admin's picture

FSM Consul General criticizes assertions

By Janela Buhain HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Marianas Variety, Jan. 19, 2011) – Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) Consul General Gerson Jackson said Dr. Ron McNinch’s assertions regarding the deportation of criminal FSM migrants were stated inappropriately, particularly for someone who lacked first-hand information on the treaty.

"I suppose he had good intentions, but he needs a lot of points and details. If he would have included those details, he would have done justice to what he was trying to accomplish," said Jackson.

He was referring to McNinch’s earlier statements suggesting deportation of repeat offenders because Compact of Free Association migrants overtax Guam’s system.

These migrants make up eight percent of Guam’s population, McNinch said, but use large amounts of Guam’s limited resources.

For example, McNinch said, 30 percent of Guam Department of Corrections inmates are FSM migrants.

Jackson agreed with the political analyst and University of Guam professor that habitual offenders who are FSM migrants should be deported. But he said FSM citizens aren’t the only citizens covered under the provisions of the amended treaty.

"I thought it was unfair for him to only pick out FSM; maybe he’s one of those who think FSM includes Palau and the Republic of the Marshall Islands," Jackson said. "The same provisions apply to the three Freely Associated States."

The Compact of Free Association, also known as "the Compact" is an agreement between the FSM and the U.S. to provide for economic assistance, defense and other benefits in exchange for U.S. defense and other operating rights in the FSM.

There are new provisions within the amended Compact, Jackson said, that allow for the deportation of FAS habitual offenders. However, he said that not all crimes are deportable and that there is an entire process involved in deporting criminals.

He also noted that an FAS migrant must be "convicted" of specific crimes before they are eligible for deportation.

In fact, Jackson said, there are "quite a few" deportations of FSM migrants already happening that include individuals returned from Guam, the CNMI, Hawaii and the mainland U.S.

Jackson offered the Center for Micronesian Empowerment (CME) program, which he said could be a helpful tool in training FSM migrants to become productive citizens.

The "boot camp" is a 90-day program in which incoming Micronesians undergo a regimented program and are provided shelter, food, transportation and uniforms and are required to adhere to a strict training schedule similar to a military boot camp.

The participants are also educated and counseled while at the program and upon graduation are gradually integrated back into the community where jobs and homes are waiting for them.

CME representatives then keep track of the participants for another six to nine weeks as they assimilate into the community.

Existing migrants enroll into a separate program where they receive services that assist them with integrating successfully into the Guam community.

Jackson, who sits on the CME board, said he’s pleased with the program as it has had a 95 percent success rate since it was implemented two years ago.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet

Add new comment