In May 2008, the United States enacted the Consolidated Natural Resources Act (CNRA), amending the United States' Covenant with the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) to establish federal control of CNMI immigration in 2009, with several CNMI-specific provisions affecting foreign workers and investors during a transition. CNRA requires that GAO report on implementation of federal immigration law in the CNMI. This report describes the steps federal agencies have taken to (1) secure the border in the CNMI and (2) implement CNRA with regard to workers, visitors, and investors. GAO reviewed federal laws, regulations, and agency documents; met with U.S. and CNMI officials; and observed federal operations in the CNMI.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Homeland Security||1. To enable DHS to carry out its statutory obligation to implement federal border control and immigration in the CNMI, the Secretary of Homeland Security should work with the heads of CBP, ICE, and USCIS to establish strategic approaches and time frames for concluding negotiations with the CNMI government to resolve the operational challenges related to access to CNMI airport space, detention facilities, and information about the status of aliens.|