Gov. Eddie Calvo said he won’t let the Federated States of Micronesia government’s new requirements on deportees stand stop him from removing convicted criminals off the island. Shawn Raymundo
A new count of Compact of Free Association migrants living in U.S. territories and Hawaii will begin next year.
The results will determine how $30 million in annual federal funding will be distributed to reimburse jurisdictions for the costs associated with the migrants.
Federal treaties called compacts of free association allow citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Palau and the Republic of the Marshall Islands to live and work in the United States.
Guam hosts the most compact migrants out of the territories, with the latest count in 2013 by the U.S. Census Bureau showing 17,170 regional migrants living here.
The Federal Register announced the proposed survey of COFA migrants Wednesday.
The COFA defines the relationship between the U.S. and the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau.
The COFA became effective for the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia in 1986 and for the Republic of Palau in 1994.
The government of Guam estimates the cost of hosting regional migrants from 2004 to 2016 was $1.07 billion, according to a report on the impact of the Compacts of Free Association for the island, from fiscal 2004 to fiscal 2016.
The figure includes the costs of providing education, public safety, transportation, housing and health and welfare to regional migrants.
GovGuam saw the cost of hosting regional migrants rise, from $33 million in 2004 to $142 million in 2016, the report states – a 330-percent increase. Since 2004, the federal government has given GovGuam a total of $199 million in federal money for compact impact reimbursement.
The Department of Interior has noted concerns about the uniformity of Guam’s reporting requirements on the impact of migrants, but also has acknowledged current federal funding is insufficient to meet the financial impact of the compact agreements.
The 2003 COFA Amendments Act appropriates $30 million annually in funding to American Samoa, CNMI, Guam and Hawaii.
In order to disburse the appropriated funds to the affected jurisdictions, the COFA Amendments Act of 2003 requires an enumeration of COFA migrants residing within the affected jurisdictions no less than every five years. The most recent enumeration of COFA migrants took place in 2013, the register states.
The Census Bureau proposes a three-pronged approach to the survey due to differences between the jurisdictions in overall population, expected number of COFA migrants, and currently available data.
In Guam and Saipan, field surveyors will collect data from COFA migrants since the Census Bureau doesn’t have reliable up-to-date demographic data for the areas beyond the 2010 Census.
The bureau will perform special tabulations on a three-year average of results from the 2015 to 2017 American Community Survey to create estimates for Hawaii, the Federal Register states.
The agency will use the 2010 Census results for American Samoa and other parts of CNMI since it wouldn’t be cost effective to conduct an independent survey in those areas because of the low number of migrants living there, the announcement on the Federal Register states.
The money to conduct the survey is being provided by the Department of Interior.
Census and Interior officials will be visiting Guam and Saipan in the near future to make necessary arrangements to launch this important effort, the release states.
The cost of conducting the 2018 enumeration will be $1,490,039, the DOI release states.
Of that total, $617,451 will be funded by Compact Impact funding, set aside by the U.S. Congress through the Compact of Free Association for the enumeration. The remaining $872,588 will be funded through the technical assistance program, the release states.
Source: Google News : http://www.guampdn.com/story/news/2017/10/29/compact-migrants-counted/801622001/