S. 2325 would extend by 10 years, until 2029, the “transition period” during which certain U.S. immigration laws do not apply in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). During that period, aliens (noncitizens) in the CNMI would be unable to apply for asylum under U.S. law, and newly hired temporary workers with
H-2B status in the CNMI and Guam would not count against the annual nationwide cap on the number of aliens who can receive that status. In addition, employers in the commonwealth could hire workers in CW (Commonwealth-Only Transition Workers) status who otherwise would be ineligible to work in the CNMI.
CBO estimates that S. 2325 would affect the size of the foreign-born population and the fees paid by CNMI employers seeking to hire workers in CW status. On net, CBO estimates that enacting the bill would reduce direct spending, mainly for federal benefit programs, by $3 million over the 2018-2028 period. Pay-as-you-go procedures apply because enacting S. 2325 would affect direct spending. Enacting the bill would not affect revenues.