Margaret Metcalfe, director of Governor’s Washington D.C. office, is waiting for a response to a letter she sent to Congresswoman Bordallo’s office last week. The letter highlights the administration’s growing concern that the federal government has not committed to ensuring Compact of Free Association migrants live up to the requirements of the treaties between the United States and the respective governments.
“I am writing to ask for your assistance in calling on the federal government to own up to its duties, as well as a timeline with which we might see some accountability from them,” Metcalfe writes.  “I request your position on this matter and ask if we might be able to work together to better safeguard the residents of Guam – U.S. and non-U.S. citizens alike – for whom the local and federal governments have the responsibility of promoting a safe community.”
Metcalfe noted that there are approximately 200 non-U.S. citizens in Guam’s prison system. That’s about one-third of the total population of the Mangilao facility, which originally was built to house 300 clients and now houses about 700 with the help of additional buildings.
She added the migrant population at DOC costs local taxpayers approximately $8.6 million a year, which could be “better spent in areas of public health safety, and education of Guam’s law abiding U.S. and non-U.S. citizens.”
In a recent meeting with Metcalfe, Governor Calvo pointed out the contrasting focuses on migrants.
“On the one hand, we have the federal government not holding COFA migrants accountable for treaty requirements, which include getting an education or having a job, or really helping to ensure they are ready for life on Guam,” the Governor commented. “But then officials from the same administration decided, without letting us know, that their interpretation for requirements of H-2B visas has changed and they are denying almost 100 percent of the applications.”
For months now, the Governor and Metcalfe have written to or met with federal immigration’s officials. To date, there has been no change on the disapproval rates, which is a dramatic change from previous years where Guam contractors and employers received approval on a majority of visa applications submitted. In the last several months, nearly 100 percent of the H-2B visa applications have been declined, seriously impacting our ability to provide sufficient health services and threatening construction for infrastructure improvements, private sector investments, and military buildup projects.
August 5, 2016 Letter from Metcalfe to Congresswoman

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