[USC02] 48 USC CHAPTER 17, SUBCHAPTER I: APPROVAL OF COVENANT AND SUPPLEMENTAL PROVISIONS
Result 1 of 1
   
 
48 USC CHAPTER 17, SUBCHAPTER I: APPROVAL OF COVENANT AND SUPPLEMENTAL PROVISIONS
From Title 48—TERRITORIES AND INSULAR POSSESSIONSCHAPTER 17—NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS

SUBCHAPTER I—APPROVAL OF COVENANT AND SUPPLEMENTAL PROVISIONS

§1801. Approval of Covenant to Establish a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

The Covenant to Establish a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in Political Union with the United States of America, the text of which is as follows, is hereby approved.

(Pub. L. 94–241, §1, Mar. 24, 1976, 90 Stat. 263.)

References in Text

The Covenant to Establish a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in Political Union with the United States of America, referred to in text, which was contained in this section (section 1 of Pub. L. 94–241), is set out as a note below.

Codification

Section was formerly set out as a note under section 1681 of this title.

Short Title of 2019 Amendment

Pub. L. 116–94, div. P, title IX, §901, Dec. 20, 2019, 133 Stat. 3197, provided that: "This title [amending section 1806 of this title] may be cited as the 'Disaster Recovery Workforce Act'."

Pub. L. 116–24, §1, June 25, 2019, 133 Stat. 977, provided that: "This Act [amending section 1806 of this title] may be cited as the 'Northern Mariana Islands Long-Term Legal Residents Relief Act'."

Short Title of 2018 Amendment

Pub. L. 115–218, §1, July 24, 2018, 132 Stat. 1547, provided that: "This Act [amending section 1806 of this title and enacting provisions set out as notes under sections 1806 and 1807 of this title] may be cited as the 'Northern Mariana Islands U.S. Workforce Act of 2018'."

Short Title of 2017 Amendment

Pub. L. 115–53, §1, Aug. 22, 2017, 131 Stat. 1091, provided that: "This Act [amending section 1806 of this title] may be cited as the 'Northern Mariana Islands Economic Expansion Act'."

Termination of Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands

For termination of Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, see note set out preceding section 1681 of this title.

Applicability of Requirement of United States Citizenship or Nationality as Prerequisite of Any Benefit, Right, Etc., to Citizens of Northern Mariana Islands

Pub. L. 98–213, §§17–25, Dec. 8, 1983, 97 Stat. 1463–1466, exempted citizens of Northern Mariana Islands from laws prohibiting United States Government from compensating or employing noncitizens and from requirement of United States citizenship in certain Federal laws providing Federal services or financial assistance to Northern Mariana Islands, authorized President to issue proclamations exempting citizens of Northern Mariana Islands from United States citizenship or nationality requirements of certain statutes, provided that if President failed to timely issue a proclamation, the requirement of United States citizenship or nationality as a prerequisite of any benefit, right, privilege, or immunity in any statute made applicable to the Northern Mariana Islands would not apply to citizens of the Northern Mariana Islands, provided that Pub. L. 98–213 did not extend to Northern Mariana Islands any statutory provision or regulation, particularly statutes relating to immigration and nationality, not otherwise applicable to or within Northern Mariana Islands, provided for termination of President's authority to issue proclamations upon establishment of Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, defined terms, and provided for merger of benefits acquired under Pub. L. 98–213 into those acquired by virtue of United States citizenship unless recipient exercised his privilege to become a national but not a citizen of United States.

Authorization of Appropriations for Transition of Mariana Islands District to Commonwealth Status

Pub. L. 94–27, §2, May 28, 1975, 89 Stat. 95, authorized appropriation of $1,500,000 to aid in transition of Mariana Islands District to a new Commonwealth status as a territory of United States and provided that no part could be obligated or expended until Congress approved final agreement between Marianas Political Status Commission and United States.

Recital Clauses

Pub. L. 94–241 which enacted this subchapter contained several "Whereas" clauses reading as follows:

"Whereas the United States is the administering authority of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands under the terms of the trusteeship agreement for the former Japanese-mandated islands entered into by the United States with the Security Council of the United Nations on April 2, 1947, and approved by the United States on July 18, 1947; and

"Whereas the United States, in accordance with the trusteeship agreement and the Charter of the United Nations, has assumed the obligation to promote the development of the peoples of the trust territory toward self-government or independence as may be appropriate to the particular circumstances of the trust territory and its peoples and the freely expressed wishes of the peoples concerned; and

"Whereas the United States, in response to the desires of the people of the Northern Mariana Islands clearly expressed over the past twenty years through public petition and referendum, and in response to its own obligations under the trusteeship agreement to promote self-determination, entered into political status negotiations with representatives of the people of the Northern Mariana Islands; and

"Whereas, on February 15, 1975, a 'Covenant to Establish A Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in Political Union with the United States of America' [set out below] was signed by the Marianas Political Status Commission for the people of the Northern Mariana Islands and by the President's Personal Representative, Ambassador F. Haydn Williams for the United States of America, following which the covenant was approved by the unanimous vote of the Mariana Islands District Legislature on February 20, 1975 and by 78.8 per centum of the people of the Northern Mariana Islands voting in a plebiscite held on June 17, 1975".

Text of Covenant

Pub. L. 94–241, §1, Mar. 24, 1976, 90 Stat. 263, as amended by Pub. L. 98–213, §9, Dec. 8, 1983, 97 Stat. 1461; Pub. L. 104–208, div. A, title I, §101(d) [title I], Sept. 30, 1996, 110 Stat. 3009–181, 3009-196; Pub. L. 110–229, title VII, §702(g)(1), May 8, 2008, 122 Stat. 864, contained the Covenant to Establish a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in Political Union with the United States of America as follows:

"Covenant To Establish a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in Political Union With the United States of America

"Whereas, the Charter of the United Nations and the Trusteeship Agreement between the Security Council of the United Nations and the United States of America guarantee to the people of the Northern Mariana Islands the right freely to express their wishes for self-government or independence; and

"Whereas, the United States supports the desire of the people of the Northern Mariana Islands to exercise their inalienable right of self-determination; and

"Whereas, the people of the Northern Mariana Islands and the people of the United States share the goals and values found in the American system of government based upon the principles of government by the consent of the governed, individual freedom and democracy; and

"Whereas, for over twenty years, the people of the Northern Mariana Islands, through public petition and referendum, have clearly expressed their desire for political union with the United States;

"Now, therefore, the Marianas Political Status Commission, being the duly appointed representative of the people of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Personal Representative of the President of the United States have entered into this Covenant in order to establish a self-governing commonwealth for the Northern Mariana Islands within the American political system and to define the future relationship between the Northern Mariana Islands and the United States. This Covenant will be mutually binding when it is approved by the United States, by the Mariana Islands District Legislature and by the people of the Northern Mariana Islands in a plebiscite, constituting on their part a sovereign act of self-determination.

"Article I

"political relationship

"Section 101. The Northern Mariana Islands upon termination of the Trusteeship Agreement will become a self-governing commonwealth to be known as the 'Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands', in political union with and under the sovereignty of the United States of America.

"Section 102. The relations between the Northern Mariana Islands and the United States will be governed by this Covenant which, together with those provisions of the Constitution, treaties and laws of the United States applicable to the Northern Mariana Islands, will be the supreme law of the Northern Mariana Islands.

"Section 103. The people of the Northern Mariana Islands will have the right of local self-government and will govern themselves with respect to internal affairs in accordance with a Constitution of their own adoption.

"Section 104. The United States will have complete responsibility for and authority with respect to matters relating to foreign affairs and defense affecting the Northern Mariana Islands.

"Section 105. The United States may enact legislation in accordance with its constitutional processes which will be applicable to the Northern Mariana Islands, but if such legislation cannot also be made applicable to the several States the Northern Mariana Islands must be specifically named therein for it to become effective in the Northern Mariana Islands. In order to respect the right of self-government guaranteed by this Covenant the United States agrees to limit the exercise of that authority so that the fundamental provisions of this Covenant, namely Articles I, II and III and Sections 501 and 805, may be modified only with the consent of the Government of the United States and the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands.

"Article II

"constitution of the northern mariana islands

"Section 201. The people of the Northern Mariana Islands will formulate and approve a Constitution and may amend their Constitution pursuant to the procedures provided therein.

"Section 202. The Constitution will be submitted to the Government of the United States for approval on the basis of its consistency with this Covenant and those provisions of the Constitution, treaties and laws of the United States to be applicable to the Northern Mariana Islands. The Constitution will be deemed to have been approved six months after its submission to the President on behalf of the Government of the United States unless earlier approved or disapproved. If disapproved the Constitution will be returned and will be resubmitted in accordance with this Section. Amendments to the Constitution may be made by the people of the Northern Mariana Islands without approval by the Government of the United States, but the courts established by the Constitution or laws of the United States will be competent to determine whether the Constitution and subsequent amendments thereto are consistent with this Covenant and with those provisions of the Constitution, treaties and laws of the United States applicable to the Northern Mariana Islands.

"Section 203. (a) The Constitution will provide for a republican form of government with separate executive, legislative and judicial branches, and will contain a bill of rights.

"(b) The executive power of the Northern Mariana Islands will be vested in a popularly elected Governor and such other officials as the Constitution or laws of the Northern Mariana Islands may provide.

"(c) The legislative power of the Northern Mariana Islands will be vested in a popularly elected legislature and will extend to all rightful subjects of legislation. The Constitution of the Northern Mariana Islands will provide for equal representation for each of the chartered municipalities of the Northern Mariana Islands in one house of a bicameral legislature, notwithstanding other provisions of this Covenant or those provisions of the Constitution or laws of the United States applicable to the Northern Mariana Islands.

"(d) The judicial power of the Northern Mariana Islands will be vested in such courts as the Constitution or laws of the Northern Mariana Islands may provide. The Constitution or laws of the Northern Mariana Islands may vest in such courts jurisdiction over all causes in the Northern Mariana Islands over which any court established by the Constitution or laws of the United States does not have exclusive jurisdiction.

"Section 204. All members of the legislature of the Northern Mariana Islands and all officers and employees of the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands will take an oath or affirmation to support this Covenant, those provisions of the Constitution, treaties and laws of the United States applicable to the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Constitution and laws of the Northern Mariana Islands.

"Article III

"citizenship and nationality

"Section 301. The following persons and their children under the age of 18 years on the effective date of this Section, who are not citizens or nationals of the United States under any other provision of law, and who on that date do not owe allegiance to any foreign state, are declared to be citizens of the United States, except as otherwise provided in Section 302:

"(a) all persons born in the Northern Mariana Islands who are citizens of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands on the day preceding the effective date of this Section, and who on that date are domiciled in the Northern Mariana Islands or in the United States or any territory or possession thereof;

"(b) all persons who are citizens of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands on the day preceding the effective date of this Section, who have been domiciled continuously in the Northern Mariana Islands for at least five years immediately prior to that date, and who, unless under age, registered to vote in elections for the Marianas Islands District Legislature or for any municipal election in the Northern Mariana Islands prior to January 1, 1975; and

"(c) all persons domiciled in the Northern Mariana Islands on the day preceding the effective date of this Section, who, although not citizens of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, on that date have been domiciled continuously in the Northern Mariana Islands beginning prior to January 1, 1974.

"Section 302. Any person who becomes a citizen of the United States solely by virtue of the provisions of Section 301 may within six months after the effective date of that Section or within six months after reaching the age of 18 years, whichever date is the later, become a national but not a citizen of the United States by making a declaration under oath before any court established by the Constitution or laws of the United States or any court of record in the Commonwealth in the form as follows:

" 'I ________________ being duly sworn, hereby declare my intention to be a national but not a citizen of the United States.'

"Section 303. All persons born in the Commonwealth on or after the effective date of this Section and subject to the jurisdiction of the United States will be citizens of the United States at birth.

"Section 304. Citizens of the Northern Mariana Islands will be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States of the United States.

"Article IV

"judicial authority

"Section 401. The United States will establish for and within the Northern Mariana Islands a court of record to be known as the 'District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands'. The Northern Mariana Islands will constitute a part of the same judicial circuit of the United States as Guam.

"Section 402. (a) The District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands will have the jurisdiction of a district court of the United States, except that in all causes arising under the Constitution, treaties or laws of the United States it will have jurisdiction regardless of the sum or value of the matter in controversy.

"(b) The District Court will have original jurisdiction in all causes in the Northern Mariana Islands not described in Subsection (a) jurisdiction over which is not vested by the Constitution or laws of the Northern Mariana Islands in a court or courts of the Northern Mariana Islands. In causes brought in the District Court solely on the basis of this subsection, the District Court will be considered a court of the Northern Mariana Islands for the purposes of determining the requirements of indictment by grand jury or trial by jury.

"(c) The District Court will have such appellate jurisdiction as the Constitution or laws of the Northern Mariana Islands may provide. When it sits as an appellate court, the District Court will consist of three judges, at least one of whom will be a judge of a court of record of the Northern Mariana Islands.

"Section 403. (a) The relations between the courts established by the Constitution or laws of the United States and the courts of the Northern Mariana Islands with respect to appeals, certiorari, removal of causes, the issuance of writs of habeas corpus and other matters or proceedings will be governed by the laws of the United States pertaining to the relations between the courts of the United States and the courts of the several States in such matters and proceedings, except as otherwise provided in this Article; provided that for the first fifteen years following the establishment of an appellate court of the Northern Mariana Islands the United States Court of Appeals for the judicial circuit which includes the Northern Mariana Islands will have jurisdiction of appeals from all final decisions of the highest court of the Northern Mariana Islands from which a decision could be had in all cases involving the Constitution, treaties or laws of the United States, or any authority exercised thereunder, unless those cases are reviewable in the District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands pursuant to Subsection 402(c).

"(b) Those portions of Title 28 of the United States Code which apply to Guam or the District Court of Guam will be applicable to the Northern Mariana Islands or the District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands, respectively, except as otherwise provided in this Article.

"Article V

"applicability of laws

"Section 501. (a) To the extent that they are not applicable of their own force, the following provisions of the Constitution of the United States will be applicable within the Northern Mariana Islands as if the Northern Mariana Islands were one of the several States: Article I, Section 9, Clauses 2, 3, and 8; Article I, Section 10, Clauses 1 and 3; Article IV, Section 1 and Section 2, Clauses 1 and 2; Amendments 1 through 9, inclusive; Amendment 13; Amendment 14, Section 1; Amendment 15; Amendment 19; and Amendment 26; provided, however, that neither trial by jury nor indictment by grand jury shall be required in any civil action or criminal prosecution based on local law, except where required by local law. Other provisions of or amendments to the Constitution of the United States, which do not apply of their own force within the Northern Mariana Islands, will be applicable within the Northern Mariana Islands only with approval of the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands and of the Government of the United States.

"(b) The applicability of certain provisions of the Constitution of the United States to the Northern Mariana Islands will be without prejudice to the validity of and the power of the Congress of the United States to consent to Sections 203, 506 and 805 and the proviso in Subsection (a) of this Section.

"Section 502. (a) The following laws of the United States in existence on the effective date of this Section and subsequent amendments to such laws will apply to the Northern Mariana Islands, except as otherwise provided in this Covenant:

"(1) those laws which provide federal services and financial assistance programs and the federal banking laws as they apply to Guam; Section 228 of Title II and Title XVI of the Social Security Act as it applies to the several States; the Public Health Service Act as it applies to the Virgin Islands; and the Micronesian Claims Act as it applies to the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands;

"(2) those laws not described in paragraph (1) which are applicable to Guam and which are of general application to the several States as they are applicable to the several States; and

"(3) those laws not described in paragraph (1) or (2) which are applicable to the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, but not their subsequent amendments unless specifically made applicable to the Northern Mariana Islands, as they apply to the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands until termination of the Trusteeship Agreement, and will thereafter be inapplicable.

"(b) The laws of the United States regarding coastal shipments and the conditions of employment, including the wages and hours of employees, will apply to the activities of the United States Government and its contractors in the Northern Mariana Islands.

"Section 503. The following laws of the United States, presently inapplicable to the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, will not apply to the Northern Mariana Islands except in the manner and to the extent made applicable to them by the Congress by law after termination of the Trusteeship Agreement:

"(a) except as otherwise provided in Subsection (b) of Section 502, the coastwise laws of the United States and any prohibition in the laws of the United States against foreign vessels landing fish or unfinished fish products in the United States; and

"(b) the minimum wage provisions of Section 6, Act of June 25, 1938, 52 Stat. 1062, as amended. (As amended Pub. L. 110–229, title VII, §702(g)(1)(A), May 8, 2008, 122 Stat. 864.)

"Section 504. The President will appoint a Commission on Federal Laws to survey the laws of the United States and to make recommendations to the United States Congress as to which laws of the United States not applicable to the Northern Mariana Islands should be made applicable and to what extent and in what manner, and which applicable laws should be made inapplicable and to what extent and in what manner. The Commission will consist of seven persons (at least four of whom will be citizens of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands who are and have been for at least five years domiciled continuously in the Northern Mariana Islands at the time of their appointments) who will be representative of the federal, local, private and public interests in the applicability of laws of the United States to the Northern Mariana Islands. The Commission will make its final report and recommendations to the Congress within one year after the termination of the Trusteeship Agreement, and before that time will make such interim reports and recommendations to the Congress as it considers appropriate to facilitate the transition of the Northern Mariana Islands to its new political status. In formulating its recommendations the Commission will take into consideration the potential effect of each law on local conditions within the Northern Mariana Islands, the policies embodied in the law and the provisions and purposes of this Covenant. The United States will bear the cost of the work of the Commission.

"Section 505. The laws of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, of the Mariana Islands District and its local municipalities, and all other Executive and District orders of a local nature applicable to the Northern Mariana Islands on the effective date of this Section and not inconsistent with this Covenant or with those provisions of the Constitution, treaties or laws of the United States applicable to the Northern Mariana Islands will remain in force and effect until and unless altered by the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands.

"Section 506. [Repealed. Pub. L. 110–229, title VII, §702(g)(1)(B), May 8, 2008, 122 Stat. 864.]

"Article VI

"revenue and taxation

"Section 601. (a) The income tax laws in force in the United States will come into force in the Northern Mariana Islands as a local territorial income tax on the first day of January following the effective date of this Section, in the same manner as those laws are in force in Guam.

"(b) Any individual who is a citizen or a resident of the United States, of Guam, or of the Northern Mariana Islands (including a national of the United States who is not a citizen), will file only one income tax return with respect to his income, in a manner similar to the provisions of Section 935 of Title 26, United States Code.

"(c) References in the Internal Revenue Code to Guam will be deemed also to refer to the Northern Mariana Islands, where not otherwise distinctly expressed or manifestly incompatible with the intent thereof or of this Covenant.

"Section 602. The Government of the Northern Mariana Islands may by local law impose such taxes, in addition to those imposed under Section 601, as it deems appropriate and provide for the rebate of any taxes received by it, except that the power of the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands to rebate collections of the local territorial income tax received by it will be limited to taxes on income derived from sources within the Northern Mariana Islands.

"Section 603. (a) The Northern Mariana Islands will not be included within the customs territory of the United States.

"(b) The Government of the Northern Mariana Islands may, in a manner consistent with the international obligations of the United States, levy duties on goods imported into its territory from any area outside the customs territory of the United States and impose duties on exports from its territory.

"(c) Imports from the Northern Mariana Islands into the customs territory of the United States will be subject to the same treatment as imports from Guam into the customs territory of the United States.

"(d) The Government of the United States will seek to obtain from foreign countries favorable treatment for exports from the Northern Mariana Islands and will encourage other countries to consider the Northern Mariana Islands a developing territory.

"Section 604. (a) The Government of the United States may levy excise taxes on goods manufactured, sold or used or services rendered in the Northern Mariana Islands in the same manner and to the same extent as such taxes are applicable within Guam.

"(b) The Government of the Northern Mariana Islands will have the authority to impose excise taxes upon goods manufactured, sold or used or services rendered within its territory or upon goods imported into its territory, provided that such excise taxes imposed on goods imported into its territory will be consistent with the international obligations of the United States.

"Section 605. Nothing in this Article will be deemed to authorize the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands to impose any customs duties on the property of the United States or on the personal property of military or civilian personnel of the United States Government or their dependents entering or leaving the Northern Mariana Islands pursuant to their contract of employment or orders assigning them to or from the Northern Mariana Islands or to impose any taxes on the property, activities or instrumentalities of the United States which one of the several States could not impose; nor will any provision of this Article be deemed to affect the operation of the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act of 1940, as amended, which will be applicable to the Northern Mariana Islands as it is applicable to Guam.

"Section 606. (a) Not later than at the time this Covenant is approved, that portion of the Trust Territory Social Security Retirement Fund attributable to the Northern Mariana Islands will be transferred to the Treasury of the United States, to be held in trust as a separate fund to be known as the 'Northern Mariana Islands Social Security Retirement Fund'. This fund will be administered by the United States in accordance with the social security laws of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands in effect at the time of such transfer, which may be modified by the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands only in a manner which does not create any additional differences between the social security laws of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands and the laws described in Subsection (b). The United States will supplement such fund if necessary to assure that persons receive benefits therefrom comparable to those they would have received from the Trust Territory Social Security Retirement Fund under the laws applicable thereto on the day preceding the establishment of the Northern Mariana Islands Social Security Retirement Fund, so long as the rate of contributions thereto also remains comparable.

"(b) Those laws of the United States which impose excise and self-employment taxes to support or which provide benefits from the United States Social Security System will on January 1 of the first calendar year following the termination of the Trusteeship Agreement or upon such earlier date as may be agreed to by the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands and the Government of the United States become applicable to the Northern Mariana Islands as they apply to Guam. (As amended Pub. L. 98–213, §9, Dec. 8, 1983, 97 Stat. 1461.)

"(c) At such time as the laws described in Subsection (b) become applicable to the Northern Mariana Islands:

"(1) the Northern Mariana Islands Social Security Retirement Fund will be transferred into the appropriate Federal Social Security Trust Funds;

"(2) prior contributions by or on behalf of persons domiciled in the Northern Mariana Islands to the Trust Territory Social Security Retirement Fund or the Northern Mariana Islands Social Security Retirement Fund will be considered to have been made to the appropriate Federal Social Security Trust Funds for the purpose of determining eligibility of those persons in the Northern Mariana Islands for benefits under those laws; and

"(3) persons domiciled in the Northern Mariana Islands who are eligible for or entitled to social security benefits under the laws of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands or of the Northern Mariana Islands will not lose their entitlement and will be eligible for or entitled to benefits under the laws described in Subsection (b).

"Section 607. (a) All bonds or other obligations issued by the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands or by its authority will be exempt, as to principal and interest, from taxation by the United States, or by any State, territory or possession of the United States, or any political subdivision of any of them.

"(b) During the initial seven year period of financial assistance provided for in Section 702, and during such subsequent periods of financial assistance as may be agreed, the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands will authorize no public indebtedness (other than bonds or other obligations of the Government payable solely from revenues derived from any public improvement or undertaking) in excess of ten percentum of the aggregate assessed valuation of the property within the Northern Mariana Islands.

"Article VII

"united states financial assistance

"Section 701. The Government of the United States will assist the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands in its efforts to achieve a progressively higher standard of living for its people as part of the American economic community and to develop the economic resources needed to meet the financial responsibilities of local self-government. To this end, the United States will provide direct multi-year financial support to the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands for local government operations, for capital improvement programs and for economic development. The initial period of such support will be seven years, as provided in Section 702.

"Section 702. Approval of this Covenant by the United States will constitute a commitment and pledge of the full faith and credit of the United States for the payment, as well as an authorization for the appropriation, of the following guaranteed annual levels of direct grant assistance to the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands for each of the seven fiscal years following the effective date of this Section:

"(a) $8.25 million for budgetary support for government operations, of which $250,000 each year will be reserved for a special education training fund connected with the change in the political status of the Northern Mariana Islands;

"(b) $4 million for capital improvement projects, of which $500,000 each year will be reserved for such projects on the Island of Tinian and $500,000 each year will be reserved for such projects on the Island of Rota; and

"(c) $1.75 million for an economic development loan fund, of which $500,000 each year will be reserved for small loans to farmers and fishermen and to agricultural and marine cooperatives, and of which $250,000 each year will be reserved for a special program of low interest housing loans for low income families.

"Section 703. (a) The United States will make available to the Northern Mariana Islands the full range of federal programs and services available to the territories of the United States. Funds provided under Section 702 will be considered to be local revenues when used as the local share required to obtain federal programs and services. (As amended Pub. L. 104–208, div. A, title I, §101(d) [title I], Sept. 30, 1996, 110 Stat. 3009–181, 3009-196.)

"(b) There will be paid into the Treasury of the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands, to be expended to the benefit of the people thereof as that Government may by law prescribe, the proceeds of all customs duties and federal income taxes derived from the Northern Mariana Islands, the proceeds of all taxes collected under the internal revenue laws of the United States on articles produced in the Northern Mariana Islands and transported to the United States, its territories or possessions, or consumed in the Northern Mariana Islands, the proceeds of any other taxes which may be levied by the Congress on the inhabitants of the Northern Mariana Islands, and all quarantine and passport fees collected in the Northern Mariana Islands, except that nothing in this Section shall be construed to apply to any tax imposed by Chapters 2 or 21 of Title 26, United States Code. (As amended Pub. L. 110–229, title VII, §702(g)(1)(C), May 8, 2008, 122 Stat. 864.)

"Section 704. (a) Funds provided under Section 702 not obligated or expended by the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands during any fiscal year will remain available for obligation or expenditure by that Government in subsequent fiscal years for the purposes for which the funds were appropriated.

"(b) Approval of this Covenant by the United States will constitute an authorization for the appropriation of a pro-rata share of the funds provided under Section 702 for the period between the effective date of this Section and the beginning of the next succeeding fiscal year.

"(c) The amounts stated in Section 702 will be adjusted for each fiscal year by a percentage which will be the same as the percentage change in the United States Department of Commerce composite price index using the beginning of Fiscal Year 1975 as the base.

"(d) Upon expiration of the seven year period of guaranteed annual direct grant assistance provided by Section 702, the annual level of payments in each category listed in Section 702 will continue until Congress appropriates a different amount or otherwise provides by law.

"Article VIII

"property

"Section 801. All right, title and interest of the Government of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands in and to real property in the Northern Mariana Islands on the date of the signing of this Covenant or thereafter acquired in any manner whatsoever will, no later than upon the termination of the Trusteeship Agreement, be transferred to the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands. All right, title and interest of the Government of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands in and to all personal property on the date of the signing of this Covenant or thereafter acquired in any manner whatsoever will, no later than upon the termination of the Trusteeship Agreement, be distributed equitably in a manner to be determined by the Government of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands in consultation with those concerned, including the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands.

"Section 802. (a) The following property will be made available to the Government of the United States by lease to enable it to carry out its defense responsibilities:

"(1) on Tinian Island, approximately 17,799 acres (7,203 hectares) and the waters immediately adjacent thereto;

"(2) on Saipan Island, approximately 177 acres (72 hectares) at Tanapag Harbor; and

"(3) on Farallon de Medinilla Island, approximately 206 acres (83 hectares) encompassing the entire island, and the waters immediately adjacent thereto.

"(b) The United States affirms that it has no present need for or present intention to acquire any greater interest in property listed above than that which is granted to it under Subsection 803(a), or to acquire any property in addition to that listed in Subsection (a), above, in order to carry out its defense responsibilities.

"Section 803. (a) The Government of the Northern Mariana Islands will lease the property described in Subsection 802(a) to the Government of the United States for a term of fifty years, and the Government of the United States will have the option of renewing this lease for all or part of such property for an additional term of fifty years if it so desires at the end of the first term.

"(b) The Government of the United States will pay to the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands in full settlement of this lease, including the second fifty year term of the lease if extended under the renewal option, the total sum of $19,520,600, determined as follows:

"(1) for that property on Tinian Island, $17.5 million;

"(2) for that property at Tanapag Harbor on Saipan Island, $2 million; and

"(3) for that property known as Farallon de Medinilla, $20,600.

The sum stated in this Subsection will be adjusted by a percentage which will be the same as the percentage change in the United States Department of Commerce composite price index from the date of signing the Covenant.

"(c) A separate Technical Agreement Regarding Use of Land To Be Leased by the United States in the Northern Mariana Islands will be executed simultaneously with this Covenant. The terms of the lease to the United States will be in accordance with this Section and with the terms of the Technical Agreement. The Technical Agreement will also contain terms relating to the leaseback of property, to the joint use arrangements for San Jose Harbor and West Field on Tinian Island, and to the principles which will govern the social structure relations between the United States military and the Northern Mariana Islands civil authorities.

"(d) From the property to be leased to it in accordance with this Covenant the Government of the United States will lease back to the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands, in accordance with the Technical Agreement, for the sum of one dollar per acre per year, approximately 6,458 acres (2,614 hectares) on Tinian Island and approximately 44 acres (18 hectares) at Tanapag Harbor on Saipan Island, which will be used for purposes compatible with their intended military use.

"(e) From the property to be leased to it at Tanapag Harbor on Saipan Island the Government of the United States will make available to the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands 133 acres (54 hectares) at no cost. This property will be set aside for public use as an American memorial park to honor the American and Marianas dead in the World War II Marianas Campaign. The $2 million received from the Government of the United States for the lease of this property will be placed into a trust fund, and used for the development and maintenance of the park in accordance with the Technical Agreement.

"Section 804. (a) The Government of the United States will cause all agreements between it and the Government of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands which grant to the Government of the United States use or other rights in real property in the Northern Mariana Islands to be terminated upon or before the effective date of the Section. All right, title and interest of the Government of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands in and to any real property with respect to which the Government of the United States enjoys such use or other rights will be transferred to the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands at the time of such termination. From the time such right, title and interest is so transferred the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands will assure the Government of the United States the continued use of the real property then actively used by the Government of the United States for civilian governmental purposes on terms comparable to those enjoyed by the Government of the United States under its arrangements with the Government of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands on the date of the signature of this Covenant.

"(b) All facilities at Isely Field developed with federal aid and all facilities at that field usable for the landing and take-off of aircraft will be available to the United States for use by military and naval aircraft, in common with other aircraft, at all times without charge, except, if the use by military and naval aircraft shall be substantial, a reasonable share, proportional to such use, of the cost of operating and maintaining the facilities so used may be charged at a rate established by agreement between the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands and the Government of the United States.

"Section 805. Except as otherwise provided in this Article, and notwithstanding the other provisions of this Covenant, or those provisions of the Constitution, treaties or laws of the United States applicable to the Northern Mariana Islands, the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands, in view of the importance of the ownership of land for the culture and traditions of the people of the Northern Mariana Islands, and in order to protect them against exploitation and to promote their economic advancement and self-sufficiency:

"(a) will until twenty-five years after the termination of the Trusteeship Agreement, and may thereafter, regulate the alienation of permanent and long-term interests in real property so as to restrict the acquisition of such interests to persons of Northern Mariana Islands descent; and

"(b) may regulate the extent to which a person may own or hold land which is now public land.

"Section 806. (a) The United States will continue to recognize and respect the scarcity and special importance of land in the Northern Mariana Islands. If the United States must acquire any interest in real property not transferred to it under this Covenant, it will follow the policy of seeking to acquire only the minimum area necessary to accomplish the public purpose for which the real property is required, of seeking only the minimum interest in real property necessary to support such public purpose, acquiring title only if the public purpose cannot be accomplished if a lesser interest is obtained, and of seeking first to satisfy its requirement by acquiring an interest in public rather than private real property.

"(b) The United States may, upon prior written notice to the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands, acquire for public purposes in accordance with federal laws and procedures any interest in real property in the Northern Mariana Islands by purchase, lease, exchange, gift or otherwise under such terms and conditions as may be negotiated by the parties. The United States will in all cases attempt to acquire any interest in real property for public purposes by voluntary means under this Subsection before exercising the power of eminent domain. No interest in real property will be acquired unless duly authorized by the Congress of the United States and appropriations are available therefor.

"(c) In the event it is not possible for the United States to obtain an interest in real property for public purposes by voluntary means, it may exercise within the Commonwealth the power of eminent domain to the same extent and in the same manner as it has and can exercise the power of eminent domain in a State of the Union. The power of eminent domain will be exercised within the Commonwealth only to the extent necessary and in compliance with applicable United States laws, and with full recognition of the due process required by the United States Constitution.

"Article IX

"northern mariana islands representative and consultation

"Section 901. The Constitution or laws of the Northern Mariana Islands may provide for the appointment or election of a Resident Representative to the United States, whose term of office will be two years, unless otherwise determined by local law, and who will be entitled to receive official recognition as such Representative by all of the departments and agencies of the Government of the United States upon presentation through the Department of State of a certificate of selection from the Governor. The Represenative [sic] must be a citizen and resident of the Northern Mariana Islands, at least twenty-five years of age, and, after termination of the Trusteeship Agreement, a citizen of the United States.

"Section 902. The Government of the United States and the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands will consult regularly on all matters affecting the relationship between them. At the request of either Government, and not less frequently than every ten years, the President of the United States and the Governor of the Northern Mariana Islands will designate special representatives to meet and to consider in good faith such issues affecting the relationship between the Northern Mariana Islands and the United States as may be designated by either Government and to make a report and recommendations with respect thereto. Special representatives will be appointed in any event to consider and to make recommendations regarding future multi-year financial assistance to the Northern Mariana Islands pursuant to Section 701, to meet at least one year prior to the expiration of every period of such financial assistance.

"Section 903. Nothing herein shall prevent the presentation of cases or controversies arising under this Covenant to courts established by the Constitution or laws of the United States. It is intended that any such cases or controversies will be justiciable in such courts and that the undertakings by the Government of the United States and by the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands provided for in this Covenant will be enforceable in such courts.

"Section 904. (a) The Government of the United States will give sympathetic consideration to the views of the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands on international matters directly affecting the Northern Mariana Islands and will provide opportunities for the effective presentation of such views to no less extent than such opportunities are provided to any other territory or possession under comparable circumstances.

"(b) The United States will assist and facilitate the establishment by the Northern Mariana Islands of offices in the United States and abroad to promote local tourism and other economic or cultural interests of the Northern Mariana Islands.

"(c) On its request the Northern Mariana Islands may participate in regional and other international organizations concerned with social, economic, educational, scientific, technical and cultural matters when similar participation is authorized for any other territory or possession of the United States under comparable circumstances.

"Article X

"approval, effective dates, and definitions

"Section 1001. (a) This Covenant will be submitted to the Mariana Islands District Legislature for its approval. After its approval by the Mariana Islands District Legislature, this Covenant will be submitted to the people of the Northern Mariana Islands for approval in a plebiscite to be called by the United States. Only persons who are domiciled exclusively in the Northern Mariana Islands and who meet such other qualifications, including timely registration, as are promulgated by the United States as administering authority will be eligible to vote in the plebiscite. Approval must be by a majority of at least 55% of the valid votes cast in the plebiscite. The results of the plebiscite will be certified to the President of the United States.

"(b) This Covenant will be approved by the United States in accordance with its constitutional processes and will thereupon become law.

"Section 1002. The President of the United States will issue a proclamation announcing the termination of the Trusteeship Agreement, or the date on which the Trusteeship Agreement will terminate, and the establishment of the Commonwealth in accordance with this Covenant. Any determination by the President that the Trusteeship Agreement has been terminated or will be terminated on a day certain will be final and will not be subject to review by any authority, judicial or otherwise, of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands or the United States.

"Section 1003. The provisions of this Covenant will become effective as follows, unless otherwise specifically provided:

"(a) Sections 105, 201–203, 503, 504, 606, 801, 903 and Article X will become effective on approval of this Covenant;

"(b) Sections 102, 103, 204, 304, Article IV, Sections 501, 502, 505, 601–605, 607, Article VII, Sections 802–805, 901 and 902 will become effective on a date to be determined and proclaimed by the President of the United States which will be not more than 180 days after this Covenant and the Constitution of the Northern Mariana Islands have both been approved; and

"(c) The remainder of this Covenant will become effective upon the termination of the Trusteeship Agreement and the establishment of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

"Section 1004. (a) The application of any provision of the Constitution or laws of the United States which would otherwise apply to the Northern Mariana Islands may be suspended until termination of the Trusteeship Agreement if the President finds and declares that the application of such provision prior to termination would be inconsistent with the Trusteeship Agreement.

"(b) The Constitution of the Northern Mariana Islands will become effective in accordance with its terms on the same day that the provisions of this Covenant specified in Subsection 1003(b) become effective, provided that if the President finds and declares that the effectiveness of any provision of the Constitution of the Northern Mariana Islands prior to termination of the Trusteeship Agreement would be inconsistent with the Trusteeship Agreement such provision will be ineffective until termination of the Trusteeship Agreement. Upon the establishment of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands the Constitution will become effective in its entirety in accordance with its terms as the Constitution of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

"Section 1005. As used in this Covenant:

"(a) 'Trusteeship Agreement' means the Trusteeship Agreement for the former Japanese Mandated Islands concluded between the Security Council of the United Nations and the United States of America, which entered into force on July 18, 1947;

"(b) 'Northern Mariana Islands' means the area now known as the Mariana Islands District of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, which lies within the area north of 14° north latitude, south of 21° north latitude, west of 150° east longitude and east of 144° east longitude;

"(c) 'Government of the Northern Mariana Islands' includes, as appropriate, the Government of the Mariana Islands District of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands at the time this Covenant is signed, its agencies and instrumentalities, and its successors, including the Government of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands;

"(d) 'Territory or possession' with respect to the United States includes the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam and American Samoa;

"(e) 'Domicile' means that place where a person maintains a residence with the intention of continuing such residence for an unlimited or indefinite period, and to which such person has the intention of returning whenever he is absent, even for an extended period.

"Signed at Saipan, Mariana Islands on the fifteenth day of February, 1975.

"For the people of the Northern Mariana Islands:

Edward DLG. Pangelinan,        

Chairman, Marianas       

Political Status Commission.      

Vicente N. Santos.        

Vice Chairman, Marianas       

Political Status Commission.      

"For the United States of America:

Ambassador F. Haydn Williams,        

Personal Representative of the       

President of the United States.      

"Members of the Marianas Political Status Commission:

           Juan LG. Cabrera.

           Vicente T. Camacho.

           Jose R. Cruz.

           Bernard V. Hofschneider.

           Benjamin T. Manglona.

           Daniel T. Muna.

           Dr. Francisco T. Palacios.

           Joaquin I. Pangelinan.

           Manuel A. Sablan.

           Joannes B. Taimanao.

           Pedro A. Tenorio."

[Pub. L. 110–229, title VII, §702(g)(2), May 8, 2008, 122 Stat. 864, provided that: "The amendments made by paragraph (1) [amending Covenant set out above] shall take effect on the transition program effective date described in section 6 of Public Law 94–241 [48 U.S.C. 1806] (as added by subsection (a))."]

Proc. No. 4534. Constitution of Northern Mariana Islands

Proc. No. 4534, Oct. 24, 1977, 42 F.R. 56593, provided:

On February 15, 1975, the Marianas Political Status Commission, the duly appointed representative of the people of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Personal Representative of the President of the United States signed a Covenant, the purpose of which is to provide for the eventual establishment of a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in political union with the United States of America [set out above]. This Covenant was subsequently approved by the Mariana Islands District Legislature and by the people of the Northern Mariana Islands voting in a plebiscite. The Covenant was approved by the Congress of the United States by joint resolution approved March 24, 1976 (Public Law 94–241; 90 Stat. 263) [48 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.].

In accordance with the provisions of Article II of the Covenant, the people of the Northern Mariana Islands have formulated and approved a Constitution which was submitted to me on behalf of the Government of the United States on April 21, 1977, for approval on the basis of its consistency with the Covenant and those provisions of the Constitution, treaties and laws of the United States to be applicable to the Northern Mariana Islands. Pursuant to the provisions of Section 202 of the Covenant, the Constitution of the Northern Mariana Islands will be deemed to have been approved by the Government of the United States six months after the date of submission to the President unless sooner approved or disapproved.

The six-month period of Section 202 of the Covenant having expired on October 22, 1977, I am pleased to announce that the Constitution of the Northern Mariana Islands is hereby deemed approved.

I am satisfied that the Constitution of the Northern Mariana Islands complies with the requirements of Article II of the Covenant. I have also received advice from the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and the Subcommittee on National Parks and Insular Affairs of the House Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs that the Constitution complies with those requirements.

Sections 1003(b) and 1004(b) of the Covenant provide that the Constitution of the Northern Mariana Islands and the provisions specified in Section 1003(b) of the Covenant shall become effective on a date proclaimed by the President which will be not more than 180 days after the Covenant and the Constitution of the Northern Mariana Islands have both been approved.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JIMMY CARTER, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim as follows:

Section 1. The Constitution of the Northern Mariana Islands shall come into full force and effect at eleven o'clock on the morning of January 9, 1978, Northern Mariana Islands local time.

Sec. 2. Sections 102, 103, 204, 304, Article IV, Sections 501, 502, 505, 601–605, 607, Article VII, Sections 802–805, 901 and 902 of the Covenant shall come into full force and effect on the date and at the time specified in Section 1 of this Proclamation.

Sec. 3. The authority of the President under Section 1004 of the Covenant to suspend the application of any provision of law to or in the Northern Mariana Islands until the termination of the Trusteeship Agreement is hereby reserved.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fourth day of October, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred seventy-seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and second.

Jimmy Carter.      

Proclamation No. 4568

Proc. No. 4568, May 9, 1978, 43 F.R. 19999, related to application of certain United States laws to the Northern Mariana Islands until termination of Trusteeship Agreement.

Proclamation No. 4726

Proc. No. 4726, Feb. 21, 1980, 45 F.R. 12369, related to application of certain United States laws to the Northern Mariana Islands until termination of Trusteeship Agreement.

Proclamation No. 4938

Proc. No. 4938, May 3, 1982, 47 F.R. 19307, related to application of certain United States laws to the Northern Mariana Islands until termination of Trusteeship Agreement.

Proclamation No. 5207

Proc. No. 5207, June 7, 1984, 49 F.R. 24365, related to application of certain laws of the United States to citizens of the Northern Mariana Islands until establishment of Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands.

Proc. No. 5564. Covenant With Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and Compacts of Free Association With Federated States of Micronesia and Republic of the Marshall Islands; Effective Dates

Proc. No. 5564, Nov. 3, 1986, 51 F.R. 40399, provided:

Since July 18, 1947, the United States has administered the United Nations Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands ("Trust Territory"), which includes the Northern Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and Palau.

On February 15, 1975, after extensive status negotiations, the United States and the Marianas Political Status Commission concluded a Covenant to establish a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in Political Union with the United States ("Covenant") [set out above]. Sections 101, 1002, and 1003(c) of the Covenant provide that the Northern Mariana Islands will become a self-governing Commonwealth in political union with and under the sovereignty of the United States. This Covenant was approved by the Congress by Public Law 94–241 of March 24, 1976, 90 Stat. 263 [48 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.]. Although many sections of the Covenant became effective in 1976 and 1978, certain sections have not previously entered into force.

On October 1, 1982, the Government of the United States and the Government of the Federated States of Micronesia concluded a Compact of Free Association, establishing a relationship of Free Association between the two Governments [see Compact of Free Association, 48 U.S.C. 1901 note]. On June 25, 1983, the Government of the United States and the Government of the Marshall Islands concluded a Compact of Free Association, establishing a relationship of Free Association between the two Governments [see Compact of Free Association, 48 U.S.C. 1901 note]. Pursuant to Sections 111 and 121 of the Compacts, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands become self-governing and have the right to conduct foreign affairs in their own name and right upon the effective date of their respective Compacts. Each Compact comes into effect upon (1) mutual agreement between the Government of the United States, acting in fulfillment of its responsibilities as Administering Authority of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, and the other Government; (2) the approval of the Compact by the two Governments, in accordance with their constitutional processes; and (3) the conduct of a plebiscite in that jurisdiction. In the Federated States of Micronesia, the Compact has been approved by the Government in accordance with its constitutional processes, and in a United Nations-observed plebiscite on June 21, 1983, a sovereign act of self-determination. In the Marshall Islands, the Compact has been approved by the Government in accordance with its constitutional processes, and in a United Nations-observed plebiscite on September 7, 1983, a sovereign act of self-determination. In the United States the Compacts have been approved by Public Law 99–239 of January 14, 1986, 99 Stat. 1770 [48 U.S.C. 1901 et seq., 2001 et seq.].

On January 10, 1986, the Government of the United States and the Government of the Republic of Palau concluded a Compact of Free Association, establishing a similar relationship of Free Association between the two Governments [48 U.S.C. 1931 note]. On October 16, 1986, the Congress of the United States approved the Compact of Free Association with the Republic of Palau. In the Republic of Palau, the Compact approval process has not yet been completed. Until the future political status of Palau is resolved, the United States will continue to discharge its responsibilities in Palau as Administering Authority under the Trusteeship Agreement.

On May 28, 1986, the Trusteeship Council of the United Nations concluded that the Government of the United States had satisfactorily discharged its obligations as the Administering Authority under the terms of the Trusteeship Agreement and that the people of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands had freely exercised their right to self-determination, and considered that it was appropriate for that Agreement to be terminated. The Council asked the United States to consult with the governments concerned to agree on a date for entry into force of their respective new status agreements.

On October 15, 1986, the Government of the United States and the Government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands agreed, pursuant to Section 411 of the Compact of Free Association, that as between the United States and the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the effective date of the Compact shall be October 21, 1986.

On October 24, 1986, the Government of the United States and the Government of the Federated States of Micronesia agreed, pursuant to Section 411 of the Compact of Free Association, that as between the United States and the Federated States of Micronesia, the effective date of the Compact shall be November 3, 1986.

On October 24, 1986, the United States advised the Secretary General of the United Nations that, as a consequence of consultations held between the United States Government and the Government of the Marshall Islands, agreement had been reached that the Compact of Free Association with the Marshall Islands entered fully into force on October 21, 1986. The United States further advised the Secretary General that, as a result of consultations with their governments, agreement had been reached that the Compact of Free Association with the Federated States of Micronesia and the Covenant with the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands would enter into force on November 3, 1986.

As of this day, November 3, 1986, the United States has fulfilled its obligations under the Trusteeship Agreement with respect to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia, and they are self-governing and no longer subject to the Trusteeship. In taking these actions, the United States is implementing the freely expressed wishes of the peoples of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Marshall Islands.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, RONALD REAGAN, by the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, including Section 1002 of the Covenant to Establish a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in Political Union with the United States of America, and Sections 101 and 102 of the Joint Resolution to approve the "Compact of Free Association", and for other purposes, approved on January 14, 1986 (Public Law 99–239) [48 U.S.C. 1901 et seq., 2001 et seq.], do hereby find, declare, and proclaim as follows:

Section 1. I determine that the Trusteeship Agreement for the Pacific Islands is no longer in effect as of October 21, 1986, with respect to the Republic of the Marshall Islands, as of November 3, 1986, with respect to the Federated States of Micronesia, and as of November 3, 1986, with respect to the Northern Mariana Islands. This constitutes the determination referred to in Section 1002 of the Covenant.

Sec. 2. (a) Sections 101, 104, 301, 302, 303, 506, 806, and 904 of the Covenant are effective as of 12:01 a.m., November 4, 1986, Northern Mariana Islands local time.

(b) The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in political union with and under the sovereignty of the United States of America is fully established on the date and at the time specified in Section 2(a) of this Proclamation.

(c) The domiciliaries of the Northern Mariana Islands are citizens of the United States to the extent provided for in Sections 301 through 303 of the Covenant on the date and at the time specified in this Proclamation.

(d) I welcome the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands into the American family and congratulate our new fellow citizens.

Sec. 3. (a) The Compact of Free Association with the Republic of the Marshall Islands is in full force and effect as of October 21, 1986, and the Compact of Free Association with the Federated States of Micronesia is in full force and effect as of November 3, 1986.

(b) I am gratified that the people of the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands, after nearly forty years of Trusteeship, have freely chosen to establish a relationship of Free Association with the United States.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this third day of November, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and eleventh.

Ronald Reagan.      

Ex. Ord. No. 12572. Relations With Northern Mariana Islands

Ex. Ord. No. 12572, Nov. 3, 1986, 51 F.R. 40401, provided:

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered that, consistent with the Joint Resolution to approve the "Covenant To Establish a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in Political Union with the United States of America," approved March 24, 1976 (Public Law 94–241; 90 Stat. 263) [48 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.], the relations of the United States with the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands shall, in all matters not the program responsibility of another Federal department or agency, be under the general administrative supervision of the Secretary of the Interior.

Ronald Reagan.      

§1802. Consideration of issues affecting relations with United States

It is the sense of the Congress that pursuant to section 902 of the foregoing Covenant, and in any case within ten years from March 24, 1976, the President of the United States should request, on behalf of the United States, the designation of special representatives to meet and to consider in good faith such issues affecting the relationship between the Northern Mariana Islands and the United States as may be designated by either Government and to make a report and recommendations with respect thereto.

(Pub. L. 94–241, §2, Mar. 24, 1976, 90 Stat. 279.)

References in Text

The Covenant, referred to in text, is the Covenant to Establish a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in Political Union with the United States of America, which is contained in section 1 of Pub. L. 94–241, set out as a note under section 1801 of this title.

Codification

Section was formerly set out as a note under section 1681 of this title.

§1803. Financial assistance to Government of Northern Mariana Islands

Pursuant to section 701 of the foregoing Covenant, enactment of this section shall constitute a commitment and pledge of the full faith and credit of the United States for the payment of $228 million at guaranteed annual amounts of direct grant assistance for the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands for an additional period of seven fiscal years after the expiration of the initial seven-year period specified in section 702 of said Covenant, which assistance shall be provided according to the schedule of payments contained in the Agreement of the Special Representatives on Future United States Financial Assistance for the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands, executed July 10, 1985, between the special representative of the President of the United States and the special representatives of the Governor of the Northern Mariana Islands. The islands of Rota and Tinian shall each receive no less than a 1/8 share and the island of Saipan shall receive no less than a ¼ share of annualized capital improvement project funds, which shall be no less than 80 per centum of the capital development funds identified in the schedule of payments in paragraph 2 of part II of the Agreement of the Special Representatives. Funds shall be granted according to such regulations as are applicable to such grants.

(Pub. L. 94–241, §3, as added Pub. L. 99–396, §10, Aug. 27, 1986, 100 Stat. 840.)

References in Text

The Covenant, referred to in text, is the Covenant to Establish a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in Political Union with the United States of America, which is contained in section 1 of Pub. L. 94–241, set out as a note under section 1801 of this title.

Codification

Section was formerly set out as a note under section 1681 of this title.

Use of Economic Development Loan Funds for Capital Improvement Projects

Pub. L. 99–396, §2, Aug. 27, 1986, 100 Stat. 838, authorized use of up to $4,000,000 of funds reserved for use by the economic development loan fund, as established under section 702(c) of the Covenant to Establish a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in Political Union with the United States of America, 48 U.S.C. 1801 note, for capital improvement projects, if such funds became available for use by the economic development loan fund, and were not obligated for economic development loans.

§1804. Direct grant assistance

(a) Composite price index adjustments not applicable

Section 704(c) of the foregoing Covenant shall not apply to the Federal financial assistance which is provided to the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands pursuant to section 1803 of this title.

(b) Additional years of assistance

Upon the expiration of the period of Federal financial assistance which is provided to the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands pursuant to section 1803 of this title, payments of direct grant assistance shall continue at the annual level provided for the last fiscal year of the additional period of seven fiscal years except that, for fiscal years 1996 through 1999, payments to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands pursuant to the multi-year funding agreements contemplated under the Covenant shall be $11,000,000 annually and for fiscal year 2000, payments to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands shall be $5,580,000, but shall return to the level of $11,000,000 annually for fiscal years 2001 and 2002. In fiscal year 2003, the payment to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands shall be $5,420,000. Such payments shall be subject to an equal local match and all other requirements set forth in the Agreement of the Special Representatives on Future Federal Financial Assistance of the Northern Mariana Islands, executed on December 17, 1992 between the special representative of the President of the United States and special representatives of the Governor of the Northern Mariana Islands with any additional amounts otherwise made available under this section in any fiscal year and not required to meet the schedule of payments in this subsection to be provided as set forth in subsection (c) until Congress otherwise provides by law.

(c) Specific allocations for capital infrastructure projects

The additional amounts referred to in subsection (b) shall be made available to the Secretary for obligation as follows:

(1) for fiscal years 1996 through 2001, $4,580,000 annually for capital infrastructure projects as Impact Aid for Guam under section 1904(e)(6) 1 of this title;

(2) for fiscal year 1996, $7,700,000 shall be provided for capital infrastructure projects in American Samoa; $4,420,000 for resettlement of Rongelap Atoll; and 2

(3) for fiscal years 1997 and thereafter, all such amounts shall be available solely for capital infrastructure projects in Guam, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands, except that $200,000 in fiscal year 2009 and $225,000 annually for fiscal years 2010 through 2018 are hereby rescinded; Provided, That the amount rescinded shall be increased by the same percentage as that of the annual salary and benefit adjustments for Members of Congress 3 Provided, That, in fiscal year 1997, $3,000,000 of such amounts shall be made available to the College of the Northern Marianas and beginning in fiscal year 1997, and in each year thereafter, not to exceed $3,000,000 may be allocated, as provided in appropriations Acts, to the Secretary of the Interior for use by Federal agencies or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands to address immigration, labor, and law enforcement issues in the Northern Mariana Islands. The specific projects to be funded in American Samoa shall be set forth in a five-year plan for infrastructure assistance developed by the Secretary of the Interior in consultation with the American Samoa Government and updated annually and submitted to the Congress concurrent with the budget justifications for the Department of the Interior. In developing budget recommendations for capital infrastructure funding, the Secretary shall indicate the highest priority projects, consider the extent to which particular projects are part of an overall master plan, whether such project has been reviewed by the Corps of Engineers and any recommendations made as a result of such review, the extent to which a set-aside for maintenance would enhance the life of the project, the degree to which a local cost-share requirement would be consistent with local economic and fiscal capabilities, and may propose an incremental set-aside, not to exceed $2,000,000 per year, to remain available without fiscal year limitation, as an emergency fund in the event of natural or other disasters to supplement other assistance in the repair, replacement, or hardening of essential facilities: Provided further, That the cumulative amount set aside for such emergency fund may not exceed $10,000,000 at any time.4

(4) for fiscal year 2000, $5,420,000 shall be provided to the Virgin Islands for correctional facilities and other projects mandated by Federal law.

(d) Resettlement of Rongelap Atoll

Within the amounts allocated for infrastructure pursuant to this section, and subject to the specific allocations made in subsection (c), additional contributions may be made, as set forth in appropriations Acts, to assist in the resettlement of Rongelap Atoll: Provided, That the total of all contributions from any Federal source after April 26, 1996, may not exceed $32,000,000 and shall be contingent upon an agreement, satisfactory to the President, that such contributions are a full and final settlement of all obligations of the United States to assist in the resettlement of Rongelop 5 Atoll and that such funds will be expended solely on resettlement activities and will be properly audited and accounted for. In order to provide such contributions in a timely manner, each Federal agency providing assistance or services, or conducting activities, in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, is authorized to make funds available through the Secretary of the Interior, to assist in the resettlement of Rongelap. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to limit the provision of ex gratia assistance pursuant to section 1905(c)(2) of this title including for individuals choosing not to resettle at Rongelap, except that no such assistance for such individuals may be provided until the Secretary notifies the Congress that the full amount of all funds necessary for resettlement at Rongelap has been provided.

(Pub. L. 94–241, §4, as added Pub. L. 99–396, §10, Aug. 27, 1986, 100 Stat. 841; amended Pub. L. 104–134, title I, §101(c) [title I, §118], Apr. 26, 1996, 110 Stat. 1321–156, 1321-178; renumbered title I, Pub. L. 104–140, §1(a), May 2, 1996, 110 Stat. 1327; Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, §1000(a)(3) [title I], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1535, 1501A-152; Pub. L. 110–229, title VII, §703, May 8, 2008, 122 Stat. 867.)

References in Text

The Covenant, referred to in subsec. (a), is the Covenant to Establish a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in Political Union with the United States of America, which is contained in section 1 of Pub. L. 94–241, set out as a note under section 1801 of this title.

Section 1904(e)(6) of this title, referred to in subsec. (c)(1), was in the original "section 104(c)(6) of Public Law 99–239", which was translated as meaning section 104(e)(6) of Pub. L. 99–239 to reflect the probable intent of Congress, because section 1904(c) does not contain pars. and section 1904(e)(6) relates to impact aid.

Codification

Section was formerly set out as a note under section 1681 of this title.

April 26, 1996, referred to in subsec. (d), was in the original "enactment of this Act", which was translated as meaning the date of enactment of Pub. L. 104–134, which added subsec. (d) of this section, to reflect the probable intent of Congress.

Amendments

2008—Subsec. (c)(3). Pub. L. 110–229 substituted "Marshall Islands, except that $200,000 in fiscal year 2009 and $225,000 annually for fiscal years 2010 through 2018 are hereby rescinded; Provided, That the amount rescinded shall be increased by the same percentage as that of the annual salary and benefit adjustments for Members of Congress" for "Marshall Islands:".

1999—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 106–113 substituted "fiscal years 1996 through 1999" for "fiscal years 1996 through 2002" and "$11,000,000 annually and for fiscal year 2000, payments to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands shall be $5,580,000, but shall return to the level of $11,000,000 annually for fiscal years 2001 and 2002. In fiscal year 2003, the payment to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands shall be $5,420,000. Such payments shall be" for "$11,000,000 annually,".

Subsec. (c)(4). Pub. L. 106–113 added par. (4).

1996—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 104–134 substituted "except that, for fiscal years 1996 through 2002, payments to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands pursuant to the multi-year funding agreements contemplated under the Covenant shall be $11,000,000 annually, subject to an equal local match and all other requirements set forth in the Agreement of the Special Representatives on Future Federal Financial Assistance of the Northern Mariana Islands, executed on December 17, 1992 between the special representative of the President of the United States and special representatives of the Governor of the Northern Mariana Islands with any additional amounts otherwise made available under this section in any fiscal year and not required to meet the schedule of payments in this subsection to be provided as set forth in subsection (c) until Congress otherwise provides by law." for "until Congress otherwise provides by law."

Subsecs. (c), (d). Pub. L. 104–134 added subsecs. (c) and (d).

1 See References in Text note below.

2 So in original. The word "and" probably should not appear.

3 So in original. Probably should be followed by a colon.

4 So in original. The period probably should be "; and".

5 So in original. Probably should be "Rongelap".

§1805. Failure to meet performance standards; resolution of issues; withholding of funds

Should the Secretary of the Interior believe that the performance standards of the agreement identified in section 1803 of this title are not being met, he shall notify the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands in writing with the intent to resolve such issue in a mutually agreeable and expeditious manner and notify the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate. Should the issue not be resolved within thirty days after the notification is received by the Government of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Secretary of the Interior may request authority from Congress to withhold payment of an appropriate amount of the operations funds identified in the schedule of payments in paragraph 2 of part II of the Agreement of the Special Representatives for a period of less than one year but no funds shall be withheld except by Act of Congress.

(Pub. L. 94–241, §5, as added Pub. L. 99–396, §10, Aug. 27, 1986, 100 Stat. 841.)

Codification

Section was formerly set out as a note under section 1681 of this title.

Change of Name

Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs of House of Representatives changed to Committee on Natural Resources of House of Representatives by House Resolution No. 5, One Hundred Third Congress, Jan. 5, 1993.

§1806. Immigration and transition

(a) Application of the Immigration and Nationality Act and establishment of a transition program

(1) In general

Subject to paragraphs (2) and (3), effective on the first day of the first full month commencing 1 year after May 8, 2008 (hereafter referred to as the "transition program effective date"), the provisions of the "immigration laws" (as defined in section 101(a)(17) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(17))) shall apply to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (referred to in this section as the "Commonwealth"), except as otherwise provided in this section.

(2) Transition period

There shall be a transition period beginning on the transition program effective date and ending on December 31, 2029, during which the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Labor, and the Secretary of the Interior, shall establish, administer, and enforce a transition program to regulate immigration to the Commonwealth, as provided in this section (hereafter referred to as the "transition program").

(3) Delay of commencement of transition period

(A) In general

The Secretary of Homeland Security, in the Secretary's sole discretion, in consultation with the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the Governor of the Commonwealth, may determine that the transition program effective date be delayed for a period not to exceed more than 180 days after such date.

(B) Congressional notification

The Secretary of Homeland Security shall notify the Congress of a determination under subparagraph (A) not later than 30 days prior to the transition program effective date.

(C) Congressional review

A delay of the transition program effective date shall not take effect until 30 days after the date on which the notification under subparagraph (B) is made.

(4) Requirement for regulations

The transition program shall be implemented pursuant to regulations to be promulgated, as appropriate, by the head of each agency or department of the United States having responsibilities under the transition program.

(5) Interagency agreements

The Secretary of Homeland Security, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Labor, and the Secretary of the Interior shall negotiate and implement agreements among their agencies to identify and assign their respective duties so as to ensure timely and proper implementation of the provisions of this section. The agreements should address, at a minimum, procedures to ensure that Commonwealth employers have access to adequate labor, and that tourists, students, retirees, and other visitors have access to the Commonwealth without unnecessary delay or impediment. The agreements may also allocate funding between the respective agencies tasked with various responsibilities under this section.

(6) Fees for training United States workers

(A) Supplemental fee

(i) In general

In addition to fees imposed pursuant to section 286(m) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1356(m)) to recover the full costs of adjudication services, the Secretary shall impose an annual supplemental fee of $200 per nonimmigrant worker on each prospective employer who is issued a permit under subsection (d)(3) during the transition program. A prospective employer that is issued a permit with a validity period of longer than 1 year shall pay the fee for each year of requested validity at the time the permit is requested.

(ii) Inflation adjustment

Beginning in fiscal year 2020, the Secretary, through notice in the Federal Register, may annually adjust the supplemental fee imposed under clause (i) by a percentage equal to the annual change in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

(iii) Use of funds

Amounts collected pursuant to clause (i) shall be deposited into the Treasury of the Commonwealth Government for the sole and exclusive purpose of funding vocational education, apprenticeships, or other training programs for United States workers.

(iv) Fraud prevention and detection fee

In addition to the fees described in clause (i), the Secretary—

(I) shall impose, on each prospective employer filing a petition under this subsection for one or more nonimmigrant workers, a $50 fraud prevention and detection fee; and

(II) shall deposit and use the fees collected under subclause (I) for the sole purpose of preventing and detecting immigration benefit fraud in the Northern Mariana Islands, in accordance with section 286(v)(2)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1356(v)(2)(B)).

(B) Plan for the expenditure of funds

Not later than 120 days before the first day of fiscal year 2020, and annually thereafter, the Governor of the Commonwealth Government shall submit to the Secretary of Labor—

(i) a plan for the expenditures of amounts deposited under subparagraph (A)(iii);

(ii) a projection of the effectiveness of such expenditures in the placement of United States workers into jobs held by non-United States workers; and

(iii) a report on the changes in employment of United States workers attributable to expenditures of such amounts during the previous year.

(C) Determination and report

Not later than 120 days after receiving each expenditure plan under subparagraph (B)(i), the Secretary of Labor shall—

(i) issue a determination on the plan; and

(ii) submit a report to Congress that describes the effectiveness of the Commonwealth Government at meeting the goals set forth in such plan.

(D) Payment restriction

Payments may not be made in a fiscal year from amounts deposited under subparagraph (A)(iii) before the Secretary of Labor has approved the expenditure plan submitted under subparagraph (B)(i) for that fiscal year.

(7) Asylum

Section 208 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1158) shall not apply during the transition period to persons physically present in the Commonwealth or arriving in the Commonwealth (whether or not at a designated port of arrival), including persons brought to the Commonwealth after having been interdicted in international or United States waters.

(b) Numerical limitations for nonimmigrant workers

(1) In general

(A) Nonimmigrant workers generally

An alien, if otherwise qualified, may seek admission to Guam or to the Commonwealth during the transition program as a nonimmigrant worker under section 101(a)(15)(H) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 USC 1 1101(a)(15)(H)) without counting against the numerical limitations set forth in section 214(g) of such Act (8 USC 1 1184(g)).

(B) H-2B workers

In the case of an alien described in subparagraph (A) who seeks admission under section 101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(b)), the alien, if otherwise qualified, may, before December 31, 2023, be admitted under such section, notwithstanding the requirement of such section that the service or labor be temporary, for a period of up to 3 years—

(i) to perform service or labor on Guam or in the Commonwealth pursuant to any agreement entered into by a prime contractor or subcontractor calling for services or labor required for performance of a contact 2 or subcontract for construction, repairs, renovations, or facility services that is directly connected to, or associated with, the military realignment occurring on Guam and in the Commonwealth; or

(ii) to perform service or labor as a health care worker (such as a nurse, physician assistant, or allied health professional) at a facility that jointly serves members of the Armed Forces, dependents, and civilians on Guam or in the Commonwealth, subject to the education, training, licensing, and other requirements of section 212(a)(5)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(5)(C)), as applicable, except that this clause shall not be construed to include graduates of medical schools coming to Guam or the Commonwealth to perform service or labor as members of the medical profession.

(2) Locations

Paragraph (1) does not apply with respect to the performance of services of labor at a location other than Guam or the Commonwealth.

(3) Report

Not later than December 1, 2027, the Secretary shall submit a report to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate, the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate, the Committee on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives, and the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives that—

(A) projects the number of asylum claims the Secretary anticipates following the termination of the transition period; and

(B) describes the efforts of the Secretary to ensure appropriate interdiction efforts, provide for appropriate treatment of asylum seekers, and prepare to accept and adjudicate asylum claims in the Commonwealth.

(c) Nonimmigrant investor visas

(1) In general

Notwithstanding the treaty requirements in section 101(a)(15)(E) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(E)), during the transition period, the Secretary of Homeland Security may, upon the application of an alien, classify an alien as a CNMI-only nonimmigrant under section 101(a)(15)(E)(ii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(E)(ii)) if the alien—

(A) has been admitted to the Commonwealth in long-term investor status under the immigration laws of the Commonwealth before the transition program effective date;

(B) has continuously maintained residence in the Commonwealth under long-term investor status;

(C) is otherwise admissible; and

(D) maintains the investment or investments that formed the basis for such long-term investor status.

(2) Requirement for regulations

Not later than 60 days before the transition program effective date, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall publish regulations in the Federal Register to implement this subsection.

(d) Special provision to ensure adequate employment; Commonwealth only transitional workers

An alien who is seeking to enter the Commonwealth as a nonimmigrant worker may be admitted to perform work during the transition period subject to the following requirements:

(1) Such an alien shall be treated as a nonimmigrant described in section 101(a)(15) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)), including the ability to apply, if otherwise eligible, for a change of nonimmigrant classification under section 248 of such Act (8 U.S.C. 1258) or adjustment of status under this section and section 245 of such Act (8 U.S.C. 1255).

(2) Protection for united states workers.—

(A) Temporary labor certification.—

(i) In general.—Beginning with petitions filed with employment start dates in fiscal year 2020, a petition to import a nonimmigrant worker under this subsection may not be approved by the Secretary unless the petitioner has applied to the Secretary of Labor for a temporary labor certification confirming that—

(I) there are not sufficient United States workers in the Commonwealth who are able, willing, qualified, and available at the time and place needed to perform the services or labor involved in the petition; and

(II) employment of the nonimmigrant worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed United States workers.


(ii) Petition.—After receiving a temporary labor certification under clause (i), a prospective employer may submit a petition to the Secretary for a Commonwealth Only Transitional Worker permit on behalf of the nonimmigrant worker.


(B) Prevailing wage survey.—

(i) In general.—In order to effectuate the requirement for a temporary labor certification under subparagraph (A)(i), the Secretary of Labor shall use, or make available to employers, an occupational wage survey conducted by the Governor that the Secretary of Labor has determined meets the statistical standards for determining prevailing wages in the Commonwealth on an annual basis.

(ii) Alternative method for determining the prevailing wage.—In the absence of an occupational wage survey approved by the Secretary of Labor under clause (i), the prevailing wage for an occupation in the Commonwealth shall be the arithmetic mean of the wages of workers similarly employed in the territory of Guam according to the wage component of the Occupational Employment Statistics Survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


(C) Minimum wage.—An employer shall pay each Commonwealth Only Transitional Worker a wage that is not less than the greater of—

(i) the statutory minimum wage in the Commonwealth;

(ii) the Federal minimum wage; or

(iii) the prevailing wage in the Commonwealth for the occupation in which the worker is employed.


(3) Permits.—

(A) In general.—The Secretary shall establish, administer, and enforce a system for allocating and determining terms and conditions of permits to be issued to prospective employers for each nonimmigrant worker described in this subsection who would not otherwise be eligible for admission under the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.).

(B) Numerical cap.—The number of permits issued under subparagraph (A) may not exceed—

(i) 13,000 for fiscal year 2019;

(ii) 12,500 for fiscal year 2020;

(iii) 12,000 for fiscal year 2021;

(iv) 11,500 for fiscal year 2022;

(v) 11,000 for fiscal year 2023;

(vi) 10,000 for fiscal year 2024;

(vii) 9,000 for fiscal year 2025;

(viii) 8,000 for fiscal year 2026;

(ix) 7,000 for fiscal year 2027;

(x) 6,000 for fiscal year 2028;

(xi) 5,000 for fiscal year 2029; and

(xii) 1,000 for the first quarter of fiscal year 2030.


(C) Reports regarding the percentage of united states workers.—

(i) By governor.—Not later than 60 days before the end of each calendar year, the Governor shall submit a report to the Secretary that identifies the ratio between United States workers and other workers in the Commonwealth's workforce based on income tax filings with the Commonwealth for the tax year.

(ii) By gao.—Not later than December 31, 2019, and biennially thereafter, the Comptroller General of the United States shall submit a report to the Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate, the Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives, the Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions of the Senate and the Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce of the House of Representatives that identifies the ratio between United States workers and other workers in the Commonwealth's workforce during each of the previous 5 calendar years.


(D) Petition; issuance of permits.—

(i) Submission.—A prospective employer may submit a petition for a permit under this paragraph not earlier than—

(I) 120 days before the date on which the prospective employer needs the beneficiary's services; or

(II) if the petition is for the renewal of an existing permit, not earlier than 180 days before the expiration of such permit.


(ii) Employment verification.—The Secretary shall establish a system for each employer of a Commonwealth Only Transitional Worker to submit a semiannual report to the Secretary and the Secretary of Labor that provides evidence to verify the continuing employment and payment of such worker under the terms and conditions set forth in the permit petition that the employer filed on behalf of such worker.

(iii) Revocation.—

(I) In general.—The Secretary, in the Secretary's discretion, may revoke a permit approved under this paragraph for good cause, including if—

(aa) the employer fails to maintain the continuous employment of the subject worker, fails to pay the subject worker, fails to timely file a semiannual report required under this paragraph, commits any other violation of the terms and conditions of employment, or otherwise ceases to operate as a legitimate business (as defined in clause (iv)(II));

(bb) the beneficiary of such petition does not apply for admission to the Commonwealth by the date that is 10 days after the period of petition validity begins, if the employer has requested consular processing; or

(cc) the employer fails to provide a former, current, or prospective Commonwealth Only Transitional Worker, not later than 21 business days after receiving a written request from such worker, with the original (or a certified copy of the original) of all petitions, notices, and other written communication related to the worker (other than sensitive financial or proprietary information of the employer, which may be redacted) that has been exchanged between the employer and the Department of Labor, the Department of Homeland Security, or any other Federal agency or department.


(II) Reallocation of revoked petition.—Notwithstanding subparagraph (C), for each permit revoked under subclause (I) in a fiscal year, an additional permit shall be made available for use in the subsequent fiscal year.


(iv) Legitimate business.—

(I) In general.—A permit may not be approved for a prospective employer that is not a legitimate business.

(II) Defined term.—In this clause, the term "legitimate business" means a real, active, and operating commercial or entrepreneurial undertaking that the Secretary, in the Secretary's sole discretion, determines—

(aa) produces services or goods for profit, or is a governmental, charitable, or other validly recognized nonprofit entity;

(bb) meets applicable legal requirements for doing business in the Commonwealth;

(cc) has substantially complied with wage and hour laws, occupational safety and health requirements, and all other Federal, Commonwealth, and local requirements related to employment during the preceding 5 years;

(dd) does not directly or indirectly engage in, or knowingly benefit from, prostitution, human trafficking, or any other activity that is illegal under Federal, Commonwealth, or local law;

(ee) is a participant in good standing in the E-Verify program;

(ff) does not have, as an owner, investor, manager, operator, or person meaningfully involved with the undertaking, any individual who has been the owner, investor, manager, operator, or otherwise meaningfully involved with an undertaking that does not comply with item (cc) or (dd), or is the agent of such an individual; and

(gg) is not a successor in interest to an undertaking that does not comply with item (cc) or (dd).


(v) Construction occupations.—A permit for Construction and Extraction Occupations (as defined by the Department of Labor as Standard Occupational Classification Group 47–0000) may not be issued for any worker other than a worker described in paragraph (7)(B).


(E) Typhoon recovery.—

(i) Permits for construction workers.—Notwithstanding any numerical cap set forth in subparagraph (B) for each of fiscal years 2020, 2021, and 2022, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall increase by 3,000, for each such fiscal year, the total number of permits available under this subsection for Construction and Extraction Occupations (as defined by the Department of Labor as Standard Occupational Classification Group 47–0000).

(ii) Permit requirements.—The Secretary may only issue a permit made available under clause (i) to a prospective employer if the permit is for an alien who—

(I) is a national of a country designated eligible to participate in the program under section 101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(b)) during calendar year 2018; and

(II) is performing service or labor pursuant to a contract or subcontract for construction, repairs, renovations, or facility services directly connected to, or associated with recovery from a presidentially declared major disaster or emergency (as those terms are defined in section 5122 of title 42), or for preparation for a future disaster or emergency.


(iii) Exception for construction workers.—Subparagraph (D)(v) shall not apply to a permit made available under clause (i) for any fiscal year described in such clause.


(4) The Secretary of Homeland Security shall set the conditions for admission of such an alien under the transition program, and the Secretary of State shall authorize the issuance of nonimmigrant visas for such an alien. Such a visa shall not be valid for admission to the United States, as defined in section 101(a)(38) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(38)), except admission to the Commonwealth or to Guam for the purpose of transit only. An alien admitted to the Commonwealth on the basis of such a visa shall be permitted to engage in employment only as authorized pursuant to the transition program.

(5) Such an alien shall be permitted to transfer between employers in the Commonwealth during the period of such alien's authorized stay therein, without permission of the employee's current or prior employer, within the alien's occupational category or another occupational category the Secretary of Homeland Security has found requires alien workers to supplement the resident workforce. Approval of a petition filed by the new employer with a start date within the same fiscal year as the current permit shall not count against the numerical limitation for that period.

(6) The Secretary of Homeland Security may authorize the admission of a spouse or minor child accompanying or following to join a worker admitted pursuant to this subsection.

(7) Requirement to remain outside of the united states.—

(A) In general.—Except as provided in subparagraph (B)—

(i) a permit for a Commonwealth Only Transitional Worker—

(I) shall remain valid for a period that may not exceed 1 year; and

(II) may be renewed for not more than two consecutive, 1-year periods; and


(ii) at the expiration of the second renewal period, an alien may not again be eligible for such a permit until after the alien has remained outside of the United States for a continuous period of at least 30 days prior to the submission of a renewal petition on their behalf.


(B) Long-term workers.—An alien who was admitted to the Commonwealth as a Commonwealth Only Transitional Worker during fiscal year 2015, and during every subsequent fiscal year beginning before July 24, 2018, may receive a permit for a Commonwealth Only Transitional Worker that is valid for a period that may not exceed 3 years and may be renewed for additional 3-year periods during the transition period. A permit issued under this subparagraph shall be counted toward the numerical cap for each fiscal year within the period of petition validity.

(e) Persons lawfully admitted under the Commonwealth immigration law

(1) Prohibition on removal

(A) In general

Subject to subparagraph (B), no alien who is lawfully present in the Commonwealth pursuant to the immigration laws of the Commonwealth on the transition program effective date shall be removed from the United States on the grounds that such alien's presence in the Commonwealth is in violation of section 212(a)(6)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(6)(A)), until the earlier of the date—

(i) of the completion of the period of the alien's admission under the immigration laws of the Commonwealth; or

(ii) that is 2 years after the transition program effective date.

(B) Limitations

Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prevent or limit the removal under subparagraph 212(a)(6)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(6)(A)) of such an alien at any time, if the alien entered the Commonwealth after May 8, 2008, and the Secretary of Homeland Security has determined that the Government of the Commonwealth has violated section 702(i) of the Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008.

(2) Employment authorization

An alien who is lawfully present and authorized to be employed in the Commonwealth pursuant to the immigration laws of the Commonwealth on the transition program effective date shall be considered authorized by the Secretary of Homeland Security to be employed in the Commonwealth until the earlier of the date—

(A) of expiration of the alien's employment authorization under the immigration laws of the Commonwealth; or

(B) that is 2 years after the transition program effective date.

(3) Registration

The Secretary of Homeland Security may require any alien present in the Commonwealth on or after the transition period effective date to register with the Secretary in such a manner, and according to such schedule, as he may in his discretion require. Paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection shall not apply to any alien who fails to comply with such registration requirement. Notwithstanding any other law, the Government of the Commonwealth shall provide to the Secretary all Commonwealth immigration records or other information that the Secretary deems necessary to assist the implementation of this paragraph or other provisions of the Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008. Nothing in this paragraph shall modify or limit section 262 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1302) or other provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act [8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.] relating to the registration of aliens.

(4) Removable aliens

Except as specifically provided in paragraph (1)(A) of this subsection, nothing in this subsection shall prohibit or limit the removal of any alien who is removable under the Immigration and Nationality Act.

(5) Prior orders of removal

The Secretary of Homeland Security may execute any administratively final order of exclusion, deportation or removal issued under authority of the immigration laws of the United States before, on, or after the transition period effective date, or under authority of the immigration laws of the Commonwealth before the transition period effective date, upon any subject of such order found in the Commonwealth on or after the transition period effective date, regardless whether the alien has previously been removed from the United States or the Commonwealth pursuant to such order.

(6) Special provision regarding long-term residents of the Commonwealth

(A) CNMI Resident status

An alien described in subparagraph (B) may, upon the application of the alien, be admitted in CNMI Resident status to the Commonwealth subject to the following rules:

(i) The alien shall be treated as an alien lawfully admitted to the Commonwealth only, including permitting entry to and exit from the Commonwealth, until the earlier of the date on which—

(I) the alien ceases to reside in the Commonwealth; or

(II) the alien's status is adjusted under section 245 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1255) to that of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence in accordance with all applicable eligibility requirements.


(ii) The Secretary of Homeland Security—

(I) shall establish a process for such alien to apply for CNMI Resident status during the 180-day period beginning on a date determined by the Secretary but not later than the first day of the sixth month after June 25, 2019; and

(II) may, in the Secretary's discretion, authorize deferred action or parole, as appropriate, with work authorization, for such alien beginning on June 25, 2019, and continuing through the end of such 180-day period or the date of adjudication of the alien's application for CNMI Resident status, whichever is later.


(iii) Nothing in this subparagraph may be construed to provide any alien granted status under this subparagraph with public assistance to which the alien is not otherwise entitled.

(iv) An alien granted status under this paragraph—

(I) is subject to all grounds of deportability under section 237 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1227);

(II) is subject to all grounds of inadmissibility under section 212 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1182) if seeking admission to the United States at a port of entry in the Commonwealth;

(III) is inadmissible to the United States at any port of entry outside the Commonwealth, except that the Secretary of Homeland Security may in the Secretary's discretion authorize admission of such alien at a port of entry in Guam for the purpose of direct transit to the Commonwealth, which admission shall be considered an admission to the Commonwealth;

(IV) automatically shall lose such status if the alien travels from the Commonwealth to any other place in the United States, except that the Secretary of Homeland Security may in the Secretary's discretion establish procedures for the advance approval on a case-by-case basis of such travel for a temporary and legitimate purpose, and the Secretary may in the Secretary's discretion authorize the direct transit of aliens with CNMI Resident status through Guam to a foreign place;

(V) shall be authorized to work in the Commonwealth incident to status; and

(VI) shall be issued appropriate travel documentation and evidence of work authorization by the Secretary.

(B) Aliens described

An alien is described in this subparagraph if the alien—

(i) was lawfully present on June 25, 2019, or on December 31, 2018, in the Commonwealth under the immigration laws of the United States, including pursuant to a grant of parole under section 212(d)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(d)(5)) or deferred action;

(ii) is admissible as an immigrant to the United States under the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.), except that no immigrant visa is required;

(iii) resided continuously and lawfully in the Commonwealth from November 28, 2009, through June 25, 2019;

(iv) is not a citizen of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau; and

(v) in addition—

(I) was born in the Northern Mariana Islands between January 1, 1974, and January 9, 1978;

(II) was, on November 27, 2009, a permanent resident of the Commonwealth (as defined in section 4303 of title 3 of the Northern Mariana Islands Commonwealth Code, in effect on May 8, 2008);

(III) is the spouse or child (as defined in section 101(b)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(b)(1))) of an alien described in subclause (I) or (II);

(IV) was, on November 27, 2011, a spouse, child, or parent of a United States citizen, notwithstanding the age of the United States citizen, and continues to have such family relationship with the citizen on the date of the application described in subparagraph (A); or

(V) had a grant of parole under section 212(d)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(d)(5)) on December 31, 2018, under the former parole program for certain in-home caregivers administered by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

(C) Authority of Attorney General

Beginning on the first day of the 180-day period established by the Secretary of Homeland Security under subparagraph (A)(ii)(I), the Attorney General may accept and adjudicate an application for CNMI Resident status under this paragraph by an alien who is in removal proceedings before the Attorney General if the alien—

(i) makes an initial application to the Attorney General within such 180-day period; or

(ii) applied to the Secretary of Homeland Security during such 180-period 3 and before being placed in removal proceedings, and the Secretary denied the application.

(D) Judicial review

Notwithstanding any other law, no court shall have jurisdiction to review any decision of the Secretary of Homeland Security or the Attorney General on an application under this paragraph or any other action or determination of the Secretary of Homeland Security or the Attorney General to implement, administer, or enforce this paragraph.

(E) Procedure

The requirements of chapter 5 of title 5 (commonly referred to as the Administrative Procedure Act), or any other law relating to rulemaking, information collection or publication in the Federal Register shall not apply to any action to implement, administer or enforce this paragraph.

(f) Effect on other laws

The provisions of this section and of the immigration laws, as defined in section 101(a)(17) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(17)), shall, on the transition program effective date, supersede and replace all laws, provisions, or programs of the Commonwealth relating to the admission of aliens and the removal of aliens from the Commonwealth.

(g) Accrual of time for purposes of section 212(a)(9)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act

No time that an alien is present in the Commonwealth in violation of the immigration laws of the Commonwealth shall be counted for purposes of inadmissibility under section 212(a)(9)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(9)(B)).

(h) Report on nonresident guestworker population

The Secretary of the Interior, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Governor of the Commonwealth, shall report to the Congress not later than 2 years after May 8, 2008. The report shall include—

(1) the number of aliens residing in the Commonwealth;

(2) a description of the legal status (under Federal law) of such aliens;

(3) the number of years each alien has been residing in the Commonwealth;

(4) the current and future requirements of the Commonwealth economy for an alien workforce; and

(5) such recommendations to the Congress, as the Secretary may deem appropriate, related to whether or not the Congress should consider permitting lawfully admitted guest workers lawfully residing in the Commonwealth on May 8, 2008, to apply for long-term status under the immigration and nationality laws of the United States.

(i) Definitions

In this section:

(1) Commonwealth

The term "Commonwealth" means the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

(2) Commonwealth Only Transition Worker

The term "Commonwealth Only Transition Worker" means an alien who has been admitted into the Commonwealth under the transition program and is eligible for a permit under subsection (d)(3).

(3) Governor

The term "Governor" means the Governor of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

(4) Secretary

The term "Secretary" means the Secretary of Homeland Security.

(5) Tax year

The term "tax year" means the fiscal year immediately preceding the current fiscal year.

(6) United States worker

The term "United States worker" means any worker who is—

(A) a citizen or national of the United States;

(B) an alien who has been lawfully admitted for permanent residence; or

(C) a citizen of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau (known collectively as the "Freely Associated States") who has been lawfully admitted to the United States pursuant to—

(i) section 141 of the Compact of Free Association between the Government of the United States and the Governments of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia (48 U.S.C. 1921 note); 4 or

(ii) section 141 of the Compact of Free Association between the United States and the Government of Palau (48 U.S.C. 1931 note).

(Pub. L. 94–241, §6, as added Pub. L. 110–229, title VII, §702(a), May 8, 2008, 122 Stat. 854; amended Pub. L. 113–235, §10, Dec. 16, 2014, 128 Stat. 2134; Pub. L. 115–53, §2, Aug. 22, 2017, 131 Stat. 1091; Pub. L. 115–91, div. A, title X, §1049(a), Dec. 12, 2017, 131 Stat. 1558; Pub. L. 115–218, §3(a), July 24, 2018, 132 Stat. 1547; Pub. L. 115–232, div. A, title X, §1045(a), Aug. 13, 2018, 132 Stat. 1959; Pub. L. 116–24, §2, June 25, 2019, 133 Stat. 977; Pub. L. 116–94, div. P, title IX, §902, Dec. 20, 2019, 133 Stat. 3197.)

References in Text

The Immigration and Nationality Act, referred to in subsecs. (d)(3)(A) and (e)(3), (4), (6)(B)(ii), is act June 27, 1952, ch. 477, 66 Stat. 163, which is classified principally to chapter 12 (§1101 et seq.) of Title 8, Aliens and Nationality. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1101 of Title 8 and Tables.

The Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008, referred to in subsec. (e)(1)(B), (3), is Pub. L. 110–229, May 8, 2008, 122 Stat. 754. Section 702(i) of the Act is set out as a note under this section. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title of 2008 Amendment note set out under section 1 of Title 16, Conservation, and Tables.

Section 141 of the Compact of Free Association between the Government of the United States and the Governments of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia, referred to in subsec. (i)(6)(C)(i), is contained in section 201 of Pub. L. 99–239, set out as a note under section 1901 of Title 48, Territories and Insular Possessions.

Section 141 of the Compact of Free Association between the United States and the Government of Palau, referred to in subsec. (i)(6)(C)(ii), is contained in section 201 of Pub. L. 99–658, set out as a note under section 1931 of Title 48, Territories and Insular Possessions.

Amendments

2019—Subsec. (d)(3)(E). Pub. L. 116–94 added subpar. (E).

Subsec. (e)(6). Pub. L. 116–24 added par. (6).

2018—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 115–218, §3(a)(1)(A), substituted "2029" for "2019".

Subsec. (a)(6). Pub. L. 115–218, §3(a)(1)(B), amended par. (6) generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "In addition to fees charged pursuant to section 286(m) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1356(m)) to recover the full costs of providing adjudication services, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall charge an annual supplemental fee of $200 per nonimmigrant worker to each prospective employer who is issued a permit under subsection (d) of this section during the transition period. Such supplemental fee shall be paid into the Treasury of the Commonwealth government for the purpose of funding ongoing vocational educational curricula and program development by Commonwealth educational entities."

Subsec. (b)(1)(B). Pub. L. 115–232, §1045(a)(1), amended subpar. (B) generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "In the case of such an alien who seeks admission under section 101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(b) of such Act, such alien, if otherwise qualified, may, before October 1, 2023, be admitted under such section for a period of up to 3 years to perform service or labor on Guam or the Commonwealth pursuant to any agreement entered into by a prime contractor or subcontractor calling for services or labor required for performance of a contact or subcontract for construction, repairs, renovations, or facility services that is directly connected to, or associated with, the military realignment occurring on Guam and the Commonwealth, notwithstanding the requirement of such section that the service or labor be temporary."

Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 115–232, §1045(a)(2), amended par. (2) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (2) provided numerical limitation on number of aliens that could be admitted for any fiscal year and directed that par. (1)(B) would not apply with respect to performance of services or labor at a location other than Guam or the Commonwealth.

Subsec. (b)(3). Pub. L. 115–218, §3(a)(2), added par. (3).

Subsec. (d)(2). Pub. L. 115–218, §3(a)(3)(B), added par. (2). Former par. (2) redesignated (3).

Subsec. (d)(3). Pub. L. 115–218, §3(a)(3)(C), amended par. (3) generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "The Secretary of Homeland Security shall establish, administer, and enforce a system for allocating and determining the number, terms, and conditions of permits to be issued to prospective employers for each such nonimmigrant worker described in this subsection who would not otherwise be eligible for admission under the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.), except a permit for construction occupations (as that term is defined by the Department of Labor as Standard Occupational Classification Group 47–0000 or any successor provision) shall only be issued to extend a permit first issued before October 1, 2015. In adopting and enforcing this system, the Secretary shall also consider, in good faith and not later than 30 days after receipt by the Secretary, any comments and advice submitted by the Governor of the Commonwealth. This system shall provide for a reduction in the allocation of permits for such workers on an annual basis to zero, during a period ending on December 31, 2019, except that for fiscal year 2017 an additional 350 permits shall be made available for extension of existing permits, expiring after August 22, 2017, through September 30, 2017, of which no fewer than 60 shall be reserved for healthcare practitioners and technical operations (as that term is defined by the Department of Labor as Standard Occupational Classification Group 29–0000 or any successor provision), and no fewer than 10 shall be reserved for plant and system operators (as that term is defined by the Department of Labor as Standard Occupational Classification Group 51–8000 or any successor provision). In no event shall a permit be valid beyond the expiration of the transition period. This system may be based on any reasonable method and criteria determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security to promote the maximum use of, and to prevent adverse effects on wages and working conditions of, workers authorized to be employed in the United States, including lawfully admissible freely associated state citizen labor. No alien shall be granted nonimmigrant classification or a visa under this subsection unless the permit requirements established under this paragraph have been met."

Pub. L. 115–218, §3(a)(3)(A), redesignated par. (2) as (3). Former par. (3) redesignated (4).

Subsec. (d)(4). Pub. L. 115–218, §3(a)(3)(D), inserted "or to Guam for the purpose of transit only" after "except admission to the Commonwealth".

Pub. L. 115–218, §3(a)(3)(A), redesignated par. (3) as (4). Former par. (4) redesignated (5).

Subsec. (d)(5). Pub. L. 115–218, §3(a)(3)(E), inserted at end "Approval of a petition filed by the new employer with a start date within the same fiscal year as the current permit shall not count against the numerical limitation for that period."

Pub. L. 115–218, §3(a)(3)(A), redesignated par. (4) as (5). Former par. (5) redesignated (6).

Subsec. (d)(6). Pub. L. 115–218, §3(a)(3)(A), redesignated par. (5) as (6).

Subsec. (d)(7). Pub. L. 115–218, §3(a)(3)(F), added par. (7).

Subsec. (i). Pub. L. 115–218, §3(a)(4), added subsec. (i).

2017—Subsec. (a)(6). Pub. L. 115–53, §2(1), substituted "$200" for "$150".

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 115–91 amended subsec. (b) generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "An alien, if otherwise qualified, may seek admission to Guam or to the Commonwealth during the transition program as a nonimmigrant worker under section 101(a)(15)(H) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(H)) without counting against the numerical limitations set forth in section 214(g) of such Act (8 U.S.C. 1184(g)). This subsection does not apply to any employment to be performed outside of Guam or the Commonwealth. Not later than 3 years following the transition program effective date, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall issue a report to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate and the Committee on Natural Resources and the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives projecting the number of asylum claims the Secretary anticipates following the termination of the transition period, the efforts the Secretary has made to ensure appropriate interdiction efforts, provide for appropriate treatment of asylum seekers, and prepare to accept and adjudicate asylum claims in the Commonwealth."

Subsec. (d)(2). Pub. L. 115–53, §2(2), inserted ", except a permit for construction occupations (as that term is defined by the Department of Labor as Standard Occupational Classification Group 47–0000 or any successor provision) shall only be issued to extend a permit first issued before October 1, 2015" after "(8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.)" and substituted "ending on December 31, 2019, except that for fiscal year 2017 an additional 350 permits shall be made available for extension of existing permits, expiring after August 22, 2017, through September 30, 2017, of which no fewer than 60 shall be reserved for healthcare practitioners and technical operations (as that term is defined by the Department of Labor as Standard Occupational Classification Group 29–0000 or any successor provision), and no fewer than 10 shall be reserved for plant and system operators (as that term is defined by the Department of Labor as Standard Occupational Classification Group 51–8000 or any successor provision)" for " 'ending on December 31, 2019' ".

2014—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 113–235, §10(1), substituted "December 31, 2019" for "December 31, 2014, except as provided in subsections (b) and (d)".

Subsec. (d)(2). Pub. L. 113–235, §10(2)(A), substituted " 'ending on December 31, 2019' " for "not to extend beyond December 31, 2014, unless extended pursuant to paragraph 5 of this subsection".

Subsec. (d)(5), (6). Pub. L. 113–235, §10(2)(B), (C), redesignated par. (6) as (5), and struck out former par. (5), which related to ascertaining current and anticipated labor needs of the Commonwealth, determination whether an extension of up to 5 years of provisions of subsection is necessary, publication of notice of such extension, and factors in determining whether alien workers are necessary to ensure adequate number of workers.

Change of Name

Committee on Education and the Workforce of House of Representatives changed to Committee on Education and Labor of House of Representatives by House Resolution No. 6, One Hundred Sixteenth Congress, Jan. 9, 2019.

Effective Date of 2018 Amendment

Pub. L. 115–232, div. A, title X, §1045(b), Aug. 13, 2018, 132 Stat. 1959, provided that: "The amendments made by subsection (a) [amending this section] shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act [Aug. 13, 2018]."

Pub. L. 115–218, §3(e), July 24, 2018, 132 Stat. 1554, provided that:

"(1) In general.—Except as specifically otherwise provided, this Act [see Short Title of 2018 Amendment note set out under section 1801 of this title] and the amendments made by this Act—

"(A) shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act [July 24, 2018]; and

"(B) shall apply to petitions for Commonwealth Only Transitional Workers filed on or after such date.

"(2) Authority of secretary of homeland security.—The Secretary of Homeland Security, in the Secretary's discretion, may delay the effective date of any provision of this Act relating to Commonwealth Only Transition Workers until the effective date of the interim final rule described in subsection (b) [set out as a Rulemaking note below], except for provisions providing annual numerical caps for such workers."

Effective Date of 2017 Amendment

Pub. L. 115–91, div. A, title X, §1049(c), Dec. 12, 2017, 131 Stat. 1559, provided that: "The amendment made by subsection (a) [amending this section] shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act [Dec. 12, 2017] and shall apply as follows:

"(1) In the case of services or labor to be performed on Guam, such amendment shall apply beginning on the date that is 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.

"(2) In the case of services or labor to be performed on the Common Wealth [sic] of the Northern Mariana Islands, such amendment shall apply beginning on the later of—

"(A) the date that is 120 days after the date of the submittal of the certification and report required under subsection (b) [131 Stat. 1559]; or

"(B) the date on which the transition program ends under section 6(a)(2) of the Joint Resolution entitled 'A Joint Resolution to approve the "Covenant To Establish a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in Political Union With the United States of America", and for other purposes', approved March 24, 1976 (48 U.S.C. 1806(a)(2))."

Effective Date

Pub. L. 110–229, title VII, §705, May 8, 2008, 122 Stat. 867, as amended by Pub. L. 113–4, title VIII, §809, Mar. 7, 2013, 127 Stat. 117, provided that:

"(a) In General.—Except as specifically provided in this section or otherwise in this subtitle [subtitle A (§§701–705) of title VII of Pub. L. 110–229, enacting this section and sections 1807 and 1808 of this title, amending section 1804 of this title and sections 1101, 1158, 1182, 1184, and 1225 of Title 8, Immigration and Nationality, enacting provisions set out as notes under this section, section 1801 of this title, and section 1182 of Title 8, and amending provisions set out as notes under section 1801 of this title], this subtitle and the amendments made by this subtitle shall take effect on the date of enactment of this Act [May 8, 2008].

"(b) Amendments to the Immigration and Nationality Act.—The amendments to the Immigration and Nationality Act [8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.] made by this subtitle [amending sections 1101, 1158, 1182, 1184, and 1225 of Title 8], and other provisions of this subtitle applying the immigration laws (as defined in section 101(a)(17) of Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(17))) to the Commonwealth, shall take effect on the transition program effective date described in section 6 of Public Law 94–241 [48 U.S.C. 1806] (as added by section 702(a)), unless specifically provided otherwise in this subtitle.

"(c) Construction.—Nothing in this subtitle or the amendments made by this subtitle shall be construed to make any residence or presence in the Commonwealth before the transition program effective date described in section 6 of Public Law 94–241 [48 U.S.C. 1806] (as added by section 702(a)) residence or presence in the United States, except that—

"(1) for the purpose of determining whether an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence (as defined in section 101(a)(20) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(20))[)] has abandoned or lost such status by reason of absence from the United States, such alien's presence in the Commonwealth, before, on or after November 28, 2009, shall be considered to be presence in the United States; and

"(2) for the purpose of determining whether an alien whose application for status under subparagraph (T) or (U) of section 101(a)(15) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)) was granted is subsequently eligible for adjustment under subsection (l) or (m) of section 245 of such Act (8 U.S.C. 1255), such alien's physical presence in the Commonwealth before, on, or after November 28, 2009, and subsequent to the grant of the application, shall be considered as equivalent to presence in the United States pursuant to a nonimmigrant admission in such status."

Rulemaking

Pub. L. 115–218, §3(b), July 24, 2018, 132 Stat. 1554, provided that:

"(1) Secretary of homeland security.—Notwithstanding the requirements under section 553(b) of title 5, United States Code, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall publish in the Federal Register, not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [July 24, 2018], an interim final rule that specifies how the Secretary intends to implement the amendments made by subsection (a) [amending this section] that relate to the responsibilities of the Secretary.

"(2) Secretary of labor.—Notwithstanding the requirements under section 553(b) of title 5, United States Code, the Secretary of Labor shall publish in the Federal Register, not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, an interim final rule that specifies how the Secretary intends to implement the amendments made by subsection (a) that relate to the responsibilities of the Secretary.

"(3) Recommendations of the governor.—In developing the interim final rules under paragraphs (1) and (2), the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of Labor—

"(A) shall each consider, in good faith, any written public recommendations regarding the implementation of this Act [see Short Title of 2018 Amendment note set out under section 1801 of this title] that are submitted by the Governor of the Commonwealth not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act; and

"(B) may include provisions in such rule that are responsive to any recommendation of the Governor that is not inconsistent with this Act, including a recommendation to reserve a number of permits each year for occupational categories necessary to maintain public health or safety in the Commonwealth."

Purposes of Pub. L. 115–218

Pub. L. 115–218, §2, July 24, 2018, 132 Stat. 1547, provided that: "The purposes of this Act [see Short Title of 2018 Amendment note set out under section 1801 of this title] are—

"(1) to increase the percentage of United States workers (as defined in section 6(i) of the Joint Resolution entitled 'A Joint Resolution to approve the "Covenant To Establish a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in Political Union with the United States of America", and for other purposes' (48 U.S.C. 1806[(i)])) in the total workforce of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, while maintaining the minimum number of workers who are not United States workers to meet the changing demands of the Northern Mariana Islands' economy;

"(2) to encourage the hiring of United States workers into such workforce; and

"(3) to ensure that no United States worker—

"(A) is at a competitive disadvantage for employment compared to a worker who is not a United States worker; or

"(B) is displaced by a worker who is not a United States worker."

Outreach and Training

Pub. L. 115–218, §3(d), July 24, 2018, 132 Stat. 1554, provided that: "Not later than 120 days after the date on which the Secretary of Labor publishes an interim final rule in the Federal Register in accordance with subsection (b)(2) [set out as a Rulemaking note above], the Secretary shall conduct outreach and training in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands for employers and workers on the foreign labor certification process set forth in section 6 of the Joint Resolution entitled 'A Joint Resolution to approve the "Covenant To Establish a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in Political Union with the United States of America", and for other purposes' [48 U.S.C. 1806], as amended by subsection (b) [probably should be "(a)"], including the minimum wage requirement set forth in subsection (d)(2)(C) of such section."

Congressional Intent

Pub. L. 110–229, title VII, §701, May 8, 2008, 122 Stat. 853, provided that:

"(a) Immigration and Growth.—In recognition of the need to ensure uniform adherence to long-standing fundamental immigration policies of the United States, it is the intention of the Congress in enacting this subtitle [subtitle A (§§701–705) of title VII of Pub. L. 110–229, see Effective Date note set out above]—

"(1) to ensure that effective border control procedures are implemented and observed, and that national security and homeland security issues are properly addressed, by extending the immigration laws (as defined in section 101(a)(17) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(17)), to apply to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (referred to in this subtitle as the 'Commonwealth'), with special provisions to allow for—

"(A) the orderly phasing-out of the nonresident contract worker program of the Commonwealth; and

"(B) the orderly phasing-in of Federal responsibilities over immigration in the Commonwealth; and

"(2) to minimize, to the greatest extent practicable, potential adverse economic and fiscal effects of phasing-out the Commonwealth's nonresident contract worker program and to maximize the Commonwealth's potential for future economic and business growth by—

"(A) encouraging diversification and growth of the economy of the Commonwealth in accordance with fundamental values underlying Federal immigration policy;

"(B) recognizing local self-government, as provided for in the Covenant To Establish a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in Political Union With the United States of America through consultation with the Governor of the Commonwealth;

"(C) assisting the Commonwealth in achieving a progressively higher standard of living for citizens of the Commonwealth through the provision of technical and other assistance;

"(D) providing opportunities for individuals authorized to work in the United States, including citizens of the freely associated states; and

"(E) providing a mechanism for the continued use of alien workers, to the extent those workers continue to be necessary to supplement the Commonwealth's resident workforce, and to protect those workers from the potential for abuse and exploitation.

"(b) Avoiding Adverse Effects.—In recognition of the Commonwealth's unique economic circumstances, history, and geographical location, it is the intent of the Congress that the Commonwealth be given as much flexibility as possible in maintaining existing businesses and other revenue sources, and developing new economic opportunities, consistent with the mandates of this subtitle. This subtitle, and the amendments made by this subtitle, should be implemented wherever possible to expand tourism and economic development in the Commonwealth, including aiding prospective tourists in gaining access to the Commonwealth's memorials, beaches, parks, dive sites, and other points of interest."

Reports

Pub. L. 110–229, title VII, §702(h)(1), (2), May 8, 2008, 122 Stat. 864, provided that:

"(1) In general.—Not later than March 1 of the first year that is at least 2 full years after the date of enactment of this subtitle [May 8, 2008], and annually thereafter, the President shall submit to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate and the Committee on Natural Resources and the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives a report that evaluates the overall effect of the transition program established under section 6 [48 U.S.C. 1806] of the Joint Resolution entitled 'A Joint Resolution to approve the "Covenant To Establish a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in Political Union with the United States of America", and for other purposes', approved March 24, 1976 (Public Law 94–241), as added by subsection (a), and the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.) on the Commonwealth.

"(2) Contents.—In addition to other topics otherwise required to be included under this subtitle [subtitle A (§§701–705) of title VII of Pub. L. 110–229, see Effective Date note set out above] or the amendments made by this subtitle, each report submitted under paragraph (1) shall include a description of the efforts that have been undertaken during the period covered by the report to diversify and strengthen the local economy of the Commonwealth, including efforts to promote the Commonwealth as a tourist destination. The report by the President shall include an estimate for the numbers of nonimmigrant workers described under section 101(a)(15)(H) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(H)) necessary to avoid adverse economic effects in Guam and the Commonwealth."

Pub. L. 110–229, title VII, §702(h)(4), May 8, 2008, 122 Stat. 865, provided that:

"(4) Reports by the local government.—The Governor of the Commonwealth may submit an annual report to the President on the implementation of this subtitle [subtitle A (§§701–705) of title VII of Pub. L. 110–229, see Effective Date note set out above], and the amendments made by this subtitle, with recommendations for future changes. The President shall forward the Governor's report to the Congress with any Administration comment after an appropriate period of time for internal review, provided that nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to require the President to provide any legislative recommendation to the Congress."

Required Actions Prior to Transition Program Effective Date

Pub. L. 110–229, title VII, §702(i), May 8, 2008, 122 Stat. 866, provided that:

"During the period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act [May 8, 2008] and ending on the transition program effective date described in section 6 of Public Law 94–241 [48 U.S.C. 1806] (as added by subsection (a)), the Government of the Commonwealth shall—

"(1) not permit an increase in the total number of alien workers who are present in the Commonwealth as of the date of enactment of this Act [May 8, 2008]; and

"(2) administer its nonrefoulement protection program—

"(A) according to the terms and procedures set forth in the Memorandum of Agreement entered into between the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the United States Department of Interior, Office of Insular Affairs, executed on September 12, 2003 (which terms and procedures, including but not limited to funding by the Secretary of the Interior and performance by the Secretary of Homeland Security of the duties of 'Protection Consultant' to the Commonwealth, shall have effect on and after the date of enactment of this Act [May 8, 2008]), as well as CNMI Public Law 13–61 and the Immigration Regulations Establishing a Procedural Mechanism for Persons Requesting Protection from Refoulement; and

"(B) so as not to remove or otherwise effect the involuntary return of any alien whom the Protection Consultant has determined to be eligible for protection from persecution or torture."

1 So in original. Probably should be "U.S.C."

2 So in original. Probably should be "contract".

3 So in original. Probably should be "180-day period".

4 See References in Text note below.

§1807. Technical assistance program

(1) In general

The Secretary of the Interior, in consultation with the Governor of the Commonwealth, the Secretary of Labor, and the Secretary of Commerce, and as provided in the Interagency Agreements required to be negotiated under section 1806(a)(4) of this title, as added by subsection (a),1 shall provide—

(A) technical assistance and other support to the Commonwealth to identify opportunities for, and encourage diversification and growth of, the economy of the Commonwealth;

(B) technical assistance, including assistance in recruiting, training, and hiring of workers, to assist employers in the Commonwealth in securing employees first from among United States citizens and nationals resident in the Commonwealth and if an adequate number of such workers are not available, from among legal permanent residents, including lawfully admissible citizens of the freely associated states; and

(C) technical assistance, including assistance to identify types of jobs needed, identify skills needed to fulfill such jobs, and assistance to Commonwealth educational entities to develop curricula for such job skills to include training teachers and students for such skills.

(2) Consultation

In providing such technical assistance under paragraph (1), the Secretaries shall—

(A) consult with the Government of the Commonwealth, local businesses, regional banks, educational institutions, and other experts in the economy of the Commonwealth; and

(B) assist in the development and implementation of a process to identify opportunities for and encourage diversification and growth of the economy of the Commonwealth and to identify and encourage opportunities to meet the labor needs of the Commonwealth.

(3) Cost-sharing

For the provision of technical assistance or support under this paragraph (other than that required to pay the salaries and expenses of Federal personnel), the Secretary of the Interior shall require a non-Federal matching contribution of 10 percent.

(Pub. L. 110–229, title VII, §702(e), May 8, 2008, 122 Stat. 863.)

References in Text

Section 1806(a)(4) of this title, as added by subsection (a), referred to in par. (1), probably means section 1806(a)(5) of this title, as added by subsection (a) of section 702 of Pub. L. 110–229.

Codification

Section was enacted as part of the Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008, and not as part of Pub. L. 94–241 which comprises this subchapter.

Department of the Interior Technical Assistance

Pub. L. 115–218, §3(c), July 24, 2018, 132 Stat. 1554, provided that: "Not later than October 1, 2019, and biennially thereafter, the Secretary of the Interior shall submit a report to Congress that describes the fulfillment of the Department of the Interior's responsibilities to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands—

"(1) to identify opportunities for economic growth and diversification;

"(2) to provide assistance in recruiting, training, and hiring United States workers; and

"(3) to provide such other technical assistance and consultation as outlined in section 702(e) of the Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008 (48 U.S.C. 1807)."

1 See References in Text note below.

§1808. Operations

(1) Establishment

At any time on and after May 8, 2008, the Attorney General, Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Secretary of Labor may establish and maintain offices and other operations in the Commonwealth for the purpose of carrying out duties under—

(A) the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.); and

(B) the transition program established under section 1806 of this title, as added by subsection (a).

(2) Personnel

To the maximum extent practicable and consistent with the satisfactory performance of assigned duties under applicable law, the Attorney General, Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Secretary of Labor shall recruit and hire personnel from among qualified United States citizens and national applicants residing in the Commonwealth to serve as staff in carrying out operations described in paragraph (1).

(Pub. L. 110–229, title VII, §702(f), May 8, 2008, 122 Stat. 863.)

References in Text

The Immigration and Nationality Act, referred to in par. (1)(A), is act June 27, 1952, ch. 477, 66 Stat. 163, which is classified principally to chapter 12 (§1101 et seq.) of Title 8, Aliens and Nationality. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1101 of Title 8 and Tables.

Section 1806 of this title, as added by subsection (a), referred to in par. (1)(B), is section 1806 of this title, as added by subsection (a) of section 702 of Pub. L. 110–229.

Codification

Section was enacted as part of the Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008, and not as part of Pub. L. 94–241 which comprises this subchapter.