this week,” she said.

The legislation would provide permanent status for as many as 1,039 individuals living in the Northern Marianas under humanitarian parole.

Kilili said if the president signs the bill before June 29, “parolees, who have lived lawfully in the Marianas since 2009, will be able to continue to live and work in the islands. Otherwise, the parolees, including parents and spouses of U.S. citizens, will be forced to leave.”

He said the covered persons include those born in the Marianas, but were not covered by the citizenship provisions of the Covenant; persons granted permanent resident status under Commonwealth law in the early 1980s; certain in-home caregivers; and immediate relatives of U.S. citizens.

Kilili said the Trump administration drafted what became H.R. 559 and supported its passage.