Migration from the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and Palau has had a significant impact on Guam, Hawaii, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). The health and education needs of these migrants have particularly affected the budgetary resources of Guam and the CNMI. The budgetary impact on Hawaii is smaller but is expected to grow as Hawaii absorbs health care costs once covered by the U.S. government. Public health is an important concern for all three U.S. island areas. Migrants from the region with limited financial means are able to enter the United States with few restrictions, and U.S. island areas are absorbing much of the health care costs of this population. Furthermore, Guam, Hawaii, and the CNMI can be expected to continue to experience migration as long as weak economic conditions persist in Micronesia and the Marshall Islands. Targeting future U.S. assistance to Micronesia and the Marshall Islands for education and health purposes could reduce some of the motivation to migrate. Improvements in migrant health and education status might be expected to reduce immigration to U.S. destinations.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of State||The Secretary of State should direct the U.S. Compact Negotiator to consider how to target future health and education funds provided to the FSM and the RMI in ways that also effectively address adverse migration impact problems identified by Guam, Hawaii, and the CNMI. For example, the U.S. Negotiator could consider whether a specified portion of the health sector assistance should be targeted at treating and preventing the communicable diseases in the FSM and the RMI that are a public health concern in Guam, Hawaii, and the CNMI.|