21 Apr 2017
- By Cherrie Anne E. Villahermosa - firstname.lastname@example.org - Variety News Staff
REPRESENTATIVE Blas Jonathan Attao said his House Bill 20-68 will help the Department of Labor obtain a data system to determine how many foreign workers are registered in the CNMI.
Under the bill, a non-immigrant worker must have a valid worker’s ID and the employer must pay $50 for each of those ID’s.
Attao said the bill will help address the issue of illegal workers in the CNMI.
“Workers will be required to register with the DOL for record purposes so they can have a valid ID,” he said.
“By the number of IDs we will know how many, for example, nurses we have and how many more we need to hire to accommodate our growing number of people that are in need of medical care,” he added.
Then-House Minority Leader Ramon Tebuteb introduced a similar measure last year, House Bill 19-146, and it was unanimously passed by the House.
However, there were concerns about the bill’s constitutionality, and the Senate did not act on it.
But according to Attao, “If the bill had been enacted and implemented, we wouldn’t have problems about illegal aliens right now. We could have prevented this from happening because we would know that they are not legitimate workers…. Labor could have prevented something like this because they could have the authority to go into these places and see the workers’ conditions.”