Policy Brief: U.S. Policy and COFA Citizens: Migration from Climate-Vulnerable Countries

By USCRI September 12, 2022

This paper is part of USCRI’s ongoing policy and advocacy work highlighting strengths and weaknesses in existing U.S. and international policy toward migration from climate-affected countries and possible policies or models to pursue in response.

Through a series of bilateral treaties called the Compacts of Free Association, citizens of the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Palau are granted a unique status as legal nonimmigrants who may work and live in the United States indefinitely without a visa. While this has facilitated tens of thousands of these nations’ citizens migrating to the United States, this migrant population has been repeatedly affected by policy decisions overlooking or excluding them.

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