Feb. 27 Hearing Will Examine Rep. Sablan Bill Providing Legal Resident Status to Certain Mariana Islanders Left in Legal Limbo by Trump Decision

Washington, D.C. – The full Natural Resources Committee will hold a Feb. 27 legislative hearing to discuss H.R. 560, a bill by Rep. Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (D-CNMI) to clarify legal status for certain residents of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). Witnesses at the hearing will speak to the need to provide continued legal resident status for a group of people born in the Northern Mariana Islands after the local government voted to become a U.S. territory but before the CNMI was legally accepted as a commonwealth.

President Obama had been offering those people – all of whom are officially designated as stateless persons – humanitarian parole to remain in the CNMI, which did not extend to a free right of travel to the mainland. President Trump revoked that parole in December 2018, which left parolees in legal limbo and threatens to force approximately 1,500 people to leave the commonwealth by June 2019.

The full witness list is available below. As with all hearings, the event is open to media and the public.

When: Wednesday, Feb. 27, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern time

Where: Longworth 1324

Majority Witnesses

Mr. Nickolao Pula, Director, Office of Insular Affairs

U.S. Department of the Interior

The Honorable Lou Leon Guerrero, Governor


Dr. David B. Gootnick, Director, International Affairs and Trade

U.S. Government Accountability Office

Mr. Michael S. Sablan, CPA, Vice President, Finance and Administration

Triple J Enterprises

Minority Witness

The Honorable Ralph DLG Torres, Governor

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

Press Contact

Media Contact: Adam Sarvana

(202) 225-6065 or (202) 578-6626 mobile