ABSTRACT

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands: Implementation of Federal Minimum Wage and Immigration Laws, Report to Congressional Addressees   [open pdf - 3MB]

From the highlights section within the document: "A 2007 law required the minimum wage in the CNMI [Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands] to rise incrementally to the federal level in a series of scheduled increases. GAO [Government Accountability Office] has been periodically required to report on the economic impact of the minimum wage increases in the territory. A 2008 law established federal control of CNMI immigration. It required the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to create a transitional work permit program for foreign workers in the CNMI and to decrease the number of permits issued annually, and presently requires that DHS reduce them to zero by December 31, 2019. To implement this aspect of the law, in 2011, DHS created a CW-1 [CNMI-Only Transitional Worker] permit program for foreign workers. In addition to the above statutory provisions, GAO was asked to review the implementation of federal immigration laws in the CNMI. Accordingly, this report examines (1) changes in the CNMI's labor market since the start of the federally mandated minimum wage increases, (2) the potential economic impact of reducing the number of foreign workers to zero, and (3) federal and CNMI efforts to address labor force challenges. GAO reviewed U.S. laws and regulations; analyzed government data; and conducted fieldwork in Saipan, Tinian, and Rota, CNMI. During fieldwork, GAO conducted semistructured interviews and discussion groups with businesses, CW-1 workers, U.S. workers, and current and former job training participants."

Report Number:
GAO-17-437
Publisher:
Date:
2017-05-18
Copyright:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/
Format:
pdf
Media Type:
application/pdf
URL:
Help with citations