21 Jun 2012

CNMI governor says number of illegal foreigners growing

10:52 am on 21 June 2012

The Governor of the Northern Marianas says he has seen a spike in illegal foreigners mainly because pregnant Asian women arrive for their children to become US citizens.

Benigno Fitial says these individuals came to the CNMI on tourist visas but stayed after their visas expired.

Babies born in the CNMI, as in other US states and territories, are automatically US citizens regardless of the nationality of their parents.

CNMI immigration is now under federal control as a result of a 2008 law that also allowed the islands to vote for the first time on a non-voting delegate to the U.S. Congress.

The governor has been asking the federal government to give back local control of borders.

He alleges there are more than 9,000 illegal foreigners in the CNMI.