The Governor of the Northern Marianas says overstayers are competing with local residents for a limited number of jobs.
Benigno Fitial says almost 3,000 foreigners are living illegally in the Northern Marianas, an increase on last year's figure of nearly 2,000.
But our correspondent in Saipan says there's some confusion over who's categorised as illegal because the people to whom the Governor's referring may be covered by umbrella permits that don't expire until November.
Mark Rabago says the Department of Homeland Security has been promising a special category for the CNMI's non-resident workers.
"DHS said they were going to put it out in November, now they said it's March but tomorrow it's April already and they still haven't put it out so the employers here don't know what to do, they're still waiting for the regulations to come in so people, non-resident workers could have a category."
Our correspondent in the Northern Marianas, Mark Rabago.