Visa Free Access Sees Pacific Islanders Migrate To USA


PacificMigrationMigration from war-torn Syria is consuming Europe and stories of desperate refugees fleeing from conflicts in the middle east are grist for daily stories in global media, which has put ‘migration’ high on the international agenda.

In the peaceful north Pacific, a different type of migration has been continuing steadily to the United States for two decades. Visa-free access to the United States enjoyed by citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands and Palau has dramatically impacted islanders from these three north Pacific nations in ways both positive and negative. This provision in the Compact of Free Associations with these countries—that gives Washington control of the defense of this vast region, as well as access to an important military installation in the Marshall Islands—has worked as a safety valve for island economies and governments that do not have the ability to provide jobs, education and health care opportunities to meet population growth. Read More

SOURCE: Pacific Institute of Public Policy