Immigration Loophole: Chinese Citizens Entering U.S. Island of Guam Illegally, Customs Official Says

Guam is home to strategically important U.S. military bases. By: MEGA © Knewz (CA)

Acustoms official in Guam sounded the alarm about an immigration loophole between the U.S. Northern Mariana Islands commonwealth and China that has been leveraged by Chinese nationals attempting to enter Guam illegally. has learned that the migrants are taking advantage of a visa waiver program between China and the Northern Mariana Islands designed to improve the local economy on the island.

Newsweek reported that Chinese nationals are entering Saipan, an island known for its sandy shores and various golf courses before attempting to travel by boat to Guam. The two island regions operate independently of one another and are run by separate governments, meaning there are opportunities for miscommunication.

Six Chinese citizens were rescued from a distressed boat 30 miles away from the island in late February.

Officials say they caught 118 attempted illegal entries since 2022.

World War II veterans attend a 2014 ceremony to honor the war of Saipan. By: MEGA© Knewz (CA)

The reason officials are raising the alarm is because Guam is home to major strategic military bases that are consistently attacked by Chinese hacking attempts.

Guam Customs and Quarantine (CQA) spokeswoman Alana Chargualaf-Afaisen told Newsweek “Any extent or degree of these concerns and risks to national security making their presence in Guam is unwelcome and considered serious.”

However, in a previous report from Stars and Stripes, authorities said most migrants are trying to get to Guam for economic reasons. They also added that all Saipan entrants are vetted before entering the Northern Mariana Islands.

They must submit a digital form before flying to the islands and are checked against a variety of government databases. Upon entering the island, they can apply for asylum but often face wait times for as long as a decade.

U.S. security forces patrol near Guam. By: MEGA© Knewz (CA)

Typically, the migrants work construction jobs, including the strange work of ensuring the now-closed Imperial Pacific Resort Hotel does not fall apart as its parent company attempts to sell the resort or renew its casino gaming license.

As the hotel has struggled, and the island has been hit by several typhoons, Chinese workers on the island would intentionally get themselves arrested and apply for asylum, which has extended the wait times for that process.

Under these circumstances, the workers try to hire boats to take them to Guam, where the economy is more vibrant and construction jobs more plentiful.

While officials are certainly on the lookout for nefarious activity, the reality of the situation is that the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam rely on Chinese migrants to support the economy.

Guam has a more vibrant economy than the Northern Mariana Islands. By: MEGA© Knewz (CA)

Melvin Won Pat-Borja, executive director of the Guam government’s Commission on Decolonization, told Newsweek in March 2023 that, “There are many in the community who are critical of the role that Guam, as an unincorporated territory, is forced to play in the posturing and aggression occurring between China and the United States.”

In May 2023, Guam was paralyzed by a major malware attack that alarmed U.S. officials because the island would be the staging ground for any possible defense of Taiwan should Beijing invade the island.

Source: Knewz