News/US/CNMI: Senate OKs Mariana Islands Bill

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Subject: News/US/CNMI: Senate OKs Mariana Islands Bill
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Wed Feb 09 2000 - 16:46:38 EST


HEY!!!!!

Melanie......

__________________
Senate OKs Mariana Islands Bill
February 7, 2000

WASHINGTON (AP) Legislation aimed at ending sweatshop labor by
immigrants working in the Northern Mariana Islands passed the Senate Monday.

The bill (S.1052), which passed by a voice vote, would replace local
immigration laws for the U.S. territory in the Pacific with federal
immigration laws.

Many lawmakers have also expressed concern that the Northern Mariana
Islands have become a haven for clothing industry sweatshops where workers
are paid below the federal minimum wage. Their concern comes amid
allegations from activist groups that some workers are indentured laborers
forced to work against their will.

Island officials have fought to keep immigration laws under local control.

The islands' garment industry exports about $1 billion in consumer goods to
American clothing stores like Gap and Tommy Hilfiger.

Melanie Orhant

morhant@igc.org
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