Guam Congresswoman: Deported Migrants Should Serve Prison Sentences Back Home

Bordallo wants Governor Calvo to continue discussions with U.S. on Compact provisions

By Shawn Raymundo

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, August 11, 2016) – Guam Del. Madeleine Bordallo has reiterated her position that convicted migrants who’ve been deported should be required to complete the remainder of their prison sentence in their home countries.

Gov. Eddie Calvo recently has reduced the sentences for four convicted immigrants in exchange for their removal from Guam and release to the Federated States of Micronesia. All four men were from Chuuk.

Bordallo, in an email message response sent to Guam Sen. Rory Respicio on Wednesday, said it’s critical that Calvo continue to build on his discussions he’s had with the federal departments of justice and state. Those talks, she said, concerned forming an agreement with the Freely Associated States to allow citizens of those island nations convicted of a crime in Guam to serve out their sentences in their home nations.

The Freely Associated States are the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Palau. These island nations have agreements with the U.S. government known as Compacts of Free Association.

Bordallo’s message to Respicio thanked the lawmaker for introducing a resolution that called on the congresswoman to urge the Department of Homeland Security to step up its approach to “deporting all foreign criminals convicted of deportable crimes.”

Bordallo, in her message, also said she’d speak to Office of Insular Affairs Assistant Secretary Esther Kia'aina to ask the federal agency, which is tasked with overseeing the compacts, to work to resolve the issue.

In response to Bordallo’s statements, Respicio said he was pleased with her leadership on this issue and promised to work with federal officials so they would enforce the provisions of the compacts.

Bordallo made the same statement earlier this week while responding to a similar request from Margaret Metcalfe, the governor’s liaison to his Washington, D.C. office.

Metcalfe sent a letter to the congresswoman last Friday, asking Bordallo to get the federal government “to own up to its duties.”

Bordallo told Metcalfe she agrees certain migrants should be removed from Guam based on the crime committed, but believes instead of commuting the sentence, the individual should fulfill the balance of their sentence in their country of origin.

Bordallo said she also advised then Assistant Secretary of the Interior Tony Babauta to reach out to Gov. Calvo as well as the justice and state departments to collectively work on an intergovernmental plan that would require convicted migrants to serve out the rest of their sentence in their home nations.

Congresswoman Bordallo is up for re-election and is facing Babauta, a fellow Democrat, in the upcoming primary race on Aug. 27. Metcalfe, a Republican who challenged Bordallo in the 2014 General Election, is running again this year and is up against former Gov. Felix Camacho on the Republican ticket.

Babauta on Tuesday said, as assistant secretary, he started discussions with Bordallo, Calvo, Hawaii Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz and several representatives from various federal agencies.

“The initiative, named Pacific Island Leaders Addressing Compact Impact, brought together such leaders to discuss any multitude of ways to mitigate the negative effects being associated with FAS migration,” Babauta wrote to Bordallo. “Many ideas were discussed and there were efforts underway to determine feasibility based on existing policy or administrative action.”

Babauta was placed on leave as assistant secretary in November 2012 because of an ongoing investigation by the Interior Department's Office of Inspector General into Babauta's travel, news files state. He resigned in January 2013 without stating a reason.

The Inspector General's report, released in 2014, stated Babauta made inappropriate comments to women at work, favored friends for contracts, took personal favors from subordinates and went on questioned trips when he was in power, according to news reports.

On Tuesday, Babauta said that Bordallo was supposed to follow up with his successor.

“It has been four years since my departure from office and I’m unaware that she has raised this issue with my successor, or during the annual meeting of the Interagency Group on Insular Affairs, or has sought from my successor continuing meetings of Pacific island leaders,” he wrote.

Pacific Daily News
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