U.S. and CNMI Submit Final Report on Federal Discretionary Parole Policies

Report recommends collaboration going forward

7/2/2019
Last edited 11/30/2020

Kevin Bautista 670-237-2200

Kevin.Bautista@gov.mp

Tanya H. Joshua 202-208-6008

Tanya_Joshua@ios.doi.gov

WASHINGTON – The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) Governor Ralph Torres and U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary, Insular and International Affairs, Doug Domenech, submitted to the White House the final 902 Consultation Report on

Federal Discretionary Parole Policies recommending several collaborative steps forward to protect economic and security interests for the United States in the CNMI. The recommendations within the report have been approved for implementation because they provide an important opportunity to improve our Nation’s security while respecting the CNMI economy. This recently completed 902 Consultation is a great example of the Trump Administration’s commitment to working with our Nation’s territories.

"This final 902 report on discretionary parole policies is the product of positive collaboration between the CNMI and federal partners over the last several months," said Governor Torres. "The recommendations in this report reflect a balance of national security interests in the Pacific and our islands' economic viability to grow and develop a greater standard of living for citizens here in the Marianas. We are thankful to President Trump, Assistant Secretary Domenech, and all our federal partners for recognizing the CNMI's unique economic challenges and for sharing in our collective goal of stronger borders here in the Pacific."

"We worked closely with the CNMI government and our federal partners to strengthen and protect our national security interests while allowing for the CNMI to continue to access economic resources and opportunities," said Assistant Secretary Domenech. "Protecting such opportunities is an important component of the Executive Order on Economic Empowerment of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders signed in May by the President."

On October 19, 2018, Governor Torres sent a letter to President Donald J. Trump invoking the Section 902 Consultation process between the United States and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands regarding proposed discretionary parole policies of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Super Typhoon Yutu impacted CNMI on October 25, 2018, and CNMI requested a delay in the consultation to allow them to focus on response and recovery from the typhoon. On February 26, 2019, President Trump designated Assistant Secretary Domenech as the Special Representative for the United States Federal Government for this 902 Consultation. Governor Torres was designated the Special Representative for the CNMI.

After several meetings under the Section 902 Consultation process, the following recommendations have been made by the Special Representatives:

  1. Modify the parole program with enhanced security provisions;
  2. Create a CNMI Economic Vitality and Security Travel Authorization Program (EVS-TAP) as a Sub-Program of the Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver Program;
  3. Deputize selected state and local law enforcement officers as provided for under section 287 (g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act and find additional ways to collaborate on immigration enforcement; and
  4. Elevate focus on the U.S. Territories in the Pacific by engaging the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

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. It allows for formal government to government consultations on important policy matters.

A copy of the final 902 Consultation Report is available on the Office of Insular Affairs’ website.

The Assistant Secretary, Insular and International Affairs, and the Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) 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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