Between 1946 and 1958, the United States conducted 67 nuclear tests in the Republic of the Marshall Islands with direct and lasting health, social, and environmental consequences. Under the terms of the Compact of Free Association (COFA), many Marshallese people legally live in and pay taxes in the U.S. but do not receive the benefits of citizenship. This Task Force is action-oriented and offers concrete tools to support Marshallese people in the U.S. and in the Republic of the Marshall Islands.
- There is a lack of general awareness and media attention about the continuing impacts and difficulties facing the Marshallese from their relationship with the U.S.
- This history is not taught in the U.S. education curriculum and the U.S. education system marginalizes Marshallese students.
- The Marshallese health system is under-developed. Marshallese come to the U.S. often for health services to deal with the lasting impacts of the nuclear tests. As legal residents, they pay taxes and can serve in the military in the U.S. but are ineligible for Medicaid.
- Many wrongs go unrecognized. The U.S. has not recognized its violation of international law and human rights. Marshallese people face labor rights abuses and cultural marginalization in the U.S.
- Use video, news pitch, and infographics to create media awareness and pressure U.S. government officials.
- Push for curriculum changes to include the Marshall Islands stories in cold war history. Promote an establishment of a formal day of Commemoration March 1st.
- Harness the capacity of aid organizations and educational institutions to implement direct health services and provide educational scholarships to ensure a future of sustainable health care in the RMI.
- Support House Bill 1291 to restore Medicaid for Marshallese and other Micronesian populations in Washington. Amend the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act to include COFA citizens as qualified immigrants.
- Partner with U.S. veterans and military. Disperse information about human rights abuses and the status of COFA citizens.