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Arrivals of illegal aliens prompt Guam to beef up border patrol

By Pacific Island Times News Staff

The government of Guam has formed a task force to monitor the movement of boats ferrying foreigners who illegally enter the island through the "backdoor."

The task force formation was prompted by the Customs and Quarantine Agency's recent disclosure that seven boats shuttling Chinese nationals have docked on Guam in the past year.

According to a press release from the OAG, the federal government has the sole authority to enforce federal immigration policy and statutes involving the deportation of foreigners who have illegally entered U.S. soil.

However, the OAG said the local government may enforce entry requirements set by local law. "This includes the enforcement of criminal statutes for individuals arriving into Guam without proper notice or clearance to Guam Customs and Quarantine Agency," the OAG said.

The OAG said Guam law sets forth certain requirements that all vessels must meet, including the submission of a notice of arrival. Individuals who violate these requirements are subject to both civil and criminal penalties.

“In response to recent events, we established a task force led by Guam Homeland Security to engage our law enforcement agencies and enhance security measures along our island coasts,” Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero said.

The newly formed task force, led by the Office of Homeland Security, includes the Office of the Attorney General, Customs and Quarantine Agency, with the assistance of the Guam Department of Agriculture, Guam Department of Labor, Guam Fire Department, Guam Homeland Security, Guam Police Department and Port Authority of Guam.

“Border security is a complex, multi-jurisdictional issue that affects all areas of public safety, but immigration is exclusively under the oversight of federal authorities,” said Lt. Gov. Josh Tenorio. “Despite our enforcement limits, we are actively monitoring our maritime borders for suspicious activity through increased land surveillance and sea vessel patrols. We encourage our island to stay alert and report any unusual sightings to the authorities.”

In an earlier interview with Newstalk K57's morning host Patti Arroyo, CQA Director Ike Peredo said boats from Saipan landed at Agana Boat Basin, Ritidian beach, Tanguisson beach, the shores behind the Pacific Islands Club and Two Lovers’ Point.

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