Diabetes and cancer are rampant throughout Micronesia, largely thanks to the legacy of nuclear tests and Western culture. But most islands lack adequate medical facilities, making migration a necessity.
Most Americans have never even heard of the Compact of Free Association, but that may change as federal aid runs out, raising urgent questions about our moral, financial and legal responsibility to Micronesians.
First we nuked their islands and then we took control of the whole region. In exchange, Micronesians can move to the U.S. without restriction. And they are coming — by the tens of thousands — for health care, education and jobs.
Hawaii and Guam are feeling the effects of thousands of Micronesian immigrants relocating in search of jobs, education and health care. But with the burden on social services comes a rich cultural contribution.