What specifically would you focus on in regards to the military buildup?
First, we need to ensure that a high percentage of federal money is reserved for local companies through set-asides so that this puts money directly in our pockets. If bids are won from mainland companies, and labor obtained from H-2B non-immigrants, much of the money we’ve heard about will not stay on island. Also, we need to ensure that civilian infrastructure matches the needs any additional population would place on the island. There must be guarantees that contracted work is NOT done solely on base. Finally, we must implore that the military re-evaluate its environmental impact so that this buildup does not harm our island and its waters.
What would you do to reduce the impact of the FAS compacts on Guam?
We must take a firm stance with the federal government in reminding them of the inconsistencies in their interpretations and its burden on the people of Guam. They cannot define FAS citizens as illegal aliens for Medicaid but residents of Guam when it comes to prisoners. To this end, we would work to persuade Congress to pass Sen. Akaka’s proposed bill (1504) to re-establish eligibility of FAS to participate in Medicaid, greatly reducing the burden on the MIP program and providing millions of dollars for other programs. We believe equality and fairness in the territorial/federal partnership is lacking and we must restore it.
What can you do to effectively persuade the federal government to approve parole authority, or the China visa waiver, for visitors from China to our island?
Given the Russian parole, we now have a precedent to present to federal agencies. By researching the specific economic impacts and monitoring consequences, we can simultaneously present federal agencies with sufficient data to prove it is an economic necessity while also quelling worries about national security or human trafficking that may be prevent us from getting a China visa waiver program. The Guam Visitors Bureau is already doing great work on providing the economic evidence, but we need to fight for establishing a direct line to the Secretary of Homeland Security so this information can positively influence her decision.