The Governor of the Northern Marianas is warning against harbouring illegal foreigners, following an announcement that the number of overstayers has jumped by a thousand over the past year.
Benigno Fitial says almost three-thousand foreigners are now living illegally in the CNMI and they must be deported because they're competing with local residents for a limited number of jobs.
But our correspondent in Saipan says there's some confusion over who's categorised as illegal.
Mark Rabago says many non-resident workers are covered by umbrella permits.
"If the 3,000 he's pertaining to still have umbrella permits you cannot call them illegals because under federal law these umbrella permits are a kind of shield, it shields them from being called illegal because these permits are legal until November 2011."
Mark Rabago says the fact that a CNMI-only non-resident worker category has still not been created is also causing uncertainty among employers.