Addressing the fears of many Palauan citizens who took to social media to voice concern over US President Donald Trump’s recent executive order banning refugees and certain travelers from entering the US, Palau Ambassador to the United States issued a statement to reassure those citizens that the status of Palauans under US law has not changed.
Palau and the United States have a unique relationship under the Compact of Free Association which is also a U.S. law. The compact provides Palau, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) access to many U.S. domestic programs. The U.S. also provides these countries economic package and allows Palauan citizens to “freely migrate and lawfully enter the United States and its territories and possessions” in a “unique relationship” between the United States and Palau.
Palau Ambassador to the U.S. Hersey Kyota said in his letter last week that the Compact can only be amended or repealed by the US Congress,
Trump’s order bars more than 200 million people from seven nations- Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Sudan, Libya, and Somalia- from entering the U.S. for at least 90 days.
The ban also bars people of those nationalities who are already in the U.S. will not be allowed to return if they travel abroad, unless they hold a green card or a passport from a country not included on the order. The order also blocks all refugee resettlement for 120 days and bans the entry of any of the 4.8 million refugees from the war in Syria indefinitely.
The travel ban though is suspended after a court ruling denying the U.S. government motion to reinstate the ban after federal judges blocked the order.
Kyota said his counterparts in the FSM and RMI on Wednesdau will meet Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials to discuss the order and concerns of citizens of the freely associated states. [/restrict]