Compact migrants population grew 68%

Census taker interviews an FSM citizen in this May 2019 file photo


The population of freely associated states citizens who have migrated to the United States and its territories has grown 68 percent in nine years-- from 56,000 in 2009 to 94,000 in 2018-- and the spike in migration came with corresponding increases in costs incurred by host jurisdictions, according to the Government Accountability Office, citing data from the Census Bureau.

GAO said Hawaii, Guam and the CNMI have reported their estimated costs, with a combined total of $3.2 billion during the period fiscal years 2004 through 2018, as result of hosting migrants from the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau and Republic of Marshall Islands.

"Hawaii, Guam, and CNMI officials have emphasized that compact impact funding does not fully compensate for the expenses associated with Compact migration," GAO said in a report released Tuesday.

In fiscal years 2004 through 2019, Hawaii, Guam and the CNMI received a combined total of approximately $509 million in federal grants to help defray the costs of providing services to Compact migrants, GAO said.

The total cost for three jurisdictio