Lapas attēli

The most disconcerting provision which we feel must be changed, is the one that excludes Guam's citizenry that does not identify itself as ethnic Chamorro. This excludes those with Asian, Micronesian, Caucasian, Latino or African heritage. All good and contributing citizens should be included in the promise of Commonwealth without regard to the accident of their birth.

The very word Commonwealth implies coramon good -something of benefit for everyone. Exclusivity based on race and where one was born, or where one's ancestors were born, or at what particular point in tinre one was bom, is contrary to the modem, enlightened way of thinking. It is a throwback to the colonial era an age the people of Guam, in voting for Commonwealth, intended to reject.

Apartheid is now thoroughly discredited. "Ethnocentrism” in the current draft does not reflect the diversity of Guam's population. It cannot co-exist with the American ideals of racial inclusion and harmony - no matter how much it is sugar-coated with phrases such as “self-determination” or “indigenous rights”. It ignores the diversity of the people who have always inhabited Guam. It ignores the generations of children bom and raised here after 1950 who, through no fault of their own, are from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds. It creates an artificial barrier between those bom here before 1950 and those born here after.

The presum drust nokther acknowlodgeo nor bonchts the Asian mului itics living un Guam which include Filipinos, Chinese, Koreans, Japanese, Indians, Vietnamese, etc. At present, some 46% of the population identifies themselves as of Asian heritage.

America stands for the proposition that “all men are created equal" - whether they were born on Guam before 1950 or not! Pre-1950 inhabitants on Guam chose to seek and won U.S. Citizenship, thus joining the U.S. family. Once in this family, one must accept all of one's brothers and sisters and treat them fairly. That is the core of U.S. citizenry and idealism.

For any inhabitaat of Guam, now or in the future, to suffer a detriment because their parents were not bom here before 1950 is simply abhorrent. No child born and raised on Guam should feel the sting of non-recognition in a fundasnculal and foundational document such as our Commonwealth Act.

A document that reflects the real and true culture of Guam - which is inclusive of people of diverse ancestries, and which recognizes the skills, talents, devotion and dignity of all human inhabitants irrespective of race, color or creed, is a document that makes winners of everyone.

That kind of Commonwealth document we support whole-heartedly.

We do not support the provision regarding local immigration control. One only has to look at the terrible experience in our neighboring islands of the CNM. It dehumanizes people

both the abused and the abusers. The terrible power over who can and cannot legally become a part of the community should be administered under the same basic standards of fairness which apply throughout the United States. It should not be the domain of local politicians who have a parisan stake in each member included or excluded from their constituency. And no system should be tolerated that encourages workers to live their lives working in a community they can never become a part of - no matter what their contribution or merits. America should realize the mistake it made in the CNM. America should not make the same mistake twice.

The estimated 46% of Guam's population that are of Asian heritage comprise approximately 62,000 men, women and childrea out of a total population of 133,000 per the 1990 census. These inhabitants are productive members of the Guam community. Many are second and third generation Guam-bom.

When those of Asian ancestry first came to Guam they brought with them their education, their skills in nation-building, their love of freedom and their belief in the American ideal of equal opportunity. Their businesses, and the businesses of their children, and their children's children, have grown and prospered. They have led the way to a vibrant and productive island economy. They have pledged their lives and fortunes together with their hosts on their adopted home.

The present population on Guam is a microcosm of the diversity found in the U.S. mainland. Racial harmony, on a social level, is more the rule on Guam rather than an exception. Those of us who moved to Guam from another country bring the fresh experiences of what it is like to live in places that are not fair, that do not function as though all were created equal. For this reason we have an increased appreciation of the freedom that is threatened by the present Commonwealth Act.

Without exception, all the people of Asian descent who live on Guam understand that our Chamorro brothers and sisters need to keep the unique culture of Guam thriving. That culture includes diversity. Together we must exercise our self-determination

The great Chinese teacher Confucius said it well, AWhat you do not wish for yourself, do not do to others. Please Include Us.

Racial discrimination is seductive but it never gives a lasting satisfaction, it diminishes everyone's humanity and harms the whole society where it exists. Please Include Us.

The history of Guam is one that is a model of generosity, openness, inclusion and tolerance. Please Include Us.

For hundreds of years Guam has been and it still is, a crossroads for people from both the East and the West. Please Include Us.

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Mutual respect, peace and harmony -working side by side, each contributing a unique
perspective and ancestry, that is our strength, our future. Please Include US.

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Mr. Chairman, members of your Committee, thank you for including us by listening to what we have to say in this public heanng.

So submitted this 25th day of October, 1997 before the United States Congress by the
Filipino-American Presidents Club of Guam.

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Federation of Asian People on Quar

P.O. Box 8136 Tacoway, Guam, U.S.A 96931


Introduced By:

John M. Veget

Resty A. Alleza Eddle R. del Rosario •

Relative to Recognizing the visit of the Honorable John Caramendi. President Clinton's Negotiator for Commonwealth Draft Act of Guam, and to Express our

Comments Against Controversial and Discriminatory Provisions of Sald Act.


on GUAM:

WHEREAS. We Aslan-Americans appreclate the concern of the U.S. President and we welcome the presence of Honorable John Caramendi to update Guam leaders about the status of the Commonwealth Draft Act; and

WHEREAS, We Aslan-Americans who have considered the United Suate of America as our country of adoption, abandoned our respective Aslan citizenship through a solemn attestation of truth; and

WHEREAS. We pledge alleglance and loyalty to the American Flag with wholeheaned bellel and faith in the democratic way of life in the land of promise und freedom; and

WHEREAS, in 1988 a Federal Task Force was formed to undertake a decalled review and evaluation of the Commonwealth Drat Act of Guam; and

WHEREAS, the Federal Task Force reported the following:
1. The Preamble which is a statement of motive and aspirations of the people of

Guam does not have the force and effect of law.
2. Regarding the Right of Self-Determination of the Chamorro people of Guam,

It is not conlleullonally permissible to confer such rights to only one part of

the popularlon of Guim.
3. Regarding local control of Immigration, some of its provisions are

discriminaton and would potentially create hardship to the Immigrant
population currently residing on Guam as well as effectively black family

reunification which is a basic tenet of Federal INS.
4. The local preference provisions Chamorro Firse Policy") regarding hiring.

training. promotions, etc. In Government of Guam agencies may be
Incompatible with the Civil Rights Act and other federal laws.

WHEREAS, Guam Is a melting pot of the Pacific and that current residents of Guam with Asian ancestry combined constitute the majority of the total population. These people have contributed immensely in nation building activities in all of the major












OCTOBER 29, 1997

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