The Northern Marianas' Governor, Benigno Fitial says he will oppose the Federal Government if it chooses to grant green cards or lawful permanent resident status to nonresident workers in the CNMI.
He says it is a federal issue.
But Mr Fitial points out that the CNMI has existing law that allows foreign workers into the territory on a privilege only basis, if and when resident workers are not available.
He says there is nothing in that law that would suggest nonresident workers should be granted preferred immigration status.
However under the Federalisation Law the US Government is to decide by May next year who amongst the guest workers legally residing in the territory qualifies for permanent immigration status.
Non resident worker groups are circulating a petition seeking green card status for long-time foreign workers and others with US relatives ahead of that deadline.