FAS Letter to Chairman Johnson and Ranking Member McCaskill

FAS Missions in D.C. Continued to Collaborate towards Amending the U.S. REAL ID Act of 2005

Washington D.C. – On October 31, 2018, the three Ambassadors of the Freely Associated States (FAS) in D.C. – the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau – collaborated on a joint letter to the Honorable Ron Johnson, Chairman of the US Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and the Honorable Claire McCaskill, Ranking Member of the same Committee in support of a proposed amendment (H.R. 3398 – the REAL ID Modification Act for the Freely Associated States Act) to the U.S. REAL ID Act of 2005. In 2005, the U.S. Congress enacted the REAL ID Act which inadvertently omitted reference to the FAS countries for the purpose of legal definition of the law. Instead, the said law referred to the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (TTPI), a precursor name for the three FAS countries. This has created unintended consequences on citizens of the FAS countries residing the United States. Led by Representative Don (R-AK) and Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI, the U.S. House of Representative had earlier passed the bipartisan bill H.R. 3398 and referred it to the Senate in September of this year for action. The three Missions of the FAS countries in D.C. continued to collaborate on ways ensure passage of the bill.