Marianas Variety

Last updateThu, 24 Oct 2019 12am







    Wednesday, October 23, 2019-3:19:14A.M.






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Local GOP doesn’t want to be involved in national debates

THE local Republican administration doesn’t want to be involved in contentious national debates, including those about immigration, Press Secretary Ivan Blanco said.

He was asked to comment on how the positions of Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz on immigration could affect the CNMI tourism industry.

Both have called for an end to the U.S. visa-waiver program. Currently, Russian and Chinese tourists can enter the CNMI through the parole authority of the U.S. secretary of Homeland Security.

U.S. Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan, who is supporting Democrat Hillary Clinton for president, was quoted as saying that neither Trump nor Cruz “would likely alter their national immigration agenda just to accommodate the Northern Marianas.”

But Blanco said the CNMI doesn’t need to take part in the national debate on immigration.

“Often we get caught in such debates even though our specific circumstances are completely different,” he added.

“We don’t need to be a part of the national debate on immigration. What we need is someone who understands and can act upon our specific issues and Trump has promised to do that,” Blanco said.

In their recent presidential caucus, the local Republicans overwhelmingly voted for Trump.

The businessman promised to create a “Territory and Commonwealth Advisory Committee consisting of representatives from American Samoa, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.”

Trump said the committee “will be integrated into my presidential transition team, and be tasked with performing a holistic review of all federal regulations affecting the territories and commonwealths. Once sworn into office, I will appoint a special assistant to the president responsible for day-to-day interaction with the territories and commonwealths. This position would be the direct connection for the Office of Insular Affairs and the citizens in the territories and commonwealths.”

If elected president, Trump said, “no more will those who reside in the territories or commonwealths be ignored.”