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Community Support Education Social Awareness for

Immigration Justice

Immigration Justice
for COFA Citizens

Many COFA citizens face significant challenges due to a lack of awareness and understanding of their rights, both among the general public and within various institutions, including government entities.

Understanding COFA and Its Importance

The Compact of Free Association (COFA) is an agreement between the United States and three Pacific Island nations: the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau. This agreement allows citizens from these countries to live, work, and study in the U.S. without a visa.

Despite these privileges, many COFA citizens face significant challenges due to a lack of awareness and understanding of their rights, both among the general public and within various institutions, including government entities.

The Challenges of COFA Citizens

COFA citizens often encounter barriers in accessing healthcare, education, employment, and social services. These challenges stem from systemic issues, such as limited language support, cultural misunderstandings, and, most critically, a widespread lack of knowledge about their legal status and rights. For instance, many public and private entities mistakenly treat COFA citizens as unauthorized immigrants, leading to wrongful denial of services and opportunities.

The Role of Education and Awareness

Education and awareness are crucial in addressing these injustices. When institutions and individuals understand the unique status of COFA citizens, they are better equipped to provide appropriate support and services. This awareness can prevent the marginalization of COFA communities and ensure they receive the respect and opportunities they deserve.

Living Islands: Advocating for COFA Citizens

Living Islands is an NHPI (Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander) interest organization, with a particular focus on Micronesian issues. Our mission is to advocate for the rights of COFA citizens and raise awareness about their unique status. We believe that through education and advocacy, we can foster a more inclusive and supportive environment for COFA communities.

Why This Matters

Promoting immigration justice for COFA citizens is not just about fulfilling legal obligations; it is about recognizing and respecting human dignity. By ensuring that COFA citizens are treated fairly and have access to the same opportunities as other residents, we contribute to a more just and equitable society.

Moreover, COFA citizens enrich our communities with their diverse cultures, perspectives, and contributions. Recognizing their rights and supporting their integration strengthens the social fabric of our nation.

Our Initiatives

Community Impact Surveys

Living Islands are conducting surveys to map the true effects of migration inequities on our communities, providing data to inform policy and advocacy efforts.

PSA and Media Production

We plan to implement programs to develop PSAs and media campaigns with agencies like TSA and companies like United Airlines. These initiatives will educate employees about the history, culture, and rights of COFA citizens, fostering a more inclusive and respectful environment.

COFA Migration Partnership Network

We aim to establish an educational and awareness network between home governments, NGOs, and diplomatic functions in the United States. This partnership will leverage collective expertise to develop strategies supporting COFA citizens, create a platform for advocacy, and implement effective problem-solving initiatives in the USA.

Migration Entry Education Programs

We are collaborating with COFA NGOs and US-based government agencies to establish guidelines for Migration Entry Education Programs for Micronesians migrating to the USA. These programs will provide essential support, including English classes, financial management, and cultural adaptation, to help newcomers navigate their new environment. By addressing these key areas, these programs empower Micronesian migrants to integrate smoothly and contribute positively to their new communities.

Revitalization Programs

We are developing Revitalization Programs to support COFA citizens returning to their home islands for retirement after living and working in the USA. These programs will help individuals leverage their pensions and wealth for a comfortable retirement, facilitating a smooth transition back to the islands, reintegration into their communities, and enjoyment of their hard-earned success.

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How You Can Help

Educate Yourself and Others:
Learn about COFA and our communities, and then share this knowledge within your own community.

Advocate for Policy Change:
Support policies that protect the rights of COFA citizens and promote their well-being.

Support Organizations like Living Islands:
Get involved with or donate to organizations that advocate for COFA communities.

Would you like to donate to our work now?

The journey toward immigration justice for COFA citizens is ongoing, but with collective effort and increased awareness, we can make significant strides.

Living Islands is committed to this cause, and we invite you to join us in advocating for the rights and dignity of COFA citizens. Together, we can build a more inclusive and just society for all.

 

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