U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services says it will consider granting, on a case-by-case basis, parole until Dec. 31, 2012, to the immediate relatives of U.S. citizens and certain “stateless” individuals in the Commonwealth of Northern Marianas.
The Marianas Variety reports that this will allow individuals who are lawfully present in the CNMI as of Nov. 27, 2011, to maintain legal status in the CNMI beyond that date.
The announcement came just before the Nov. 27 expiration of umbrella permits held by these nonresidents who may not have another option under U.S. immigration law.
However CNMI Governor Benigno R. Fitial has expressed “grave concern” about the degree of impact this would have on the Commonwealth, said press secretary Angel Demapan.
“The cost of allowing all these unemployed [and unemployable] foreigners to remain in a very small economy like the CNMI is very high. This could give rise to a larger underground economy and cause more legitimate businesses to close,” Demapan said.
Many of CNMI’s foreign workers have come from the Philippines and China.