Former assistant attorney general Christa Boyd-Nasftad claims that the government listing her as an undesirable person or persona non grata is against the terms of the Compact of Free Association, has no basis, and is driven by jealousy.
Christa Boyd-Nasftad, the only American citizen on the list of undesirable aliens issued by the Office of Attorney General, argues that the listing of her name violates the terms of the Compact Agreement, specifically Section 142 (a) and Subsection (b).
In a message to Island Times, Ms. Boyd-Nasftad said that under the Compact Agreement Section 142(a): “Any citizen or national of the United States may enter into, lawfully engage in occupations and reside in Palau, subject to the right of that Government to deny entry to or deport any such citizen or national as an undesirable alien.” She further quoted Subsection (b) that added that designation as “an undesirable alien” must be based on actual statutory grounds.
“As a citizen of the United States, I do have the right to reside in Palau and cannot be refused entry unless there is a legitimate, statutory ground on which to declare me an “undesirable alien.” No such ground exists. Female jealousy is not a legitimate ground,” added Ms. Nasftad.
Ms. Boyd-Nasftad added she had not violated any laws in Palau or elsewhere in the world and had no pending charges anywhere.
“Not only do I have no criminal record, but I am a licensed attorney in the US. In my fifteen years of practice, I have not once had a complaint filed against me…the fact that I maintain my Bar license without blemish is testament to the fact that there are no grounds for which to be declared an “undesirable alien” as I could not be a practicing attorney if any of those grounds exist,” expressed former assistant AG Christa.
In an interview with AG Ernestine Rengiil last week, she confirmed that no case was filed against Ms. Boyd-Nasftad. Further, Attorney General Rengiil said that persons do not have to commit crimes to be on the list. She added the “President can revoke or deny entry to any foreigner if “such denial or revocation is in the best interest of the Republic.”
Ms. Christi Nasftad argues that the language “discretion of the President,” as stated above, cannot be used as a basis to deny entry to US citizens. “It is clear from the language of the Compact requiring “statutory grounds” in order to deny entry to US citizens, that an actual and objective reason be given for exclusion and that it not be based on some petty jealousy or personal grievance,” asserted Christi in her statement to Island Times.
Furthermore, she contends that the requirement of statutory grounds “implies that there must be some sort of due process involved before the right of a US citizen to enter and reside in Palau can be taken. It cannot be done arbitrarily with unlimited discretion and in secrecy, as was attempted here.”
Moreover, as a US citizen with property interests in Palau, “exclusion requires some form of due process, at the very least, it would require notice of the designation, and an opportunity to be heard,” stated Ms. Nasftad.
Nasftad added she was made aware of her “undesirable alien” designation in July from unofficial sources, alleging that AG Rengiil has been “calling people bragging that she had achieved her goal of getting my name on that list.”
According to Attorney General Rengiil, the Palau government is not obligated to inform anyone before or even after being placed on the undesirables list.
People could write to President to contest his designation, but the law gives him the full discretion to decide “in the best interest of the Republic,” added Rengiil.
Former assistant attorney general Christi Nasftad and Attorney General Ernestine have had conflict incidents during and after former AAG Nasftad’s contract with the Office of the Attorney General expired in 2020.
Ms. Nasftad claimed in her statement to Island Times that her name was placed on the list without any legitimate reason but rather on AG Rengiil’s personal vendetta against her.
“The information is personal to them, and I can’t reveal it to just anyone,” said AG Rengiil when asked the reason Ms. Nasftad was on the list.