The bill placing local immigration under federal control has fallen off track after it got mired in the gun control debate and national politics.
Gov. Benigno R. Fitial, citing reports from the CNMI's lobbyists in Washington, D.C., said the omnibus bill that includes the CNMI immigration federalization is seeing some delay in the Senate.
This happened after Sen. Tom Coburn reportedly proposed an amendment allowing guns in public parks-a controversial issue especially in an election year.
Fitial said the government does not know yet what will happen to the bill.
In an interview with KSPN, congressional staffer Allen Stayman said Coburn's amendment made what was once considered a “non-controversial” bill now controversial. He said it may prompt some senators who previously supported the package bill to vote against it.
Efforts to renumber the bill and thereby go around Coburn's amendment have failed. The Senate may defer action on the legislation until March 2008, Stayman said.