Dear FSM: Don’t Go to War with Guam over Deportation

Posted on my blog at: http://www.wheresfran.org/2016/09/dear-fsm-dont-go-to-war-with-guam-over-deportation/.

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Dear FSM: Don’t Go to War with Guam over Deportation

The Governor of Guam has taken measures to return certain convicts from FSM to their home island, as we know from the wide media coverage. The individuals haven’t been “deported” exactly, although that’s how the FSM government sees it. They have been provided with a one-way ticket home and told they may never return to Guam in exchange for a commuted sentence that gets them out of the Guam jail a year or two earlier.

A few months ago, while FSM was pondering how to react, I was asked by a high FSM official how they should handle the matter. My strong suggestion at that time was that the FSM Government keep a discreet silence and let the elected officials on Guam do what they thought was needed. Plainly, FSM did not take this advice, but instead reacted negatively to the Guam initiative. So, let me make my case again on why I think it’s a bad idea to go to war with Guam on this matter.

The FSM is making the case that Guam has no authority to deport migrants from Guam back to the FSM. This we all know, but Guam is responding that the return of the convicts is “voluntary”–they get out of jail early and free passage home. But let’s leave aside the legal ramifications and get down to more substantial issues.

First, the FSM’s reaction to this issue is not doing any favors for the migrants here on Guam–and I can speak with some authority since I am working with them all the time. Convicted felons, often with names and photos in the local paper, are an embarrassment to FSM families who are trying to make it here on Guam. These families are struggling to make a decent living and to shed the stigma they unfortunately must bear in an island that is not their own. Repatriation might send a strong and needed signal that potential troublemakers can’t get away with anything they want. Any sane measure that Guam is taking to discourage migrants from landing in jail is a real benefit for all the FSM people here. Who needs more front-page bad publicity?

Second, the deal offered the convicts is a good one for them. If they are not thrown into jail once they return to their home island, they are at least living in the confinement of a small community–one that can exercise some control over their behavior. I don’t think they are career criminals anyway. Even if they end up in jail back home, they will be treated much better than they would on Guam. Let me simply say that the jails in each of the states of FSM (and Palau and the Marshalls as well, for that matter) do a far better job of rehabilitation than the Guam penal system does. Guam prison has the taste and smell of stateside institutions.

Third, picking a fight with Guam now is not an especially good strategy for the FSM. Guam is hosting FSM people here and paying a big share of the bill for it (as they have let everyone know loudly and repeatedly). Guam might not get full reimbursement for this from the Federal Government, but let the leaders take whatever fair measures they feel are needed to minimize the negative consequences. Guam is their own island, after all. Instead of going to war with Guam, FSM might recognize and applaud the benefits (jobs, education, medical treatment) its migrants receive on the island.

My advice to FSM, then, is that it should choose its battles more carefully. If we need something to fight about, why not medical benefits? Or something more useful than the legalistic quibbling over what really constitutes deportation?
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Comments

  • I did not hear a mention of the root cause of migration in the first place, namely the dismal failure of our leaders to create opportunities at home.
  • My respect to you Fr.Hezel is rocketing to the Sun and back! I'm glad you shed some light on this issue. Thank you FSM government, now Guam hates us more.
  • edited September 2016

    PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT THIS IS NOT ADDRESSED TO ANYONE IN PARTICULAR. JUST WRITING MY FREAKIN MIND AWAY:

    One reason that I do not agree with Governor Calvo on the commutation of the felons is that FSM does not have the capacity to detain/confine the criminals and to rehabilitate them so they do not pose a thread to the communities. Other than that, prisoners are prisoners. The only right that they have is the right to live until the One who created them claims them to cease to live. Even His first Human creations were punished for disobeying His rule. Other than that, I think Calvo has every right to do what he has to do.

    So Governor Calvo may have already had his budget analyzed on the impact on his funding capacity and feels it should not be a necessary expense to hold convicted citizens of other nationalities in his facilities and add more cost to the already overwhelming budgetary allocation to run Guam's prisons. Governor Calvo may have asked the FSM citizens if they would agree on going back home and serve out the remaining terms and not to ever return to Guam. More than likely, these convicts gladly agree. And so the process began.

    Returning to their homes is mutually agreed upon by the Government of Guam and the prisoners themselves. It was not something that was forced upon the prisoners. So what human rights have been violated here?

    I know that the prisoners would gladly return home and be relieved of the pain that they may have to go through regularly in the Guam 'Penthouses,' or is it spelled Bent Houses.

    kinen, kindly help with the context of above passage. Your pwipwi here is still intoxicated with these issues going on and some people are having a real ball over them.

    lol

  • Sorry pwipwi, I don't know what passage you are talking about. The issue or issues, first, safety of the people of Guam, you once said, they are in jail how could they be threat to the people. They are not recaptured escapees nor repeat offenders that did not abide with release terms; therefore it is arbitrary to label them as "threat to the people". Second, lessen the $ to keep them in jail. Talk with the Feds on that, they are in charge. Don't capitalize on their unfortunate blight to advanse your agenda.
    Yes they are home happy and regretted what they did. Those dudes were once important and lucky that the governor had a one on one agreement with them. I'm jealous. But they may not fully understand the consequences of the dialogue, I'm afraid.
  • Thank you pwipwi. I am forever grateful to you for sharing your wisdom as always.
  • Puan usun chok ngonuk, atefon.
  • Tirow womi


    Folks, it is not about who is right and who is wrong!! May we agree on that before we discuss this further, pls.

    There is a CHUUKESE saying that goes like this.."KEUKUNGAW PWE EN!" BE honest, if all these things were happening in your country, what would you do? Keep that thought right there... I can only tell you that CHUUK Police Force would be in danger... think about it!!

    A free ticket home, a peace of mind for parents, safety for Guam citizens and residents should be applauded!! Forget about who is right and who is wrong!! Think about the cause of the problems and solutions.

    I hate to say this but FSM I really hate to see you as a REACTIVE NATION. Always reacting but no attempts and efforts on long term solutions and prevention. Where is the CHUUK Center In all these? These deportees looks young enough to be in their programs
    WHAT happen?

    My kind suggestion is be grateful for having your children send back into freedom instead of staying locked up in Guam's jail. Address the issues but not attack Guam for doing you a favor.

    Tirow

    Mezr

  • Common let us not exaggerate about the issue as a war. If the USA is called the land of laws and fairness then follow the rules. My question then is Calvo's conduct within the law or has he becomes a despotic governor soon to be like Gadaffi of Libya? He better stop treating the FSM as underneath Guam. Guam is no where close to the FSM internationally. Calvo has the organic act under the feet of the USA Congress while the FSM is enjoying its status as a sovereign nation. You remind me of the late Senator Inouye who had an inflated ego bashing FSMers at every opportunity to score some votes. Be fair in accordance with the law not to be a dictator.
  • I STRONGLY DISAGREE WITH FR HEZEL!
    UNFORTUNATELY, I DISAGREE ONCE AGAIN WITH OUR MICRONESIAN BROTHER, FR HEZEL (on his position over the issue of the Guam Governor's "voluntary deportation" of FAS Chuukese convicts in Guam and calling for FSM Consul General, Mr Ruecho's permanent exclusion from Guam)!

    This issue is more than a disagreement over the legal definition of "deportation", or, more specifically, over whether or not the Governor of Guam has the legal authority to initiate deportation of FAS citizens convicted in Guam courts and jails after they were admitted to Guam thus the US under the Compact of Free Association.

    To a lot of us, including some in the Guam Legislature, Governor Calvo is STILL WRONG in the approach he takes to use "voluntary expulsion" of FAS convicts as a political leverage with Washington over Guam's request for Compact impact funding. The US Supreme Court itself once recognized in a case called Gideon v. Wainwright, that a government's dealing with an unrepresented defendant or convict, even an un-effective defense representation of a defendant or convict, is STILL A DEPRIVATION OF DUE PROCESS OF LAW!! Governor Calvo has been luring these un-represented convicts to waive their rights in exchange to being sent home for the ultimate purpose of showing the world, and especially Washington, that Guam is straddling with the burden/impact of Compact free FAS migration access and deserves more money.

    We do not dispute the need to have well-behaved Chuukese citizens to migrate and live in Guam, Hawaii or anywhere in the US by virtue of the Compact Access rights. Nor do we dispute that Chuukese misbehavior has given Chuukese a bad name, has costed Chuukese dearly through discrimination in most facets of community lives in Guam, Hawaii, Oregon, almost anywhere in the US.

    BUT THERE ARE WAYS TO DEAL WITH SUCH misbehaving FAS citizens that still do not violate those people's basic civil rights. The Government of Guam can still pursue its claim for Compact Impact without resorting to such discreetly discriminatory actions as singling out Chuukese and FAS convicts to "deport" them to underscore their Compact Impact claims with Washington!! No Chuukese parent would scream if the Guam courts award any Chuukese defendant in Guam a life sentence in jail like everybody else if they violate heinous crimes in Guam. That is the just punishment for such dangerous offenders provided in most law enforcement systems. Some states even provide for capital punishment or the death penalty. Those kinds of established punishment are very compatible and historically consistent with Due Process. Nobody would be shocked if the systems goes that way. Governor Calvo could have asked the Guam Legislature to ratch up the punishment for such criminals in Guam to deter further offenders, even if they are predominantly Chuukese, but at least it is with the system compatible with Due Process! BUT TO SINGLE OUT CHUUKESE CONVICTS FOR "VOLUNTARY DEPORTATION" WITHOUT ADEQUATE OR EFFECTIVE REPRESENTATION OF COUNSEL, THAT IS VERY CHILLING, AS CHILLING IN FACT AS THE HITLER GESTAPO USED TO SINGLE OUT JEWISH FAMILIES TO DEPORT THEM TO THE GAS CHAMBERS WITHOUT ANY COMPLIANCE OF DUE PROCESS OF LAW!! If we are to allow the Governor of Guam to take the law into his own hands like this, then what justification would we have next when he decides to offer voluntary plane tickets to FSM citizens utilizing or being hospitalized in the Guam Memorial Hospital???

    The unfortunate reality of Governor Calvo's "voluntary deportation of FAS convicts" is that it suggests the growing vestiges or symptoms of anti ethnic CHuukese and FAS discrimination in some parts of the Guam communities:
    There was an incident in Guam where a Guam Mayor in Mangilao used a Chuukese woman serving her community service court sentence in the Mayor's Office as some sexual amusement partner, demanding that she scratches his balls!
    There was incident also where members of the Guam Police convicted in the Blue Hosue case for being part of the human trafficking of Chuukese women for commercial sex, the Guam Government and media attempted to shift the guilt from the police officers to the Chuukese victims!!
    There was an incident where the Guam police saw two Chuukese men crossing the street drunk, laid them down on the sidewalk and took turns walking on their backs and then let them go without an arrest!
    There are instances wherein Guam landlords sell lands to FAS Chuukese, and then used a severe foreclosure law to take back the land for a single late payment but after thousands of monthly payments already made!
    There was another case where a minor Guam girl drove a car with her boyfriend and ran over a young Chuukese men crossing the Yigo road toward the Yigo Gymnasium, and when the Guam police came to the scene and found out the victim was Chuukese, they even had the Guam Pacific Daily News reported the driver was the boyfriend who had a driver's license (despite the fact that there were friends of the victim who ran to where the car dragged the victim and saw the driver was the young unlicensed girl!)!!

    Fr Hezel and Palikir should not try to view Governor Calvo's action as an isolated, socially justified action. There are already so many mistreatment of FAS and especially Chuukese citizens in Guam that responsible leaders should seriously work together to fashion some fair and balanced solutions. MANY HISTORIANS AROUND THE WORLD AGREED THAT WHEN THE VATICAN CHOSE TO CLOSE ITS EYES AND DECLINED TO ISSUE NO MORAL OUTRAGES AGAINST HITLER'S SYSTEMATIC DISCRIMINATION AND EXTERMINATION OF THE JEWS, WHEN AFTER THE WAR, ALLIES SOLDIERS DISCOVERED THE 6 MILLIONS JEWS ALREADY EXTERMINATED INSIDE THE THIRD REICH' GAS CHAMBERS AND CONCENTRATION CAMPS, IT WAS ALREADY TOO LATE!!!

    Surely, the Chuukese or FSM people would not want to "go to war" against the people of Guam or the Americans over some interpretation of the language of the Compact of Free Association. But our leaders should also be balanced enough to admit when Guaminians or Americans have crossed the line throughout our special relationships.
  • Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. Let the good Governor exercise his right, do his job, and play Donald Trump. Whatever the outcome, we still end up with a slowly-developing economy and low standards of living here at home. Let's focus on our slowly-developing economies here at home. Better transportation, better infrastructure, and better telecommunication are bigger issues than a few bad apples sent back home. Chop chop :)
  • This is all bull! Governor Calvo told K57 he only wanted to keep Guamanian safe and not to worry at night in their homes... Then why he does not deport De Soto, the guy who ran over and killed several tourists in Tumon? Did he do anything about the guy who shot his woman for burnt rice or the guy who shot and kill his mother for her life insurance benefits? Heck NO! He just hated us fsmers! He told President Christian not to bring in the Feds, well what he expects?
  • Do we all forget that the compact gives us the privilege to go to guam and states. It's not a right to go. If you abuse that privilege, then your retarded ass should be deported. So bottom line is guam just said fuck you if you're dumb ass is too stupid to do good and be a contributing member of THEIR society. Your ass should go back to your society where your criminal behavior is tolerated. The fsm should should keep its mouth shut and work on educating it's people. It's gums business who they want to allow to stay there. Honestly, how many people in this forum think these retards deserve to be housed and fed and cared for by the tax payers of guam and US? Let the fsm tax payer deal with it.
  • FOLKS, THEY ARE DEPORTABLE AND THEY JUST GOT DEPORTED!!

    STOP FIGHTING HIM!! YOU ARE WASTING ENERGY!!! THAT IS ALL I NEED TO SAY!!

  • Not surprising, you coconut head.
  • Chuck state need to step up. Educate the chuukese emigrant on what to do and what not to do.
  • YOU ARE ALL MAKING ME SO UPSET I JUST WANT TO THROW ROCKS IN CHUUK LAGOON!! YOU NEED TO BACK THE ☆♤♤♡♡♡☆☆▪♡ UP AND THINK CAREFULLY!!

    Is this a battle that is necessary to fight!! THIS IS NOT!! Instead of you fighting this issue, get your act together and deal seriously. You may ask, how! STOP REACTING LIKE SOME KIDERGARDENS BOYS!! Deal like real men. You wanna know how? Free tips and you do not need to thank me. lol.

    1. Be who you are. You are uniquely Micronesians. So BE YOU! First, issue an apology for your citizens criminal behaviors. That's what real CHUUKESE would do. Unless you think you are a bad ASS and you just want eye for an eye.

    2. Evaluate the situation. Are these issues preventable? What and how would your country deal with travels so they do not end up fling up the Guam's prisons and jails?

    3. Instead of fighting Guam discuss with them~ ASK to understand how your citizens have been affecting their way of life, their safety and etc. Ask how you can help to prevent future problems created by FSM citizens. Seek to understand first~ before, you demand to be understood!!

    4. Visit your citizens and ask their inputs on criminal activities and suggestions on preventative measures. Ask parents about their inputs and esp. their preferences on jail time and deportation.

    5. DARN IT, ASK ME!! Well, I have made it easy for you. Check on my inputs under these deportation threats and please see answers 1 - 4. LOL

    Choose your battles wisely!! WILL YOU PLS JUST DO THAT, GENTLEMEN.

    Thank you,

    Meze

  • It is not a battle, neither is it a war yous, it is attesting your equal stance in society and you ain't making it easy dear. Thanks anyways, for your efforts, but no thanks.
  • Good luck, I am done here. Good night.
  • The question is When did the FSM make any case with the Guam Governor decision to commute the sentences of FSM citiziens? Forgive me for asking this but can anyone tell me if indeed the FSM Government wage war on Guam regarding the deportation of its citizens?

    I just hope and wish that this will not lead to more friction between Guamanians and FSMers mainly Chuukese.
  • Thank you Padre for sharing your thoughts on this issue.
    We do understand this is a federal issue and they're not doing anything about it let alone reimburse Gov Guam for housing them.
    Calvo clearly admitted that he's doing the federal government a favor. He has every right to do whatever is deem necessary to safeguard or protect his land financially, socially and spiritually. In doing so, he chose the option to consider paying a one way ticket back to their homeland and deny their re-entry in Guam for life. This does not mean he never gave them the choice. Both parties agreed to the terms of the agreement. He's simply giving them a chance to freedom. What ever comes after that is all up to them and their state government to deal with.


  • Someone finally woke up!!

    They must have agreed for this to have taken place. You need to know facts to judge things fairly ##
  • What planet you guys C-yeah and Mezeh are you on? Interpreting your own law? Dictator Calvo is not above the law.
  • That is all you are good for?? Flexing your muscles and make your chest bigger when someone takes care of the safety of his people??

    WHERE ARE YOU SOLUTIONS## THESE CHUUKESE ISSUES HAVE BEEN GOING ON FOR AGES! !

    NO WONDER WHY YOUR CITIZENS ONLY KNOW HOW TO CREATE DAMAGE AND RARELY STEP IT UP TO THE STANDARDS AND EXPECTATIONS!!

    COME, COME... COME WITH YOUR BEST THROWS!!
  • Meze-chun please, what is the chuukese issue you are talking about here?
  • Meze no wonder Chuukese are having bad wraps. We talk about the law and you kick in with your moral dogmas unrelated to the real issue on the ground in Guam. The Gov of Guam is one of the most corrupt I have ever observed. It is like tribal war mentality looking for scapegoat to boost some standings in the name of few votes.
  • Guam AG Elizabeth Anderson told the media that governor Calvo does not have the power to deport FSM prisoners back to FSM. Only the Fed department of immigration can deport.
  • Governor Calvo did not deport anyone. The convicted prisoners VOLUNTARILY agreed to leave in exchange for less time in prison. They could have stayed imprisoned on Guam to finish their sentences. It was their own choice to leave. They were not deported.
  • Gov Calvo is smart to use the word volunteer while in reality it means deport to chuuk and never set foot again on Guam.
  • No matter what you call it, the choice is up to the inmates. They can either stay or go, and some choose to go.
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