Formal 902 Consultation Process Continues Between the U.S. Federal Government and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

Focus on federal discretionary parole policies

4/8/2019
Last edited 11/30/2020

Tanya H. Joshua 202-208-6008

Tanya_Joshua@ios.doi.gov

U.S. federal team in the CNMI
U.S. federal team in the CNMI

WASHINGTON – Last week in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), Governor Ralph Torres hosted U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary, Insular and International Affairs, Doug Domenech and a federal delegation for the second meeting in a formal Section 902 Consultation process in regard to the Department of Homeland Security’s review of existing parole policies related to tourism.

“We appreciate our federal partners for taking the time to come all the way from Washington, D.C. to discuss critical issues that affect our economic viability and tourism industry. During this second round of talks, our CNMI team invited our local Legislature, law enforcement officials, tourism industry leaders, and healthcare providers to discuss further collaboration with our federal partners,” said Governor Torres.

“I am pleased that my federal colleagues from the Departments of Homeland Security, State, Defense, and the Office of Management and Budget were able to meet in the CNMI as we collectively discussed federal parole policies,” said Assistant Secretary Domenech.

Following the 902 Consultation and meetings held in Saipan on Tuesday, April 2, 2019, the federal delegation also met with officials on Tinian.

The 902 Consultation process is authorized by Section 902 of the Covenant to Establish a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in Political Union with the United States of America, and codified in 48 U.S.C. § 1801, which defines the unique relationship between the CNMI and the United States. In response to a formal request from the CNMI government on October 19, 2018, the Section 902 Consultation process was invoked to discuss discretionary parole policies. President Donald J. Trump appointed Interior Assistant Secretary Domenech to be the Special Representative on behalf of the United States federal government.

The first meeting of this particular 902 Consultation took place in Washington, D.C. on February 28, 2019. Assistant Secretary Domenech and the federal team anticipate providing a report to Governor Torres by April 21, 2019.

The Assistant Secretary, Insular and International Affairs, and the Office of Insular Affairs carry out the Secretary of the Interior’s responsibilities for the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Additionally, OIA administers and oversees federal assistance under the Compacts of Free Association to the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau.

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