The U.S. policy toward Micronesia is driven by military and strategic concerns.
Nothing new there, but it's never stated so baldly. Let's don our red-white-and-blue glasses and peer at labor and immigration issues in the Commonwealth, particularly Saipan.
A mid-level garment executive was a fellow guest at a dinner. Somebody, it could have been me, asked him if he was a member of the Communist Party. "Of course," he said. He was surprised at the question, and I had been naive. How else would you get ahead in China Inc.?
It's no secret that prostitutes rode in on the wave of Chinese immigration. They're working class, of course, and unlikely to be card-carrying members. But they're vulnerable, trying to make money illegally in a foreign country, and they have family members back home. Those are pressure points, and cause concern to anyone planning a military buildup. As they say, "loose lips sink ships".
There are thousands of Filipinos, some of them Muslim. Hundreds of Bangladeshis, and those that I know are Muslim. To the best of my knowledge, these are fine God-fearing, hard-working people who have caused no trouble. They also come from poor countries, the sort of places that breed radical Islamists. This should trouble military planners and State Department policy wonks.
They wouldn't be doing their jobs if they weren't looking hard at all of those facts. They're not the folks running with the election cycle. These are career civil servants, military officers and Congressional staffers whose stay in Washington is longer than most Congressmen. The people who make up the government's institutional memory.
They work behind the scenes, don't make speeches and seldom make the headlines, unless it's through something leaked to a reporter. I wonder what they're doing now.