Reaching Out to Micronesians

Church working with Micronesian Government to protect the rights of Micronesian Nationals living in the US.

Washington, DC, April 25, 2009 --( [ICNS] The North American Old Catholic Church today announced reaching a working agreement and memorandum of cooperation with the Government of the Federated States of Micronesia. Talks were held at the Micronesian Embassy with His Excellency, Yosiwo P. George, the Ambassador to the United States from the Federated States of Micronesia.

The North American Old Catholic Church, through its parishes and ministries in the Dallas, Texas, Central and Gold Coast regions of Florida will work to educate businesses and Micronesians on their rights under the Compact of Free Association that exists between the US and the FSM, by producing materials Micronesian nationals can take with them when they apply for jobs explaining their rights.

“Under the compact, Micronesian nationals are allowed to work and live legally in the US without applying for traditional permission (green cards, resident alien and worker permits) from the US Department of Homeland Security. Unfortunately, many FSM nationals find it difficult to obtain legal employment in this post-911 era, as most Americans are unaware of the rights of FSM nationals under the Compact of Free Association.” said Archbishop Michael Seneco in a prepared statement: “It is our hope that we can assist FSM nationals in their employment quest, and at the same time, educate business owners on this valuable pool of ready workers.” he concluded.

The Compact of Free Association*, originally negotiated in 1969, and most recently ratified with amendments in June of 2004, gives FSM nationals the right to work in the US and to serve in our military. In exchange, the US provides military security for Micronesia, and gives the US a firm foothold in the South Pacific, which is strategic in our nation’s war on terrorism.

The church will also begin to work with the FSM government to monitor reported abuses in the recruitment and treatment that some FSM Nationals have reported when being employed on the US Mainland, specifically in agribusiness and poultry production.


*US Public Law 108-188, December 17, 2003 House Joint Resolution 63
North American Old Catholic Church
Gregg Nall