The government of the Northern Mariana Islands is applying for federal stimulus money that would go to foreign welfare recipients. The money would pay for food stamps and job training:
The CNMI government, through the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, has filed an application for a $3 million grant that would allow the inclusion of poor permanent residents in the federal Nutrition Assistance Program.
This was disclosed by DCCA Secretary Cecilia T. Celes Friday, who said the funds would come from the stimulus law, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Permanent residents are foreign nationals who were granted permanent residency immigration status on island.
In Fiscal Year 2009, the CNMI food stamp program was allocated $10.8 million, the bulk of which goes to low-income U.S. citizens.
Celes said there are approximately over 200 permanent residents who may be eligible for food stamps but are barred because of the citizenship requirement.
“Our staff have noted a significant number of low-income permanent residents that may qualify for the food stamp program,” she said, adding that the number may go up as a result of the current economic crunch.
Celes said part of the $3 million stimulus grant, if approved, is also being eyed for use in building local capacity by giving “employment” to NAP recipients.
The idea, she said, is to employ these people with government agencies but their wages will be paid by a portion of $3 million grant.
But hey, no worries. Joe Biden’s looking out for you.