Marianas Variety

Last updateSat, 25 Nov 2017 12am

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    Friday, November 24, 2017-9:24:47A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

Governor: NMI won’t tolerate illegal acts

GOVERNOR Ralph Torres on Thursday said companies that harbor illegal aliens are jeopardizing the local people’s welfare, and this will not be tolerated.

“At the end of the day, it is the government that is being blamed for tourists who are actually working here, and if you start lying at the beginning of your stay what else is there?” he said.

“I want to assure everyone that the administration will not tolerate any wrongdoing. When you come in as a tourist, we will welcome you. But don’t lie. Don’t say you’re a tourist when you’re going to work here.”

Torres said these illegal acts may jeopardize the CW and Chinese visa-waiver programs.

“And that’s not acceptable. We will be having a different approach now when dealing with businesses,” he added.

As for the protests staged by illegal workers over unpaid wages, Torres said he has already reached out to Imperial Pacific and its contractors.

But the managers of one of the contractors, Golden Mantis, were nowhere to be found, he said.

“I also talked to Secretary Robert Hunter [of the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs] and instructed him to see how we can assist these displaced workers. We are taking care of the issue and we will make sure they are protected.”

Torres said the situation of workers who do not have their passports and who need food is a grave concern.

“They are not being treated fairly and that’s not right — that’s not acceptable,” the governor added.

In related news, Rep. Vinnie Sablan has requested that Speaker Ralph Demapan ask MCC International Saipan, an Imperial Pacific contractor, to meet with lawmakers and answer some questions.

On Wednesday, MCC said it had reached a final agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor, adding that189 workers “are being fully paid their wages and other compensation, and repatriated to their homes in China.”