Convicts send letters asking to be removed from Guam
- Category: News
- Published: Saturday, 29 October 2016 09:48
- Written by John O'Connor
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By John O'Connor
Reprinted by permission of
Guam Daily Post
Guam—Four convicts originally from Chuuk have propositioned Gov. Eddie Calvo to have their sentences commuted in exchange for being removed from Guam, never to return. Calvo said he received the letters recently and one of the inmates even wrote a second letter stating his family would be willing to pay for the trip back to Chuuk.
"Here are prisoners that voluntarily want to remove themselves and not be a burden to our correctional system and our tax payers ... The only problem now is ... even if I were to agree, even if the convicts want to go back to their home country, it appears now with the policy of the (government of the Federated States of Micronesia), that is not their desire."
In September, Adelup issued a release stating the FSM Consulate General Office had indicated it would no longer assist in the removal of migrant criminals from Guam. At that time, an inmate from the Department of Corrections was identified for permanent removal to his home state of Yap. While he had the travel documents required for FSM citizens traveling into the Micronesian nation, the governor’s office was told the individual would not be allowed back into the FSM.
“Over the course of the last two months, the government of Guam has requested that the Consulate of the Federated States of Micronesia verify the citizenship of several individuals who are incarcerated in jail in Guam, and who have been selected for the commutation of their sentence and eventual repatriation back to the FSM,” stated a letter from the FSM government.
“Although I have previously provided information to the government of Guam certifying that the individuals in question are FSM citizens, I can no longer do so.”
Calvo later wrote a letter to FSM President Peter Christian about his government's refusal to assist in the removals. While he said there was some "victory" in seeing convicts want to return to their home island of their own accord, the position of the FSM government has become something of a stumbling block for his own policy, which has so far seen 11 inmates removed from Guam's correction system. Of the individuals removed, seven have been from Chuuk.
About a third of Guam's prisoners are non-U.S. citizens, according to Calvo, who criticized the federal government for its lack of action in helping alleviate the island's overcrowded prison system by deporting convicted non-citizens. Calvo said his decision to commute sentences and remove migrant criminals was not a "get out of jail card" but a decision to keep island residents safe.
The last six criminals whose sentences were commuted were turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for deportation