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  • By Pacific island Times News Staff

Brooks opposes federalization of Chamorro lands

Doris Flores Brooks, Republican candidate for Congress, is opposing Sen. Michael San Nicolas’ resolution to return Guam land held in trust back to the federal government through his "tribal" legislation.

Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo and former Congressman Robert Underwood earlier expressed concerns over San Nicolas’ recommendation to return local land back to the feds instead of continuing the policy of all previous delegates to reduce federal land holdings while increasing self-government for the people of Guam.

San Nicolas, a Democrat, is running against Brooks for the Washington seat.

“I’m concerned that Mr. San Nicolas has proffered this resolution, which has far reaching impacts to our island, without first understanding the serious ramifications of his actions,” Brooks said. “This issue of sovereignty and the Land Trust is too complex to be decided on a whim.”

Brooks said she would introduce legislation to follow the similar legislative path as Hawaii; passing federal legislation that recognizes Guam's unique history and heritage while allowing for local ownership and control over how public lands currently held by GovGuam would be distributed back to landless indigenous peoples. She wants less federal control over local lands, not more and her proposed legislation would end the Department of Justice lawsuit once and for all.

Both Hawaii and the CNMI have shown that it can be done with well thought out legislation that fits their unique needs best. We should learn from those past lessons instead of proposing ideas that won't work and that undermine the reputation of Guam's people to govern themselves.

“I agree with both Congresswoman Bordallo and former Congressman Underwood that we need to take a step back from this ledge and fully understand what it is that is best for Guam. Certainly, surrendering even more of our land to the federal government is not in our best interest” Brooks added.

“Mr. San Nicolas’s proposal shows an alarming lack of depth and is a backwards approach to establishing special federal recognition of the CLTC. It would undo decades of work to establish the sovereignty of the CLTC.”

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