Governor Eddie Calvo and President Peter Christian of the Federated States of Micronesia sat down to meet yesterday, Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018. The two leaders discussed the need to work together to help FSM citizens living in Guam.
To assist the island of Guam with the typhoon recovery, President Christian told Governor Calvo the FSM will be making a $100,000 donation to the island. Governor Calvo has said both governments need to work together to compel the federal government to live up to their part of the Compact agreement and help Guam and FSM. Both leaders expressed their frustration that discussions with U.S. federal counterparts are mired in regulation and policy instead of solutions. The Governor raised the issue of the FSM citizens who need help recovering from Typhoon Mangkhut but whose non-immigrant status with the U.S. federal government means they can’t get FEMA assistance. President Christian said the FSM has been trying to find solutions. In discussions with the U.S. Embassy located in FSM they have asked if U.S. AID can step in since FEMA cannot assist families. President Christian said he and the FSM government have been discussing options for helping to ensure citizens are prepared for life in Guam and other jurisdictions before leaving their home nation. He said the government cannot deny a citizen’s request for a passport but what they can do is work with those citizens making the request to ensure they have confirmed jobs, homes or schooling plans awaiting them if their intent is to travel to Guam or another U.S. community. President Christian said his administration’s efforts are aimed at ensuring that people leaving the FSM go abroad and gain enlightenment but then return home to help their island. President Christian has charged the FSM community to find ways to reach out to those not abiding with the precepts of the Compact Agreement between the U.S. and FSM. “We are very concerned,” said President Christian about recent videos depicting violence by apparent Guam FSM residents. He added that the FSM community on Guam has communicated with him their worry that a small percentage of the Micronesian community is causing trouble and casting a cloud of negativity and shame on those nationals abiding by local laws. “Everyone is upset about this lack of civility.” President Christian added his desire to revive discussions he had with the previous administration on a housing program for FSM nationals on Guam. President Christian expects to return to Guam next month to continue discussions.