FAS Ambassadors Joint-Meeting with the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Interior
Washington D.C. –On October 29, 2018, Ambassador Akilino H. Susaia joined his two other colleagues from the Freely Associated States (FAS) – the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau – in a meeting with the U.S. Department of State and later with the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI), a joint-effort by the three FAS countries to address the recent proposed public charge regulations, which can be found on the federal registry at the following link: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=USCIS-2010-0012-0001. Earlier in the month on October 10, 2018, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued the proposed regulations and invited the public for comments. According to the U.S. Government release, “The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposes to prescribe how it determines whether an alien is inadmissible to the United States under section 212(a)(4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) because he or she is likely at any time to become a public charge.” The public has until December 10, 2018, to register comments.
At both meetings, the three Ambassadors raised concerns over the DHS proposed regulations on how the regulations will adversely impact the citizens of the FAS in the future. While the intent of the regulations is not specific to the FAS, there is concern over its umbrella of application to any migrants in the U.S. including FAS citizens. The overall strategy by the FAS Missions in D.C. is to solicit the immediate support of the key U.S. Government entities that the FAS countries work closely with, namely the Department of State, the Department of Interior, and the Department of Defense. Both the Department of State and DOI had pledged their support and will engage the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense in addressing the concerns raised by the FAS countries.