We agree with what Federated States of Micronesia Consul General Teresa Filepin said recently. Not all citizens from the FSM who moved to Guam are lawbreakers. And we’ve said before, and we’re saying it again now, that no reasonable person would believe that to be true.
It is also true that some of the FSM citizens who have chosen to live on Guam have not been able to adapt to the laws of Guam and the United States. Members of our community — from various cultural backgrounds — are frustrated and they are expressing their frustrations in these recent town hall meetings that there are those who have broken laws, hurt people, and damaged or taken other people’s property.
While many immigrants appreciate the chance to live in this part of the U.S., and are strong and positive contributors to the island’s economic and community growth, there are others who blatantly disregard the conditions that were agreed upon by the U.S. and the Compact nation. In fact, in the last few months, we have seen shocking and outright brazen criminal acts against locals and migrants alike.
It’s time for the U.S. government to act.
Guam should not be left alone to deal with this issue brought on by the Compact of Free Association between the U.S. and the FSM. The U.S. military wants to use the FSM's land, sea and airspace for defense, and in turn, the FSM can send its citizens to the U.S., many of whom prefer to live on Guam.
We acknowledge the hard work of all the law-abiding FSM citizens in our community.
But we must insist that the U.S. do its job and enforce conditions of the Compact for those who break laws and threaten the safety of our island.
Here’s the language the U.S. needs to enforce under the Compact:
“Terms and conditions of admission: Persons admitted under the Compacts must abide by any terms and conditions of admission prescribed by the Department of Homeland Security, and must obey the laws of the United States and of the state and locality in which they reside or are present. People who, following admission to the United States under the Compacts, cannot show that they have sufficient means of support in the United States may be deportable. Other grounds of deportability, such as conviction for an aggravated felony, also apply to persons admitted under the Compacts.”
We urge the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to enforce these conditions that were agreed upon by the leaders of two sovereign nations. These are the conditions that must be followed.