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SAIPAN, Northern Marian Islands (June 2, 1999 - PACNEWS)---Over 1,500 Filipino workers who have been overstayed in the CNMI have converged at the Labor and Immigration to apply for the Government's limited immunity program ending today.

Filipino amnesty-seekers comprised 50 percent of illegal aliens wishing to legalize their stay in CNMI under the program.

Official records indicate there are about 3,000 overstayers who signed for the program.

Head of the Government’s Task Force Limited-Immunity program, Jeffrey Camacho, said a number of those applying for amnesty were already illegally hired by employers coming forward to avoid prosecution for harboring illegal aliens once the six-month grace period is over.

Camacho said there were isolated cases involving amnesty-seekers being disqualified as they had arrived after January 1 last year.

The limited immunity law only covers illegals who were in CNMI before the January 1, 1998 cut-off date.

The limited immunity program is part of Government efforts to shape up its labour and immigration affairs amid mounting pressure from the US Federal Government.

Washington has been claiming that CNMI’s employment scene is one which is heavily dependent on abused, ill-paid foreign, mostly workers who are mostly Asians.

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