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The Saipan Tribune reports that both officials want an extension of the CW program because the Commonwealth economy will still need foreign workers who may not necessarily be qualified to convert to an H1B status, for example, throughout the transition period.
The federalization law brings down to zero the number of transitional workers by the end of 2014 from a cap of 22,416 in fiscal year 2012.
Fitial said he will request the U.S. Labor Secretary to extend the transitional worker program.
Sablan, for his part, said he supports Fitial's request so long as the CNMI sees reasonable reliance on nonresident workers whose jobs won't still be filled by the local labor pool.
Unless the program is extended, transitional workers or those who will be granted a CW status must adjust or change status under the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act if they want to remain legally in the CNMI or they will become subject for removal.
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