Senator Proposes Passport Stamp For U.S.-Bound Palauans

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Palauans apparently assumed to be illegal immigrants

By Aurea Gerundio-Dizon

KOROR, Palau (Island Times, July 30, 2013) – Sen. J. Uduch Sengebau Senior introduced a bill to establish a passport stamp for Palauans travelling to the United States.

The senator proposed that upon request, the Minister of State shall issue a stamp in a Palau passport demonstrating the eligibility of that individual to reside in the US as non-immigrants and to accept employment.

It is further proposed that the stamp shall also include, in whole or part, Section 141, subsection (a) of Article IV of the Compact of Free Association, which states that a citizen of Palau shall be "admitted to, lawfully engage in occupations, and establish residence as a non-immigrant in the United States and its territories and possessions."

Senior said she received complaints from several Palauans living in the U.S. that they are having a hard time especially in applying for a job. "I had a chance to talk to them. They said they are assumed to be illegal immigrants. Some even tried to get employment permits, when under the Compact of Free Association, they do not have to," the senator added.

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